Failure begins with a ‘K’

Please don’t bother calling me Karen any more. Just call me Failure.

‘Hey, Failure! Messed up any sewing projects lately?’

‘Looking good, Failure. Did your MUMMY sew that for you?’

‘Have you heard about Failure’s McCalls 5815? Boy, did she mess that up.’

Well, mock all you like. I thrive on sarcasm! Sneering feeds my soul! Laugh at my efforts and I’ll become a better sewer. That’s what I keep telling myself.

This has been a weekend of travesties.

Remember this photo of me cutting out my cream satin lining? I look so serene, don’t I? As if I know exactly what I’m doing. Remember how I added three inches to the length of the jacket shell when I cut out that pink wool? I didn’t. Every single piece of my lining is now three inches too short. Here’s the evidence:

I need to go back to Saeed Fabrics for a THIRD time and buy more of that satin. I just thank the God of Sewing that it’s only £1.50 a metre. In a moment of bleak optimism, I wondered if I could use my new dotty fabric as a lining but those dots are just showing through the main fabric and, let’s be honest, it’s cotton. Not ideal.

Dotty Idea

And something that has been confusing me since I began: the front panel lining. That has to be in the same fabric as the main shell. Right? Or wrong? I am totally confused. Why does no one supply pictures of the lining in place? A picture teaches more than any amount of tightly written instructions. I just want to see the finished lining in place and then I’ll understand.

I’ve ended up inspecting every jacket I own and peering at the five – count ’em – different shades of grey that the pattern uses to indicate different fabrics. It’s not easy, guys. These are the difficulties of learning at home on your own. I wish I had a Mum or a Grandma around to talk me through this. Instead, my boyfriend is currently turning drawers inside out looking for his ‘cycle computer’ in a stinking mood. Oh well. At least we have the Internet…

I decided to consult Threads on Making A Jacket. Great instructions – including advice to cut out the main fabric and lining at the same time. (Like, doh. Why would somebody not do that? They’d have to be a real Failure, right?) Then we come to the part about the lining. This is what our instructor has to say:

Next, I attach the lining to the shell of the garment according to the pattern instructions.

Er, hello? You’ve just skipped over the part where I need the most help! I admit that Threads does have a whole separate tutorial on Bagging A Lining, but I’d have to know that in order to, er, know that. Frustrating!

At least I never got as far as attempting to attach the lining. At least I had the good sense to lay a section of lining next to the main jacket before proceeding. But I am going to have to step away from this for a few days. The rest of my life is worming around the edges, demanding attention. Like that manuscript I’m writing. I really need to finish it – much more than I need to cut satin into pretty pieces, only to throw them all away.

Excuse me, whilst I go and hide my head in a bucket and scream. Very loudly.

I also went to IKEA this weekend, catching two buses to get there. The store was closed. But enough of this moaning. No one likes a whinger. I leave you with an inspiring link called Reasons To Be Cheerful. Do click it. Then come back and reassure me that I am not the only one this type of thing has happened to!

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7 Responses to Failure begins with a ‘K’

  1. zoe says:

    I know this may sound annoying, but you HAVE to make mistakes like this to remember to never do them again in the future. I’ve made so so so many sewing cockups in the past, but each one has stung so bad that I’ve never repeated it. Put it down for a day or two and come back to it with fresh eyes, as my mum would say. xxx

  2. Saint Pudalia says:

    Hey, don’t feel bad! I made a pair of pants this weekend and at the very end I zipped them up and the zipper pull came right off! I had FAILED to ensure the top was sealed. And I could NOT get that blasted pull back on! So you know what I did? I threw the pants away. I was iffy about the appropriateness of the fabric (way too stretchy) anyway.


  3. Julie says:

    Maybe this will make you feel better. I added 2 inches to the length of my wedding dress bodice. After cutting out $80 USD/yard lace and expensive satin AND underlining, you would think I would remember how I added length to the bodice. Nope. I attached the skirt and prepped for the zipper only to realize my zipper is now 2 inches too short. Easy fix? Yes, if you have time to order the extra-long zipper that isn’t carried in stores. Being the queen of procrastination (and not reading the instructions), I didn’t have that kind of time. Instead, I had to hike the monstrous dress over my head to put it on. Thanks to a too-short zipper, I couldn’t step into it and get it over my monstrous tush. I won’t be making that mistake again. Zoe is right. Sometimes you have to mess up to learn. Keep your chin up. We’ve all done it.

  4. rosyragpatch says:

    I’ve just looked at my Vogue Sewing Book (1970 version). It shows the front jacket facing in the same fabric as the outer but the actual front is lined in the lining fabric.

    I don’t know if this helps but it also says under lining shell “Pleats and wearing ease should be placed where the garment must give with body movement at center back, above and below waistline, bust area, hem edges of sleeves, and hem of garment. center back pleat should be 1/2″ to 1″ deep from neck to hem. Adjust the pattern before cutting to allow for pleats or wearing ease if necessary.”
    Hope this helps.

    It really does help to make mistakes, I should know, I’ve made some unwearable clothes over the years.

  5. Thank you all for such lovely comments and reassurance. Isn’t the Internet a wonderful thing! Saint Pudalia – a very similair thing happened to me once. Julie – ouch. That must have been a painful, expensive mistake. Thanks for sharing. RosyRagPatch – I can’t believe you were kind enough to go to your copy of the Vogue book. Thank you! And SoZo – you’re quite right. I need to take a break.

  6. I totally agree with Zoe. Yeah, I’ve sewn for a long time now, and I totally messed up on my perfect Spring dress. It cannot be repaired. I’ll just have to chalk it up to experience. Let’s just say, you never know what you’re going to get sometimes. Every project is so different and requires so many different techniques that sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever be able to sew something up without having a mistake or two or three or four. Give it a rest for a few days. It will all come together. Promise.

  7. Karin says:

    How annoying! Never mind. The shell looks super, and you said that the lining is only £1.50/m, so that is some consolation. Who knows, you may even stumble across another great fabric for your stash when you go in for the lining! I don’t know much about lining things, and most patterns don’t give very good directions. So I agree with you, that the instructions/lack there of, is very frustrating.

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