Top 5 Misses of 2016


Last year I cited the lack of “misses” as a sign that I did not craft enough. This year I have opportunities to keep learning and improving my craft. The following projects have tested my patience, made me feel like I wasted materials and time, and pushed me to confront my conflation of mistake with failure. Having embraced curiosity as my word of 2016, I am determined to figure out how to remake these “misses” into something that are hits.

Blouse made without seam allowance:

I was so proud of this sleeveless top. The under stitching on the facing was superb, the back button and keyhole were crisp. But i didn’t realize that pattern I downloaded DID NOT INCLUDE seam allowances, and when I put it on, I knew I would not be able to wear it as-is. I may be able to open the seams and add some creative color blocking to make it fit, but that is a low-priority project at this point.



My slipper boots:

I was excited for these slipper boots, and I am committed to finishing them for the experience. The crazy wide cables don’t flatter my full calves and I am no longer excited about them. I may keep them or I may find someone for whom they will be perfect.

The too-small forager cardigan:

I finished this sleeveless cardigan at the end of summer, and have not had a chance to wear it yet. Every time I look at it on the hanger in my closest, I am more certain that I did not have the correct knitting gauge. I think I can make the vest cardigan work in the spring, but it doesn’t have the drape that I originally fell in love with on the pattern model.

Low-quality knit fabric:

The greatest enemy of a beloved sewing project is low quality fabric. Below are two garments that I enjoy wearing – they are comfortable and are styles that I look and feel good in. However, both were made from low-quality polyblend knit fabrics that are pilling in all friction areas. I was lured by the 50% off remnant bin at Joann’s and did not look closely at the fiber content.

I will continue wearing both of these garments and I’ll try to keep trimming the pills, but I fear that their lifespan will be shorter than most handmade garments.

Wool Pencil Skirt: 

This “miss” may very well work out in the long run. After altering a self-drafted skirt pattern to account for wider hips, I completely forgot to add the seam allowance on the center back/zipper seam. I have already figured out how I will attempt to remedy this – add a black faux leather stripe down both side seams. I have been sitting on this correction and this project for almost a year now. I’m struggling to gather my courage and face this mistake face to face.

Tomorrow: Top 5 Non-Sewing Highlights of 2016! 


4 thoughts on “Top 5 Misses of 2016

  1. It’s not easy easy to find good quality knits. I can definitely relate to the pilling problems, and add my troubles with gauging the stretch percentage and thickness of a knit… But I also agree with you that if you don’t fail it probably means you’re not making enough and not learning. So here’s to the misses of 2016! (I’m working on a post about mine.)

    I really love the range of the projects you’ve tackled. So here’s also to what will become the hits of 2017! 🙂

  2. I like to let my mishaps ‘age’ in a basket. They keep each other company, and sometimes one will inspire another to be mended/brought back to life. I have a pair of pants that spent a few years in the basket (we haven’t moved in twenty years)(oh my god we haven’t moved in twenty years! My son is almost twenty!) and found their way out, and into a zipper fly instead of being pull-on pants. I am loving having them back, even if I didn’t love the rehab part.

    I gotta tell you, that seam allowance thing happens to everyone. Or at least you and I.

  3. Saw your IG and Twitter posts and thought I’d take a look finally. 🙂

    I forget seam allowances on at least 50% of each piece I make. So annoying.

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