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March 7

Just one of those days….

Have you had one of those days where every step along the way just goes wrong?  Last night when I came home from work, I was ready to dig into my sewing project when things just kept happening.

For starters, I’m working on a summer blouse since I’m really itching for springtime.  I’m making New Look 6808 view C, the pink one at the bottom center:

And here’s what I have so far:

The blouse is in this light blue rose printed fabric, that is some kind of blend of cotton and X, maybe a rayon.  And I’m pairing it with a white collar and coordinating blue bow.

The first thing that happened was I found that I had run out of my trusty silk organza.  I use it all the time and I’ve taken it for granted that I always have more in my closet.  I’ve taken to using silk organza as both an interfacing and as a facing piece for underneath collars.  It enables me to finish the seams cleanly along with adding a bit of stability without excess bulk.  I realize this is completely a brain-fart on my end, but it was frustrating that I couldn’t find a piece big enough for my collar piece.  (Issue #1)

I went for the next best thing, a lightweight fusible interfacing.  Sounds fine right?  This is where issue #2 happened: I used the wrong press cloth and got bits of glue everywhere on my fabric.

All of those black/grey dots is bits of dirty old glue from my press cloth.  They just wouldn’t budge after lots of picking! Grrrr

I had more fabric, so I cut another piece and refused it.  No biggie… Until my husband came home and I got quickly distracted and burnt my hand with the hot steam from my iron.  That was issue #3.

The burn had gotten a bit better by the time I took this image at the end of the evening, but its a little red circle just south of my thumb.

After icing my hand is when I realized that I forgot that I needed to finish the collar seam and that using fusible interfacing wasn’t really necessary. Gaaaah!  (That was Issue #4.)  I tried to find a run-around solution and attempted to use my rolled-hem foot, which was unsuccessful.  Mainly because it was my first time using it and I couldn’t get a nicely finished seam on the first few practice runs.  I can’t call this one an issue since I’m happy I got a bit more practice with using it.  Maybe on my next project I can try it again.

So I then had to go back to my fabric and cut two more collar pieces, a front and a back.  And this is the point at which I was wishing I didn’t even use interfacing since I hate the added bulk and the fact that I now have to sew the two collar pieces together which is more than enough bulk for my summer blouse.

Next goes issue #5:  The horrible directions!  I seriously have no idea why pattern directions have to be so poorly written.  But in this instance I’m thinking it’s just poor editing.  The directions for the collar make absolutely no sense.

I’m working on View C… I did #6 & #7.  But then on step 8, they refer to the collar and collar facings.  Okay….  Don’t even get me starting about what they’re talking about when they say “Layer seam”.  I’m assuming they mean “Grade seam”.  Since Layer seam makes no sense.

Reading ahead, the images that correlate with the rest of the steps all has a finished outer edge to the collar.

From step 8 to step 9, the outside edge of the collar is finished, but they never tell you how or when to do this.  I read and re-read these directions for at least 20-30 minutes trying to figure out what they’re talking about.  After spending way more time than necessary, I gave up and decided to sew it how I thought it should be sewn.

I began stitching the front and back collar pieces together along with the facing pieces.  I stitched them, pressed them, and began trimming the seam allowances when issue #6 strikes!  I cut nearly through my facing, not just the seam allowance.

Nooooo!  I actually yelled out loud at this point.  Being really frustrated, and knowing it shouldn’t be this hard to sew a collar, I decided to give up for the evening, eat dinner, and watch some tv.

I know some of this issues are of my own doing, but some of them really weren’t.  :|

I know I was somewhat upset as everything was happening, but really I don’t think I was as upset as I know I could be if I was really emotional about it.  For some strange reason, as I’m writing this post after decompressing, I feel like I’m much more objective.  I never once came remotely close to crying, which is good!

It’s not hard what I’m sewing, but for some reason things just kept happening.  I know I’m a decent sewer and on any other day it would have taken me 30-45 minutes to do what I spent 3+ hours on tonight.  I do wish things happened differently, but I’m sure I can do it tomorrow instead.  (I think pms may be playing a factor in my brain function.)  heh  Has this happened to you guys… one bad thing happening after another?

On the plus side, I don’t think my next sewing ‘session’ can go any worse.  :)  But keep your fingers crossed for me anyhow…. just in case.

  1. K-Line / Mar 7 2012

    So sucky!!! I think you’re handling this with aplomb. I would have thrown everything in the garbage and eaten a bag of cookies.

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      Some Nutella may have been eaten in the course of the evening…. :)

  2. Dee / Mar 7 2012

    WOW! I have definitely had sewing days like this. I give you credit because I probably would have stopped for the day after the burn! Hope the rest of the project goes better!

  3. Sue C / Mar 7 2012

    I had to laugh when you said you cried out “NO!” because I did exactly the same thing two days ago. So, no, you are not alone. Many of us have the same frustrations at times. I was trying to make a hood for a jacket and had enough “construction issues” (aka mistakes) that I completely took it off and made a new, simpler one.

  4. Marie / Mar 7 2012

    Oh how well this describes some of my experiences! It always seems to happen with the simplest of projects too…so you’re not alone in this at all! Fingers crossed your next attempt has better results!!! Your ‘brain fart’ comment made me laugh out loud by the way ;o)

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      Thanks Marie! Why is it the simplest patterns?!

