Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A fall, indeed!

As many of you know, yesterday was the deadline for the Fall for Cotton Challenge.
I can just imagine all the frantic sewing that must have been going on in the last couple of days, as all us procrastinators scrambled to get our cotton creations done in time.

Most seem to have done wonderfully, the Flikr group was overflowing with all kinds of beautiful cotton clothing. My hat goes off to all of you! It is such fun to see new versions of "tried and true" patterns, people's creativity knows no limit, and there are some seriously talented sewers out there :)

All ready and rearing to sew!

So how did I do, with my first sewing challenge?
Well, it started out great! I found the perfect pattern, great fabric (on super sale!) and was ready to get cracking at September 1st. Drafted pattern, made a muslin, fitted muslin, and went on and cut my fashion fabric. Sewed up the bodice, made my first bound buttonholes (yay!) and even lined the thing (also a first).
Made 3/4 sleeves with cuffs, with rather a lot of hand sewing.

When I was ready to set the sleeves, I hit a MAJOR bump in the road... The sleeve head had 4" of ease! The pattern envelope drawing didn't show a frikkin' gather anywhere (and the instruction just said "ease between notches"), so clearly something was wrong. I tried a "sleevektomi" but was probably too scissor-happy and made the sleeves too tight on top. Not so that they couldn't be worn, but they looked nothing like they should, so basically; I ruined them.... In hindsight I would maybe be better off if I had opened the armscye a little, but the thought of ruining a whole lined bodice with buttonholes done and all, made me attack the sleeve-heads instead. Maybe I should just have gathered the sleeves, and got it over with. But you know,  sewing up a specific pattern, kind of makes you want it to look like the same dress...

I lost most of my interest at this point, and seeing this was Saturday, there wasn't enough time to re-make sleeves and do the rest of the dress. Oh yes, there was still a zipper to tackle, lining and hemming the skirt, making a belt and adding buttons. So I resigned. Yes, I buckled under pressure!

I was very certain I could do this when I entered the challenge, but "lost" three weekends of sewing time to more pressing personal matters. It is okay, though. The dress turned out to be way more time consuming and advanced than first anticipated, and rushing to finish it just wasn't right.
I AM going to finish it, I think it will be a cool dress. I just need to get my stuff together first :)

I am disappointed in myself, but even if my first attempt was a royal faceplant, I learned a lot from this.
Besides, there will be other challenges and sew-alongs.

I am now looking forward to the FFC parade!
Congrats to all of you who finished! You rock :D


  1. Siri, did you see Tasha's post on setting in sleeves? She covered exactly this issue:


    Vintage patterns are terrible for excessive ease in sleeve caps. I hope you tackle the dress eventually. That's why I chose to just make a blouse- I always bail out of I set my goals too high for sewalongs!

    1. Yes, Ginny, that was the post that made me ruin the sleeves :)
      No fault of Tasha's of course, but I guess 4" of extra sleeve was a bit too much to trim away without distorting the sleeve shape... Oh well, live and learn ;)

      Thank you for the encouragement, it really means a lot!

  2. There should be no disappointment, sometimes life just happens. And while you may have not completed your garment without your comments I would have never finished mine. I will forever be grateful. I can't wait to see that dress. It will be as amazing as you are.

  3. Don't feel bad, at least you are still going to make the dress! It happens to everyone. I was all set to join the Copycat Challenge... I did make the dress but I decided it doesn't really look like my inspiration dress and I couldn't be bothered faffing around with the complicated zipper finishing after my exams, whoops!

    1. Sometimes it feels good just to stop bothering for a little while ;) We will finish our dresses eventually, and they will be fab ;) Right? Right!

  4. It sounds like you've got a very healthy attitude to this! Learning the lessons, giving yourself time to think about your project, and resolving to finish it despite the difficulties are all things I hope I will be able to do, someday

  5. Thanks, Béa, I try ;) If I was 25, I would just break down and cry (or set fire to the dang dress). I find age gives me a more "balanced approach" to things ;)

  6. Ah I completely understand what you mean about running into problems and wanting to fix it the easiest way you see. I ran into that with a baby dress I made, but lucky for me I had a mother who kept me on track, and sane. (Btw since I am only 24, I did throw a little fit. I guess I should do it while I can, right? lol ) Good luck with finishing the dress, I look forward to seeing the finished project!

  7. We all hit bumps in the road, but you indeed have a positive out look though. I'm glad you're still finishing it even though the deadline passed. It shows perseverance. Sometimes you do need a break. Even though you ran into problems, I'm sure you'll learn from it. I hope you finish it because I would love to see it! :)