Wednesday May 25, 2011

Is it Wednesday again?  That happened fast.

For this week’s Show & Tell Wednesday I have prepared a little tour for you.  I call it April’s Sewing Hall of Horrors.  Although,  April’s Sewing Hall of Foibles would be a more accurate title, it just didn’t have the same dramatic, ominous feel to it.   While I am seriously tempted to just let you all think that everything I touch turns out lovely, that would not be truthful, and being truthful is important.

So without further ado~

Exhibit 1:  “The Evil Dress”

I made this dress last summer to wear on our vacation to Tucson.  I was going for that classic, seaside summer look.  I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking “That dress doesn’t look evil.  It looks darling.”  I thought you might say that so I offer up photographic evidence~

Me looking normal. {kindly ignore my awkward hand pose} 

Me looking like a nautical trapezoid.

Still not convinced?  Very well then.

Can you say “Pear-shaped”?  To be fair that’s not entirely the fault of the dress.

I call this one, “No I’m not 5 months pregnant.  Why do you ask?”
I think after reviewing the evidence we can all agree that this is truly an evil dress.  Oh the power of an evil dress… capable of making a grown woman cry.

Exhibit 2:  “Broken Heart”

Some of you may remember the heart on the left side from my Valentines Day Series.  That heart coin purse was the result of many other attempts.  The heart on the right side was the first version.

I wanted the zipper to go down the middle of the heart but I just couldn’t make it work.  The zipper wouldn’t stay lined up with the points and it wrecked the shape of the heart.  You can see from this picture that the lining is very loose and puckered.

It’s a sweet little heart but just too puckered and funky to use for anything (other than learn from).

Exhibit 3:  “Ambiguous Stuffed Animal Thingy”

It’s supposed to be a bear.
I wanted it to be a little primitive looking but this just looks like a 3-year-old made it.
Three-year-old making the bear = impressive.
Thirty-three-year-old making the bear = pathetic.

Exhibit 4: “Perfect waste of a Saturday”

I apologize for the drab, unflattering photo, but it’s a drab, unflattering skirt.  I spent most of one Saturday trying to construct a wrap skirt using one of my own skirts as a pattern.  I tried it on.  It had all the movement and charm of a toilet paper tube.  I say toilet paper tube because that’s exactly what it looked like on.  A giant, green, toilet paper tube.  No picture of it on; I’ve embarrassed myself enough for one day.

Exhibit 5: “Pride Goes Before the Fall”

Admittedly, this is a cute dress.  I had successfully made several other dresses for Eliza, so I was feeling pretty confident when I started making this little pinafore.  It’s the easiest pattern ever but my cockiness got me in trouble.  I neglected to clip the seams before I turned turned it inside out.  Which made the curves and seams on the dress, pucker and ripple.  I smoothed it out as best I could with the iron, but it never hung right on her.

In addition to that, I put the rick-rack trim on before I made the buttons holes.  An honest mistake, but it made it impossible to sew button holes on, because the machine kept getting caught on the rick-rack.  So I had the brilliant idea to sew snaps on the shoulders, and use fabric glue to glue buttons over the snaps.
The buttons came off the very first time I washed the dress.  The seams I had worked so hard to smooth out puckered up even more after a trip through the dryer.

So it hangs in her closet, a testament to my own foolishness

As much as I enjoy occasionally poking fun at myself, that isn’t the real reason I decided to do this post.

Here’s where I get out my soapbox.

There are reasons for not wanting to try something new.  Good reasons.  Maybe you’re in a busy season of your life.  You’ve evaluated your priorities and realized you can’t take on anything else.  That’s a great reason; that’s showing wisdom.  Maybe you say “That’s really neat, but it’s not for me.”  I think that’s a totally valid reason, and I have a lot of respect for a person who is comfortable enough in their own skin to say that.  Not trying something new because you’re afraid you’ll mess up is not a legitimate reason.  It’s no good. You’re not allowed to use it anymore.  You got that?  Good.

“Sometimes courage is the small voice that says, I will try again”.



