Friday, April 24, 2015

Sewing Fail: Sewaholic Yaletown

I've been debating whether to share this finished dress or not, because I have a love-hate relationship with sewing fail posts. 

On the one hand, I love to see that everyone -- even the sewists I respect most -- have sewing fails, too. 

On the other hand, I mainly look to sewing blogs for inspiration and encouragement. They're a slice of happy in my day. 

I don't think I'll be doing fail posts often, but I do think I learned some good lessons with this dress.

First off, I am the first to admit that I'm a bit of a Sewaholic patterns fangirl. Their patterns usually fit me nicely and flatter my shape. So perhaps I was not super judicious in choosing this pattern. I figured if Tasia said it would be a good look for the Sewaholic girl, then it would look good on me.

That was my first mistake.

The top is super blousey and the v-neck is very wide. In addition to this, as you can see in some of these pictures, there is a big lump on the side where the top layer of the faux wrap is gapping really badly. No idea why this is!

The one thing I like about this pattern is the hidden button at the bottom of the v-neck, where the layers cross.

But my normal go-to look is fitted top, full bottom -- and there's a good reason for that. It looks good on me and it's true to my personal style.

I mean, let's be real here. Look at that first picture. I look like a lineman.

My second mistake was this fabric. It's a polyester from Blackbird Fabrics. And there's nothing wrong with it per se. I don't hate polyester as a rule or anything like that. Polyester definitely has its place. But this was not my favorite fabric to work with and the skirt has some major static cling. Which is sad, because Blackbird's stuff is not cheap. I've bought some awesome shirtings from Blackbird, but both of the poly prints I bought just did not turn out. (I bought some of the flamingo print and it got sucked into my serger. It wasn't pretty.)

Overall, I don't think I'll be saving this dress. The look, to my eyes, is very '80s, which is one fashion era that does not suit me.

And I don't think I'll be using this pattern again either.

My plan at the moment is to hack the skirt off, make a waistband and get a little wear out of it that way -- but we'll see when I get to that.

How do you feel about sewing fail posts? Have you made anything recently that just wasn't wearable for you? 


  1. I want to leap into the photos and help you fix it! My first instinct is to pull it up at the shoulder seams and pinch out a good inch to lift the whole top. (You have sloping shoulders which means you will need to adjust the shoulder seam angle on a lot of patterns.) I think if you just did that single alteration, it would fix the gap at the side and the wideness of the neckline.

    As for static issues, buy a can of Static Guard spray (it's a must in every costume shop!). And there are always dryer sheets for a quick fix - just rub one on the inside of the skirt.

  2. I think the fails provide an opportunity to learn and improve.

  3. I'm new to sewing, and my sewing fails often send me into a sewing rut for several months. I just can't face sewing when I see other people turning out one perfect garment after another and mine don't work. Seeing sewing fails reassures me that I'm not alone and gives me the courage to continue. And as Joan says, the fails are valuable because I learn from my mistakes.

  4. I'm sorry that your dress didn't turn out the way you expected it to. I do however think that there is a place for sewing fails, like others have said it's a way to learn. Also before I buy a pattern I like to Google it to see what others have thought. If only the positive reviews make it online it doesn't give me the whole picture.

  5. I like seeing what went wrong in a pattern, I think it makes us all better sewists and helps others avoid pitfalls in the same pattern.
    I think the bodice could be improved, but you always have to ask yourself if it is worth it. If it were me, I would make it sleeveless and then go from there. I think that will make the bodice and overall dress look leaner and longer.

  6. You're sweet. :)

    I'll have to get some Static Guard for when I turn this into a skirt -- I used to use it in high school for dance performances, but I'd completely forgotten about it!

  7. Definitely! Plus, no one can win all the time. :)

  8. I can see that! Whatever motivates you to keep at it is a good thing as far as I'm concerned!

  9. I definitely Google, too. This dress does look really cute on some people, just not me. lol

    It's one of those things where if I'd tried it on in a store, I'd have immediately realized it doesn't suit me and passed it by -- but with sewing, sometimes you have to make something up before you come to that realization.

  10. The "is it really worth it" devil is sitting is definitely sitting on my shoulder.... lol

  11. Aww man, what a bummer! I don't usually do sewing fail posts because stuff that's a fail never gets finished! If something is really terrible in the muslin phase, I just move on because I'm not one to fuss and fuss and fuss when the fit is really terrible out of the envelope. But I do have fails that I don't realize are fails until later- like, I've made a stupid fabric choice that makes me never want to wear them or something. Those usually star in my yearly roundup posts as the worst garments!

  12. I agree with the comments, I love seeing fails because it creates growth. I don't think this looks that bad on you but it is quite blousey.

  13. How did you calculate which size to sew? This looks like too-large a pattern size. Even something more blousey than you normally wear should fit you through the shoulders. This just might have been the wrong size.

  14. If you still feel like playing with it after you've chopped it to make a skirt, maybe the bodice could become a little wrap blouse with a waist tie. I like that idea as a little cover-up if you wear the skirt with a tank. Thanks for the post!

  15. Really love this. I have some linen that I would like to make into a sleeveless shirt, and I think this pattern fits the bill! You really suit this.
    Quick question though - I only have a metre of the fabric, do you think I would be able to squeeze view C out of that? It calls for 1.2m.... thanks :)