This weekend just gone saw another sewing flop in my humble little sewing room.
What’s the big deal, you may wonder? Anyone who knows anything about sewing knows that sewing fails are simply part of the game.
Except in my case, this latest flop came on the back of another sewing fail which followed another all time sewing disaster. To say it’s been a little disheartening would be quite the understatement.
So in an effort to pick myself up off the floor and conjure up the motivation to try yet again, I came up with the following six points to help move forward in the sewing journey. And in case you’re ever in the same boat, I hope the following helps you in some way!
1. Embrace The Mistake
Is there a way to salvage your sewing project and turn it into something different? For example, the above box pleat skirt that I made was originally meant to be part of a dress. Except that a couple of rookie mistakes (never sew when you’re tired) meant that I ruined the bodice.
So I said goodbye to the bodice and adjusted the waistband so that in the end, I at least had a skirt.
Sometimes however, no amount of imagination or sewing finesse will be enough to salvage your sewing project.
Or perhaps you simply don’t want to even try saving it.
In which case, this next point is for you.
2. Give Up
On the project, that is. Not on sewing!
After you’ve tried every trick under the sun, scoured Youtube for every conceivable video related to your task, and raged and screamed and cried, give yourself permission to throw the offending item on the scrap pile or donate it to charity. Or even better, approach the sewing disaster with a ‘zero waste’ mindset and reuse the fabric for a future project.
In essence, accept and try to make peace with the fact that while you may have had grand plans for this project (in planning what accessories and hairstyle would best suit this garment, the wonderful coffee dates you would have while wearing said garment – or is that just me?), take a deep breath and know that it’s okay to let this baby go.
3. Stay Away From Social Media
This one’s a biggie and should probably be at Number 1.
The last thing – and I mean the absolute last thing – you should do in the immediate aftermath of a sewing flop is is to scroll through Instagram where everyone else’s sewing successes will hit you smack bang in the face.
Of course, many of those sewing success pics probably came about after their fair share of mistakes and frustrations. But that won’t be evident to you right at this moment, especially when you spot impeccable-looking garments from those speedy sewing bloggers who churn out clothing items faster than a third world garment factory.
So do yourself a favour and steer clear of social media for now.
4. Try Something Different
Preferably something unrelated to sewing. In fact, don’t even look at the sewing machine for the rest of the day. Or the week if need be.
Take a break, get some fresh air, go for a walk, get on your bike, bake a cake, binge watch some Gossip Girl, call up a friend, read a book. You get the picture.
You’ll feel so much better for it.
5. Reevaluate Or Find New Inspiration
Once you’ve let that disappointing make go, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. If you have a mood board or a Pinterest board, perhaps it time to make a few tweaks to it.
Or maybe you’re in need for some fresh inspiration.
Think about what normally gets you excited about planning a sewing project. It could be any number of things: high fashion, films, art, music, magazines, shopping or people watching, to name a few.
Either way, it’s time for a fresh start so do what you need to in order to become excited by new sewing possibilities once again.
6. Toiles (Muslins) Are Your Best Friends
Something to think about when you’re ready to try a new project.
While I usually ensure I make a toile (or two or three), my latest sewing flop was a direct result of me not bothering with one. It was only meant to be a simple and straightforward make. What could possibly go wrong?
I’ll spare you the gory details of that one but suffice to say, I learnt my lesson.
And I’ve noticed that a lot of the seasoned and super accomplished sewing bloggers will often pertain to sewing toiles also. And if the sewing experts are whipping up toiles first, how much more do I – very amateur sewist that I am – need to be making up toiles?
Of course, there are always super sewists to be found who create the most amazing garments, minus toiles. Ignore them. They’re not human.
7. Don’t Give Up
Yes, this is the opposite advice to Number 2.
In this case though, I’m referring to sewing.
Once you’ve had your much needed time-out, take a deep breath, make a cup of coffee, put on your favourite music and reconnect with the pastime that has already brought you so much joy.
Remind yourself as to why you enjoyed sewing in the first place. Remember that mistakes and failed makes – however frustrating – are simply part and parcel of this sewing game.
And soon enough, your sewing successes will outweigh your sewing flops.
Well, in my case, I sincerely hope so, anyway!