I’m sewing more of my clothes these days, and even with a lot of background in that art I still occasionally make some dumb mistake that threatens to ruin the garment. Here are two examples – both the oops and the save. Enjoy!
I had started a sewing reboot a few years ago, which included cutting out a large number of projects all at once. Then I got involved with representing the Cabi line of clothing and felt I should be wearing what I was selling. So those pre-cut projects sat for a few years. And in those few years I gained a few pounds. So when I sat down recntly to sew up this navy ponte knit sheath dress – Butterick #5559 – it was cut a full size too small for my 2020 body. Oops.
I sewed all the diagonal tucks – gorgeous! But even sewing just the minimum 1/4″ side seams wasn’t enough to make the dress fit. Amazingly I found the scraps tucked away in my fabric cabinet – enough to cut 2″ strips to insert into each side seam. The strips tapered down to almost nothing at the underarm point so the armhole size stayed constant and I could set in the sleeve successfully.
Bravo! Now the dress fit. But it was WAY to short for my age and my knees. BUT – there was enough leftover fabric to add a band to the bottom edge, equal in width to the side-seam inserts. That actually made the entire re-design look intentional and rescue the project. A sewing friend even suggested that I do it again with contrast-color bands for a color blocked effect. Hmmm…
Oops #2 was a different kind of cutting error. I made this lovely drape-front sheath – the pencil skirt version – in a soft ponte knit from my stash (not the one we sell, but a lighter, softer, stretchier one).
Seams were just straight stitched for a quick fitting. Then I serged all the vertical seams, letting the machine’s blade trim away the extra seam allowance width.
Unfortunately I had a friend visiting at the time and was secretly showing off how fast I could sew by running my serger full speed ahead. At the curve of the pricess seam, some of the underlayer fabric got pushed up under the presser foot and right into the cutting blade! Fortunately I felt something amiss and stopped pretty quickly. But when I ripped out the errant stitches there was still a significant gash in the back of my new dress.
Not willing to give up, I patched the gash from the wrong side with a strip of fusible tape and then unsed a multi-step zigzag from the right side to secure the cut edges back together in the most inconspicuous way I could manage.
I wore the dress to services that night and got lots of compliments from people who wouldn’t normally notice a woman’s clothes. And not one of them asked about the repair on the back of the dress — so I guess it worked. And I learned to park my ego at the door of my sewing room, right?