Pattern 2: Sew Sad

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Why my second pattern project made me sew sad!
You know that I wasn’t very excited about the Anna Maria Horner pattern I chose to use for my second pattern, but as I started putting it together, I felt my hopes rising that this shirt may actually turn out well.   And as you can see from the picture below, I think it is really cute!

This shirt has inverted pleats in the front and back of the shirt, gathers at the front bottom, and gathers on the sleeve top and bottom.  Because of these details, this pattern would be best for intermediate level sewers, or for beginner students taking a class at our store where guidance can be given. The directions were not difficult to follow, but, you have to be a little more proficient with the sewing lingo to be able to use this pattern without difficulty.  For example, the pattern expects the sewer to “make as much bias tape out of your fabric as needed to finish the edges of the bodice”.  If I had not sewn a lot of patterns previously, this step may have been more difficult for me. 
I followed the pattern for the most part, with exception to the bottom band.  The pattern called for a cotton contrast band on the bottom of the shirt, but I decided to use stretchy knit.  I think the shirt would look good with an unfitted cotton band as well, but I chose the knit fitted band because this style of shirt tends to look more flattering on me.   If you decide to sew this pattern the same way I did, I would be more than happy to show you how I did the last step of the pattern with knit! 
I think this shirt would look good on a lot of different body types.  If you want to hide your waist instead of accentuate it, use the cotton band the as the pattern instructs.  If you want longer sleeves, the sleeve pattern is already set for a ¾ length or you could also easily make this sleeveless!

Now, to explain why this project made me sew sad…..
My parents and sister have been visiting since Thursday (which has been great!), but entertaining guests does not allow for much sewing.  When they left today, I hurriedly set up my sewing machine to get started on this second pattern.  I quickly wound the bobbin, threaded the machine, and starting working.  In my haste, I didn’t spend the time I usually do making sure I transferred all the marks on the pattern to my fabric.  I started pinning the pleats to sew and realized that all of the pleats were slightly different sizes.  Arg!  So, I had to unstitch them, remark the pleats, and then sew again.  I am not a professional seamstress and don’t mind admitting to you that I make plenty of mistakes like this all the time.  I am learning, though, with each pattern I sew, the seemingly unimportant details like this deserve your attention and patience.  After I correct that mistake, I attached the back of the shirt to the front at the shoulder seams and then attached the bias strip around the neckline.  The pattern then instructed me to trim the seam allowance around the neckline in anticipation of folding the bias strip and pressing it inside the shirt to be stitched.  Welcome, second mistake!  I started cutting the seam allowance carelessly, and to my chagrin, I realized that some of the front shirt fabric was lying underneath the area I was cutting, and I CUT A HOLE IN THE FRONT OF THE SHIRT!  If you have ever made a sewing mistake like this, you surely understand the anger that ensued after finding my mistake.  I became even more upset when I remembered the store recently sold out of this fabric, so I couldn’t just cut out another front piece to start over.  I wanted to throw the project into the trash in my frustration.  Needless to say, I calmed myself down, forgave myself, and decided to finish the project so I could at least share my insights about this pattern with you all.  I’m not a perfect sewer.  I make silly mistakes all the time, but I still love sewing, and I proudly wear the clothes I make even when I know about the flaws hidden within them. If you come into the store to see this shirt, you’ll see the piece of transparent masking tape on the front of the shirt that is keeping the hole closed.  I won’t mind if you laugh with me about the mistake, and I would love to hear your sewing errors to commiserate with me. 

If you come in the store this week and tell them about this blog, I will give you 20% off of this pattern, and 10% off any fabric you buy to use with this pattern. 
I’m off to choose my third pattern with my latest sewing dilemma behind me!


  1. You might need a pretty flower appliqué out of the orange knit to cover up that hole! I think it would then be wearable!


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