26 thoughts on “Wednesday May 25, 2011

  1. princesspamf

    Let’s see, there’s the dress that needed four inches more in length and I saw the the line on the pattern that said lengthen or shorten here…but I discovered that they really didn’t intend for me to add my 4 inches in the middle of the dress…(I think it meant to lengthen/shorten a smidgen for correct waistline placement)..that dress could have fit a giraffe neck. I have a horror story that tells the sad lessons learned about “nap”–on red cordroy, no less!  And I’ll have to confess that I actually wore a jumper for a couple of years that had the in the seam side pockets going toward the back instead of the front…just couldn’t make myself rip it out! Wonder if anyone ever noticed???
    Thanks for sharing your foibles! Love you all the more for it!

  2. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    oh my goodness, you are so brave!! i could have my own hall of sewing disasters showcase, but do NOT have the guts to embarrass myself that terribly!! it is so discouraging when you spend time, money and effort on something that you can picture in your mind and it’s a total flop. it seems impossible, but, impossible is just a reason for someone not to try….and, you are so right on in your words of admonition at the end of this posting!!!

    i could totally feel your ‘pain’ on the dress turnout, and the skirt that fit like a toilet paper tube….even tho’ i feel for you in these flops, i so appreciate your humor and humility in writing about these projects gone awry!!!
    and, you had me laughing aloud with your wit!=)

    with love!!

  3. fruitloops115

    you are so funny. i loved the captions you gave your photos, esp. perfect waste of a Saturday. I def. have a list of ‘fails’ but they aren’t so neatly chronicled throughout history as this post. Sometimes things just don’t work out IRL as they do in my head.  I can identify with the way the “seaside dress’ fits you. I often have an idea of a dress and how it’s supposed to look on me, but it rarely ever works out that way. I would prly look exactly like you, or worse, in that dress you made.  I have this little plaid piece of fabric that I want to make a summer maternity dress out of, but it hasn’t happened yet, because I just know there is no way it will look as cute on me IRL as it does in my head right now…sometime I shall take the plunge and begin. Maybe.

  4. Elizabethmarie_1

    You are so cute. I loved reading this post. Especially the photo titles! Loved them!
    I am not, not, Not a seamstress.   Perhaps I will post about my sewing adventures one day. =/
    I love the material you used on the pinafore for Eliza…so cute!
    Thanks for sharing your projects. I love to see all that you create. (good and bad. ;) Although, until you tried the dress on I was thinking……”What’s wrong with the dress?”.
    Also, you are so pretty. =)

    Happy Wednesday to you. Love your show and tells!

  5. SpazzyMommy

    If you look at the left shoulder of the pinafore- by the button hole, the upside down birds and heart make a funny face. :) )
    You are brave for  posting your “mistakes” but they didn’t convince me that your not a creative mastermind. <3
    It just convinced me that you may be human afterall…and not some superhero with creative powers. :D

  6. JsSteph7

    I like your normal picture!! So cutie! And what a bummer about that dress because it’s stinking cute. And yeah, you still look pretty cute in it. ; ) Pretty sure your mistakes and mine would not belong in the same category together, yours are still cute. Good encouragement! Love it!!

  7. H0LDfast

    i don’t have a list of stories to share & understand your pain over sewing projects that didn’t turn out – but! i was crying from laughter over the evil dress. seriously i could not even read it out loud to rex : )
    you’re so great – this was a great post.

  8. celebration_of_life

    :) Hey you could dress up like a toilet paper tube for halloween;)

    Love your hat in your normal picture…

    On a totally different note I’m totally jealous of your cherry tree and grass lined field…we came home a filthy mess!!!
    Thanks for stopping by to say a quick hi~

  9. bethro78

    They are still better than I would do.

    The trick with the bear-thing is to make up a crazy name for it and pretend it was intentional. This is my “Smidgen” a new line of abstract children’s toys. lol

  10. bamsniko22407

    You make a very good point, so maybe, I will try again on a few projects that have just… discouraged me terribly from wanting to do a do over.  Making mistakes is part of learning, I just keep forgetting that in all my disappointment, lol.

  11. twofus_1

    You are so funny!  I love your sense of humor!!!  I rather like the ambiguous stuffed animal, though. :)   I have had way more than my share of sewing disasters, but normally I don’t try the same thing again.  I admire you for doing version two…or three (like the heart purse).  It shows character–one I wish I’d have.  I liked the post, too, for the reminder at the end.  I struggle with perfectionism, so it’s easier for me to not do at all what I don’t think will reach my level of expectation.  

