Wednesday, October 26, 2016

An ode to failed projects

I decided that it was time to write an ode to failed projects, or at least admit I do in fact have failed projects. We all do know that social media only shows people's best sides, that's only natural, you want to show your best side to the world - I get that, because I do it, everyone does it!

I also have been feeling than in a lot of sewing blogs have post after post of amazing projects all finished beautifully with amazing photos. I'm a person that's generally pretty grounded, I tend not to compare myself with others, but I feel like all this "perfection" is really bumming me out.
This was my latest project and it was a complete failure

Last weekend was a long weekend and I had ever intention of finishing off a project, a new dress with a cute cat print. I didn't finish the dress though, because every single part of this project went wrong and it was a complete nightmare and I finally gave up when Rich asked if I was still working on the same dress. He wasn't being rude or hurtful, he's actually got a fairly good handle on how quickly I can sew and cross stitch because he's pretty crafty himself. He made me realise I'd been working on this project WAY too long and it was time to let it go.

Mia tried to help me with the dress, but even she couldn't save it from disaster
The thing is, sometimes projects go wrong - whether it's a sewing project, art work, cake or something else entirely. However most people don't admit to their failures on social media - blogs, facebook, instagram or whatever - we only really want to show the best of our life.

But, sometimes everything goes to hell and I would never advocate in wallowing in sadness and failure, I think its good to admit sometimes everything does go wrong and that's ok.

This is my dress, its a total failure - an adorable failure, but a failure nonetheless! I redid the waist casing in this thing three times and I reset one of the sleeves SEVEN times and it's still wonky and generally awful. This is a dress I will never wear, the whole thing is a hot mess and a total failure.

It's totally ok its a failure too, to start with I was pretty upset about the whole thing as I had spent a LOT of time on this project. However, now I've had time to reflect I'm ok with the failure because we all make mistakes and its good to actually admit that to the big wide world.

I've had some good advice from some sewing friends as to what to do next to lift my spirits (make a simple pattern or a tried and true pattern is the consensus) and I've also heard from a couple of friends who have actual formal training in dressmaking/design that the same thing has happened to them too a number of times. I'm just a home sewing hack, so if people with real training and skills makes mistakes, its totally ok for me to make mistakes too.

I have now cut out the fabric for a top in a very easy pattern and a dress in a very tried and true pattern, I'm going  to try and sew them up over the weekend and re-built some of my sewing confidence.

I hope you all are having a great week, and don't forget, its actually totally ok to make mistakes. Any adorable failures you'd like to share?


Siobhan (Chronically Siobhan) said...

I really like the idea of sharing failures, as much as I dislike failures themselves. I agree that it can be hard to see so many "perfect" projects when you seem to make wadder after wadder. Most of my projects die in the muslin phase so I don't end up wasting a heap of fabric, but it can be really frustrating to try fitting a pattern that looks fantastic on everyone else but you can't move in it.

My latest proper failure was a Maria Denmark Kimono Tee. Falling off my shoulders, way too tight in the hips (despite doing a trapeze top alteration!) - it got cut up into scraps. Very satisfying.

Rennie said...

Projects you spend a lot of time on 'fixing' are the worst! Indie patterns are more expensive too. I haven't tried sewing elastic waists on a dress yet, and debating whether to make a 'Bettine' dress because of it. I've sewn so many dresses that I haven't bothered blogging or unblogged, because even after all the finishing the dress frustrates me because it doesn't suit me. But then you have the good projects too and it's lovely to add a new pattern to your tried and tested. Photos - I don't have anyone specific to ask for a photo from, I look on pintrest or instagram fashion photos and compare too! But there are some photos from 'perfect' bloggers which are annoying too, I don't want to see those ugly louis vuitton bags next to a take out coffee or other blatant showing off, I love sewing blogs because they are creative and much more personal.

MrsC (Maryanne) said...

Good on you, I have wadded more makes than most people have MADE - this is not something that changes over time. Also it means trying new things and learning is always a risky strategy. Short term pain, long term gain.
If you want to ring it in for a second opinion of whether it can be saved, happy to look at it xo

Louise said...

It's a shame it didn't work out as it looks really cute, but I think sometimes it's best to admit defeat and move on, or you risk getting yourself super stressed and losing the love for the hobby for ages. I'm stubborn so I try to persevere for a while but if it's not working or I'm not enjoying it, I'll put it aside and move on to something else. I've never made clothes, but I started some hoop art last year that I made a mess of and need to return to, and I almost always make a few mistakes on my cross stitches. I made a 'home sweet home' sampler over the Summer, and I didn't realise until I was almost finished that I'd sewn the top two inches, all the way across, a few stitches too high! I'd been working on it for months! In the end I just had to leave it how it was because it was way too much to correct and unpicking it would've made a mess of the aida, but luckily it isn't that noticeable when you look at it.

I think every crafter makes mistakes and has failed projects, even the highly-skilled professionals that have made stuff all their lives. We're only human, and nobody can be perfect 100% of the time. If there are people who never make mistakes, they must have super-powers! I wouldn't trust them!

I'm pretty sure that behind most of those perfectly polished blog / Instagram photos and immaculate-looking crafts are several failed attempts and / or a bunch of mistakes that took some correcting (and possibly even some airbrushing) to make it look so perfect. While their feeds look awesome, I do find the perfection harder to relate to. I actually like hearing about the real story behind something, flaws an' all. It's real, I can relate to it more, and it has more personality!

Fingers crossed you have better luck with the top. I'm looking forward to hearing about how you get on. xx

Murfomurf said...

Yep.I love you for bringing out a failure that looks sort of OK in a photo. I think sometimes we need to post failures publicly just to share the nightmare of putting in so much time and effort and "wasting" a loved fabric just so the world doesn't get the idea only perfectionists are allowed to sew.I am definitely a "try my hardest"-ist but I know that my hardest cannot make something not meant for me look right or successful. These days I give up sooner and try not to regret.