Top 5 Fails of 2020

Can we just stat by saying that in the entire suck-a-thon that’s been 2020, there’s no such thing as “fail?” There are just things that didn’t go the way we want them to go. Which is pretty much everything.

Still, in taking stock of some sewing projects that went awry, I must acknowledge a few projects that failed. Part of the “fail” comes from my attempt to try new things – new patterns, new “looks” – that didn’t really pan out for me. I suppose this is what happens when you have a decent stash of patterns and fabrics, and too much time on your hands.

I started with some free summer skirt patterns. While neither of these is a “fail” exactly, they both required substantial work from me to make them wearable. That is, way more work than I’d bargained for.

The blue and white skirt is the “Justine” from Ready to Sew. It had some serious errors in sizing, drafting and construction (gory details here). On the right is a free A-line skirt from Bernina’s short-lived patternmaking software. Really just the worst experience – sizing, drafting, instructions all crap (gory details here).

But – at least I busted my embroidery unit out of its box again and managed a 12-color design for the pockets – it only took four tries to get it right:

Hummingbird embroidery saved this sad, sad project

Next up are these shorts from Vogue 9246. I thought the asymmetric mock wrap look would be cool – trying to get the “edge” back in summer my wardrobe after all those girly skirts. Unforch, the mock bit just looks weird, not chic – it kind of balloons out awkwardly. Perhaps in full-length pants it would work, but for shorts it’s a no-go.

Weird-ass shorts and wonky-ass top.

This McCall’s 2094 top out of stretch poplin isn’t the greatest either, but at least it’s wearable. I made a lot of mistakes with it – I somehow put the buttons in the wrong place, and I didn’t cope well with the fabric’s stretch – the hems and facings are wonky AF.

This next project was so bad I didn’t even blog it: Kwik Sew 3926.

Slippers… yuck!

I saw someone else had sewn this pattern, and it looked so cute. I needed new slippers. I had lots of scraps around to make some. So I gave it a try. They fit way way way too wide and are hellaciously uncomfortable to wear. They went into the donation bin right away.

My final and most devastating fail, though, is this Faye dress, from the Fall 2019 Fibre Mood magazine:

Who’s the biggest fail? You are!

Gory details here, but the summary is this – this was an expensive dress that was a lot of work and used a lot of fabric. But the hem is irretrievably messed up and therefore unwearable.

The fault is all mine. The rayon challis I chose is too unstable for the bias edges of the hem. It keeps stretching and growing, and I cannot make it straight. I might turn it into a top at some point, but for now it sits in my closet, judging me…

Author: shoes15

I live in Connecticut, USA with my husband and my dog, in an old house outfitted with a sewing room, a garden, an orchard, and a big liquor cabinet.

4 thoughts on “Top 5 Fails of 2020”

  1. You set yourself very high standards. I think it’s a rare day when a sewing project turns out exactly as you’d hoped.

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  2. Still commiserating over the dress!

    I think you’re right about the wrap trouser style being better in full length. I had a crepe pair like that from Burda and they were pretty good, at least when standing. When sitting the extra fabric pooled in my lap in a slightly annoying way unless arranged carefully.

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