Saturday, 12 October 2013

Letting go of the mistakes

We've all been there.  We've all got them.  The skeletons in our sewing closets.  Projects that went wrong but you put SO much time and effort and money into them, you can't face just throwing them out.  You can't even face cutting into them to salvage the material, if you have to look at another green paisley swirl or cutesy rabbit print for another second, you'll go mad.  So they become relegated to the bottom of the Guilt Pile, sitting there, eyeing you up every time you go into your sewing room to work on some new, shiny project.  Making you feel BAD.


Broken cameraphone lens = light flare fail.  New one coming tomorrow though!

I've had the past few days off work and have been trying hard to work my way through my Guilt Pile.  It had morphed over the past year into a towering monstrosity, comprising of the following - a vintage wool dress (halfway through alterations), a dress designed for a friend's baby that came out too small, a tote bag with a t-shirt image sewn on the front that shrunk in the wash, half a Sorbetto, a t-shirt halfway through being altered to a vest using So Zo's pattern and the cut-out constituents of a baby blanket.


Looks alright from the outside, right?  Well think again...

Every time I went into my sewing room to daydream about future sewing projects, I would eyeball the Pile and feel guilty for not wanting to finish any of those projects.  I felt like I couldn't move onto something new without first reducing that pile.  So I decided to man up and get on with it this week.  And this baby dress was the first in the firing line.


Green elastic.  Why, Amy, why?!

This dress came out about 9 inches too small around the chest for a friend's baby.  9 inches.  Apparently I can't operate a ruler.  It would just about fit a doll.  It was a clusterfuck from start to finish if I'm honest, I wanted to try smocking after seeing it on The Great British Sewing Bee (how great was that programme by the way?  Can't wait for the next season!) but only had green shirring elastic so decided to just have a crack with that.  I also attempted a French seam (curtesy of Tilly - thanks love!) which came out ENORMOUS.  They could probably see it in France, it's that big.


HUGE princess seams.  If there's a princess in there, it's the one from Shrek.  The one who's an ogre.

So I panicked and bought her some books instead.  Then this little dress languished in my Guilt Pile for 4 months until today, when I picked it up, sighed, cut the emotional strings and popped it in the charity bag.  Maybe someone will buy it from Shelter and use it for their little girl's favourite doll.

Over the past few days I've worked my way through the pile, finishing off some things, altering others, consigning some to the recycle bin and others to charity.  It feels good to have (almost) cleared that pile, I feel like I can finally start thinking about sewing some useful things for myself, to fill holes in my wardrobe and start properly practising my skills.  I feel like every sewing project I do at the moment fails somewhere, that I'm more of the Bodgit and Scarper line of sewing than the Karens or Tillys or Zoes of the world.  But practice makes perfect, right?  I want to be able to sew my own clothes and those skills will only come if I put in the hard work.

Ooof, sounds difficult, I'm off to make a cup o'tea and do some knitting...sweet, easy knitting, how I love you...

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