  12. lifeisadance

    Oh my goodness, you are so funny! I laughed so hard the whole way through this! Your humor is just so great! And although I’ve definitely had my own list of foibles, I would never be half as funny if I chronicled them! Your captions just kill me! :)

    But gracious, you’re beautiful in anything! And I actually really like the bear. :)

  13. inanorchard

    @princesspamf - Thank you so much for sharing your own sewing mishap stories :)   It’s a comfort to know I’m in such good company!

    @RunningBrooke - Thank you Kristen

    @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown - Yes well, embarrassing myself is something I am very good at   It is maddening to work so hard on something and have it flop.  It can take me a little while to “get back up on the horse”, but I enjoy it too much to stay away for long!

    @TrentTribe - You are too kind!

    @fruitloops115 - Exactly Thelma.  I have something planned out in my head and somewhere between my vision and what actually takes place, something goes awry.  Sometimes I can fiddle with it and salvage it but (as in the cases listed above) there is no saving them ;)   I wish I had been brave enough to sew for myself when I was pregnant, I’ve seen some darling maternity tops on Made by Rae. 

    @SpazzyMommy - Ha!  Cass you make me laugh!  Yes I am fully human… and pear-shaped ;)

    @JsSteph7 - I’m happy you like the post!  Makes the humiliation sting a little less ;)   You’re a sweetheart for saying I looked good in the evil dress, you can tell me lies like that anytime

    @celebration_of_life - A Halloween costume… I hadn’t thought of that ;)   We did have the grass and the trees but somehow we still managed to come home filthy!

    @bethro78 - A Smidgen…!!!  I like the way you think girl.  Never let on that it was and accident

    @bamsniko22407 - Thatta’ girl!!! Now you’re talking :)   The key to not getting discouraged is to start with a very simple project and slowly work your way up.  A simple pillow or purse is a great way to build up your skills.  There are tons of free simple tutorials online.  Just do a google search.  Thanks for stopping by!

    @twofus_1 - There is something pathetically endearing about the Ambiguous Stuffed Animal ;)   I fight that urge too… to want everything I do to be perfect.  Teaching myself to sew has been good for me in that way.

    @lifeisadance - I’m so glad you got a good laugh out of it Clarita, that makes me happy!  Thank you for thinking I looked beautiful in the evil dress, your a good friend :)

  14. ABAHM

    you are so funny.  What an encouraging post.  Not that I am convinced.  I think a lot of my success pics would look worse than your hall of horrors.  But it does encourage me to keep trying.  I sewed more when I was your age and had a bit more energy…but do have some projects up my sleeve for this summer. 

  15. fourkidsonemom

    Truly loved this post! Hilarious, honest and sassy! :) All of your creations are adorable – but I love your discriptive narrative the best! Keep up the great work!! It might convince me to get out my sewing machine again (it’s been in a time-out)

  16. tigerslittlesweetie

    I loved this. Honesty and humor: how refreshing! I laughed out loud at the description of the toilet paper tube. I used to sew. I gave up. I’m thinking now that a sense of humor would’ve helped. I’m glad you found me. Your blog makes me happy.

  17. inanorchard

    @ABAHM - I can’t wait to see your summer projects! 

    @fourkidsonemom - You’re machine has been in time out… that cracked me up

    @tigerslittlesweetie - Yes, laughing beats my other typical response to sewing mistakes, which is curled up in the fetal position, crying   I’m truly glad I found you too… and that I could add a little levity to your day ;)

    @celebratinglifeandmotherhood - Thank you for not taking the dress’ side   It is evil… I think from here on out I will banish it to the back of the closet forever ;)

  18. appalolly

    This has to be one of the favorite posts I’ve read in a long time!

    You are hilarious! The names of each of the “horrors”, the way you described them.  You were SO spot on, too!  Like you knew what every one of us were thinking.

    Especially about the dress! And I am proud of you for letting us all know that things don’t always turn out perfectly and that you were OK enough with laughing at yourself to take pictures of the stuff.

    I think that if I met you in real life, I’d love hanging out with you!

    Cheers to projects that turn out well!   I love seeing what you create, whether it turns out well or not. You’ve got true talent!

  19. inanorchard

    @appalolly - 
    You know when someone you really like and admire, says something nice about you, and you kind of stand there with a bashful, pleased look on your face, trying to act all cool but you really just want to say “I like you so much!”?  Yeah, I’m doing that right now…

    @down_onthefarm - It is fun to have friends that laugh with you! 


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