If I was in the workplace, I wouldn’t be calling this a fail. It would be a learning curve, a challenge, part of a wider strategy and a reach for best practice. It definitely wouldn’t be a fail. But it is. A fail.
On Saturday morning I was on Instagram, proudly photographing my WIP. By Sunday evening, I was trying on my new dress and watching the twisted front seams flap about. This would never be a dress to wear outside of the house or in front of witnesses, so it went into the bin and I went back to the sofa, surprisingly sanguine and with a minimum of swearing.
I was entirely undone by fabric choice. Bought cheap as chips off Walthamstow market, it had a lovely drape – too much drape for my dress. And it was riddled with faults, some of which ran straight down the front of my bodice. Ultimately, I should never have cut this stuff out.
It’s not entirely a wasted experience – nothing ever is. I thought I’d go through some of the lessons I learnt, making a dress I’d never wear.
Adjustments: I needed to take a good inch off the bodice length and I’m thinking of going down a size and doing an FBA.
Sizing: I thought I’d cut out the right size, but I was swimming in this dress. I’m going to go back and measure the paper pattern pieces to get a better picture of sizing.
Tweaking collar seam: on a second make, I’d shave a few mm from the under collar’s seams to allow for ‘turn of cloth’. This technique (magnificently explained here) allows the seam line to roll neatly out of view. This isn’t covered in the pattern instructions, but I know about this step and should have employed it.
Order of steps: there are some steps I’d tackle at a different stage in the sewing.
Familiarity: I am now familiar with the pattern, it’s fresh in my mind and I should be able to work on a second make much more quickly.
Fabric choice: I won’t work with something full of faults (!) and I shall work with something that presses crisply. I have just the fabric in my stash. I should have saved my pennies at the market.
So! No lesson is ever wasted. Not even lessons in failure. I’m going to truck right on into a second make. I shan’t tell you what the pattern is – I should be able to show you soon. Hopefully.
Tell me, please – what lesson did you learn by failing?
If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative. Woody Allen