Sewing top fives: misses

This is my favourite part of the Sewing Top Fives blog series: the failures. There’s much more to say about the projects that didn’t work than the ones that did. When I went through my projects for the year I found three that didn’t work out. Which is one less than 2019, so that’s progress.

I’d completely forgotten this Burda dress, from my long abandoned attempt to sew my way through my Burda wishlist. It looks all right on the dress form but the fit was horrible. No prizes for guessing why there are no photos of it on me.

I chose the wrong fabric for the pattern, made some misguided experimental fit adjustments, and added pockets in a bad place. A sad waste of nice fabric. I still occasionally hanker after the dress that inspired the project though: Luv’s fitted white dress from Blade Runner 2049. I was intending to use this pattern as a base to reproduce it once I’d worked the bugs out. One day perhaps, but definitely with a different pattern as the starting point.

The next one seemed like a success at the time I finished it, and I still like the way it looks in photos. But sadly it’s so low cut and boxy that it’s only suitable for lounging; anything involving movement, never mind bending over, is extremely dicey. I wore it to take my son to the playground once. Never again. I haven’t thrown it out because I cling to the hope that I might one day have a lifestyle where I can wear it; that or I find some magical underpinning for it that I don’t mind people seeing.

The last one should look familiar because I only posted this blouse two weeks ago. The fit is definitely not right; odd because I’ve been sewing Vogue for years and I thought I had a good handle on how their block fits me. Maybe this one’s just a bit unusual. Anyway I haven’t decided what to do with it yet; probably wear it less done up but with a camisole underneath. I can’t face setting those sleeves again to try to fix the pulling.

Interestingly my historic failures are predominately down to poor fabric choice, but this year it’s been more of a mixture. Not sure if that means I’ve gone forward or back, not that it would be statistically significant anyway.

17 thoughts on “Sewing top fives: misses

  1. I always enjoy reading your blog as I love your style and color, silver, gray.white. You wear clothes well and maybe you are too hard on yourself. That said, if you are not comfortable wearing some of your makes that’s a good enough reason to put them aside.

  2. Too bad about these misses – we certainly all have them. I think some misses are inevitable when we try something new or take risks. At least we learned something, right? For the boxy top, have you tried it with a cami or little tank top underneath? I have a similar top and it’s fine as a layering piece for me.

  3. Too bad. So sad. The dress does look great on the mannequin. I hope you get to make one that’s perfect in every way. The boxy top would look great over a long sleeved turtleneck. And the blouse. I puzzled over the blouse and didn’t come up with any answers. Perhaps wear it open as a jacket? Sometimes the best laid plans… But we sewistas never give up hope, do we?

  4. I like the looks of the boxy top too, but I totally understand the useless character of something that requires you to only pose for photos. It doesn’t look like it would take kindly to a built in bra, the extended shoulders would be awkward to say the least. But do you wear it with a bra? If so, a simple weight might make a big difference. Just a piece of ribbon sewed to the V that you can tuck under the center of your bra, finished with a bottom coin/curtain weight/washer, whatever you have on hand that won’t be irritating. I discovered this in a very old Threads article I can’t quite retrieve at the moment

  5. I wonder if you couldn’t adapt Jalie’s Bobby V-neck top to your boxy top. The pattern has a built in bra that is sown to the neck line to hold the V neck down. It might not be worth the hassle though. Also I wanted all of Luv’s clothes from Bladerunner 2049.

  6. You write a great blog. I’ve just been reading “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. One of the messages is that how we deal with our failures can say more about us than how we deal with the successes. To embrace the mistakes (my words) and learn from them has helped me so much in my sewing. I’ve really appreciated reading this critique of your own work. Thank you.

  7. For salvaging the dress, could you cut the bodice off and turn the bottom into a skirt? I always feel separates are much easier to put into circulation. (And I seem to recall from the post about the dress that the fit problems were mostly in the top half, anyway…)

  8. I too love reflecting at year’s end. And most of my failures usually come down to poor fabric+pattern combo.

  9. (I actually like that shirt with the sleeves – a perfect Outlander style) I’m feeling like someone who will never learn to sew, so my apologies when I say your post has given me hope. I guess everyone has hits and misses, although everything here still looks really lovely… For the boxy top with the too-low V-Neck: I saw a Pinterest post somewhere that showed taking a piece of fabric that you like, cutting it into an appropriately shaped triangle (whatever that means) and sewing it inside the v-neck so it looks like a cami or tee or whatever you’d like underneath. I haven’t tried it – yet – but would that work?

    And happy new year! ♥

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