22 sewing fail.


There's been a lot of interesting discussion around blogland lately, starting with this post from Rachel at Stitched in Color, then her followup, and then this post from Deborah at Whipstitch that stemmed from the comments on Rachel's posts.  The fact that some people get down on themselves while reading blogs saddens me a little.  All this talk of quilt snobs and bloggers only showing their "perfect" lives worries me.  I just hope that we can all get along...after all, we do all love the same thing, don't we?  Whether it's modern or traditional, simple or complex, "perfect" or not, we all love the process of creating, and the satisfaction of knowing that we made something!  Don't get discouraged, just keep doing what you love!

I hope that none of you are ever intimidated by me or my blog or the things that I create.  I assure you that none of these things are perfect and I do not intend on portraying it that way, but I like to keep this blog positive because it is my happy place!  I am an optimist and prefer to focus on the good rather than the bad in my real life, so it is only natural for me to extend this philosophy to my blog as well.

That being said, one of the most interesting trends I found in the comments on Deborah's post was that people like to hear about the sewing failures just as much as they want to see the successes.  Let me assure you that I have had my fair share of sewing failures, and now that I know that you like to hear about them, I will start posting them more.

This pouch I made last night is a prime example of a sewing fail in my book.
Shall we go through all of the things I dislike about this pouch?  Let's start with my fabric choices.  They looked okay together when I picked out the fabrics.  But something about them together in the finished project just isn't working for me.  I think if I had used them differently, with the linen as the middle stripe, the gray Heath in the ruffle at the bottom, and the herringbone on the top, it might look a little better.  But I still don't like the gray and the linen together.  They look to me like I tried to make them match (and failed!).  I think maybe a difference in value (a darker gray with the same light-ish linen) would be an improvement...but I'm still not sure if I'd like it.

While we're talking about fabric choices, I probably shouldn't have made the ruffle out of the linen.  Since the linen is a heavier weight than the cottons, it would have been better suited for the middle stripe.  It looks bulky and sloppy and wrinkly as a ruffle.

So other than the fabric choices being poor, what really bothers me the most about this pouch are the proportions.  The pouch is about 10" wide x 9" high.  Too square without actually being a square.  The concept of the ruffled bottom would be better suited for a rectangular design, maybe the same width but only 6" or 7" high. Doesn't this cropped version look a little better?
Another thing that bothers me is the inside of the pouch.  I put a little inner zipped pocket inside, but I put the zipper down too far.  It would be much more useful if I brought that zipper up about 2".
I also couldn't get the zipper covers to sit correctly within the seam, and tore a hole in one of the covers with my seam ripper when I tried to fix it (sorry, I forgot to get a picture of this.  Might as well add a blogging fail to this post while I'm at it!).

Even though this pouch didn't turn out that great overall and I've deemed it as a sewing "failure", I don't regret spending my time making it at all.  It was a good refresher on putting in a zipper (it has been probably six months or so since I've sewn one in).  Now I'll feel a little more confident when I make my pouch for the Pretty {little} Pouch Swap!  It also helped me realize the issues with this design so hopefully I can improve upon it next time and make something much cuter!  
I'm sure I'll find a use for this pouch even though it's not exactly my favorite.  One can never have too many pouches after all!  Please keep in mind that even if you "fail" at making something, you are still learning, and as cliche as it sounds, that's what important!

Hope you enjoyed my sewing fail today :)  I can guarantee you there will be many more to come.


  1. Please stop! If you put this on Etsy someone would pay good money for it. The aspects you don't like would probably be the parts that made it worth the price for a handmade item, rather than mass produced rubbish!

    Give it away if you really can't stand to look at it - I am sure the recipient will be stoked with it!

    I like it anyway, if that counts!

  2. I think 'practice' is a better word for this than 'fail'. I see your points on every single thing, but it isn't a disaster. If you really don't like it, use it for an organizing pouch in your glove compartment or a junk drawer. Hey, it's a good day when you learn something, right? And I get to learn something, too!

  3. You set out to make a pouch- and you did! It may not have turned out the way you wanted it to, but it's not a fail :) I have lots of "fails" too- and eventhough I may be initially disappointed that it turned out not the way I expected it to, I figure I learned something new and what not to do next time :)
    I agree with Ruth- put it in your shop, it will probably sell quicker than you think!

    If you want to see some people poke fun at their own craft "fails", check out craftfail.com- it's hilarious!

  4. I agree, we definitely learn from our mistakes...and you still produced something that was nice and useful. It's just not exactly what you were hoping for.

  5. Great post! It is so easy to feel you do not measure up to your 'blog muses' as I call them - but I always tell myself to be ME and that is good enough! I have a horrid sewing fail that you've inspired me to post on but it's a shirt...and if I put it on and took a picture I might get arrested for indecent exposure - :)

  6. I hope you don't take it wrong that I really liked the part where you explained what you don't like about it and what you would do differently. That kind of commentary is so helpful in learning! Great post and thanks for the link love too.

  7. Great post! Thanks for sharing this, it's all part of the process and I think we need more of this in blogland. I'd have to agree with the above posters, it's not a fail! Maybe just a trial! ;)

  8. I see what you mean about the proportions and fabric choices, but honestly--i really like it :)
    glad you're not perfect....:)
    I'm not either.

  9. Love the subject matter of the blog post but I don't consider this a fail. To me a fail is when you try to do something and it doesn't come out at all! I tried making a dress once without a pattern and it was a disaster, I stopped sewing it because I couldn't salvage what I had started. At least you have an end product!

  10. I can follow along with your discussion on the fabric choices and pretty much agree. I love the pouch pattern. The ruffle is very cute and I can see it all in happy Spring colors, very girly. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thanks for the great post! While I think "failure" might be too strong a word, it's clear the project didn't turn out quite the way you envisioned. Although it is frustrating sometimes, you have shown us how much we can learn from what doesn't work out and move on to the next idea!

  12. I agree -- "failure" is a little tough. The part about the "too close to square but not square" made me laugh. I do like it cropped better. :)

    Love the zipper lining and the texture...

  13. I don't understand this whole "only pretty and not real life" argument on blogs of all types. I mean, magazines don't show the non-pretty... and most people are putting out their own publications in their blogging?
    I come to your blog for the beauty of sewing and your projects and to be inspired to do more than I can do right now. Am I a decent quilter? Not at all! But I still love to see you cut straight lines and make amazing things!

  14. I really think this is cool - I agree with people too - learning from your own defined mistakes makes it better next time (perfect maybe not) I'd say for sure put it on Etsy and there will be someone who loves it. The contrast with the pink is excellent.

  15. I would like to purchase a pouch to use as the cover for my sewing notebook. I would like for it to be able to hold about 65 sheets of letter size paper.

    I love it.


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