  5. Corinne / Mar 7 2012

    Welcome to the club. If you sew, this will happen. My self-imposed rules are: I always read, study and annotate all pattern instructions. Every time. Many wadders were developed in the process of this rule. I write all over the directions, I research in my favorite books, I ponder before I cut and sew. Rule two is, if two things, any two things get jumbled, i stop. I go for a walk, have a cup of tea, clean something. Many times that will reorder my thoughts and avoid bad words directed to fabrics or machine. I do think inanimate objects absorb negativity. On occasion, I will even wait a day and return to the project, sleep on it so to speak. Rule 3, never sew on a deadline. That, for me, is essential. My professional life is deadline and time directed, I will not let that carry over to my sewing life.

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      Thanks Corinne. This is an excellent approach to dealing with frustrations no matter what the project.

  6. Lauren / Mar 7 2012

    Girl, it’s totally something in the air this week. I’m having issues with my sewing & it has frustrated me to the point that I have not even entered my sewing room since Sunday afternoon! Too many beginner mistakes, too much hair-pulling trying to decipher fit & directions, and the whole thing just looks really awful on me every time I pull it on for a test fit (and this is post-muslin, so it *should* fit! Argh!). So I’ve just avoided my sewing room entirely & now I’m seriously considering throwing this thing in a waddy pile & dealing with it in a couple of months after the steam lets off.

    Anyway, doesn’t it feel good to just toss everything down & veg out in front of the tv for an evening (or two)? Just relax, unwind, and I usually find that when I come back with a fresh outlook & a clear mind, everything tends to fix itself.

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      Oh dear, that blows! I wonder if it’s the changing weather, the impending time-change, or just a wide-spread infection of brain farts. heh

      I did really enjoy my tv time last night. It’s been a while since I just vegged out.

  7. Tasha / Mar 7 2012

    Totally been there! And if it had been me, your lightweight fabric combined with what was supposedly lightweight fusible interfacing would have left your collar facing so stiff it was awful, only you wouldn’t have discovered it until after sewing it to the blouse. As me how I know. ;)

    Glad the sewing disaster evening is behind you. Things can only look up from there!

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      My very first vintage dress is actually living in my closet (unfinished) due to this very issue –> Too stiff of a collar. One of these days I’ll pull it out and redo it…. maybe.

      Thanks for your words of encouragement.

  8. Emma / Mar 7 2012

    I hear you… I think I’m having one of those months.

    First I made a bra which after lots of pain with the satin ribbon and running out turned out not fit at all despite adjustments. And by at all I mean that the thing was so many cup sizes too small (quite a feat – I’m a B-cup) that it just sort of hung flatly over my chest, nothing to do but throw it out. Then I got to a point in my knitting where nothing worked with the pattern… turns out I’d somehow added two stitches too much after a about an inch and now there’s no way to get the pattern right, so after trying new things and pulling out all of my new work seven times I gave up and started the whole thing over. Then I cut out all of the pieces for a toile of a dress shirt for my husband, only to find that I’d forgotten to add the seam allowance.

    And that’s just the beginning. I just can’t do anything right. In the past few weeks I’ve made more major mistakes with my crafts than I have in the past 27 years combined. Part of me just wants to throw a fit like a three year old, cry and scream and stomp and throw things. :P

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      Oh no! Months?! I feel for you. It’s no fun having to throw out (aka donate) an unwearable project. Things can only get better, right???

  9. Suzie / Mar 7 2012

    ARGH – nightmare!!! But I know exactly how you feel!!!!
    And yep, I would say PMS may be a contributing factor. I am MAJORLY clumsy during my time of the month…to the point where I actually tend to avoid the sewing room for fear of messing something up!

    Don’t worry, we all have these days. I bet next time you tackle the project you will breeze through it and wonder how on earth it was so difficult the first time!

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      Now that you mention clumsy… I did drop a lot of items yesterday. Perhaps I’ll be staying away from my kitchen knives, just in case. :)

  10. Meg / Mar 7 2012

    I loathe days like those, but good luck on the next round of sewing! I think we need the difficult projects to make us appreciate the easier ones :)

  11. Kerry / Mar 7 2012

    Gah, how frustrating! I’ve been there too, when you have one mistake after another. It’s a really cute pattern though! :)

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      Thanks Kerry. I’m hoping to use this pattern as a base for lots of different summer blouses and variations. I just have to get through the first….

  12. Rachel / Mar 7 2012

    I think your pattern woes are caused by American English vs. Queen’s English :) I get very confused at times as to what correct terminology is… because I use both. Interchangeably! I guess that is what happens when you move from one to the other!
    Your collar edge is finished, by the way, when you sew the facing to it. You sew the facing to the collar, RIGHT sides together. Then you trim the seams unevenly (or layer/grade) before flipping the collar right sides out and pressing- voila, finished edge on the outer edge.

    I too have those days. I usually end up leaving the piece until my clumsy time is over. Often forcibly being removed from it by my husband LOL

  13. Qui / Mar 7 2012

    bummer. I hope today goes better for you. When I’m running into problem after problem, it definitely seems like the best thing to do is take a break. Try again tomorrow. Hopefully the bad luck (or pms, whatever) wears off by then ;) Can’t wait to see your darling top finished! cute pattern!

  14. Paloma / Mar 7 2012

    Maybe its in the stars. I had a frustrating sewing experience yesterday too, havent sewn in a while and told myself I should buckle down and finish some pants that I’ve been having trouble fitting before moving on to something new. They were nearly done just needed some focused attention and would be fine for casual wear, so I got all the way through to just needing to finish hemming the cuffs and inside of the waistband and the zipper broke! Sewing the zipper was step 1!!!

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      Attack of the broken zipper, how horrible!! I’ve only had that happen to me once, but it was while I was wearing the garment for the first time… at work. I guess that’s the silver lining: you wern’t wearing them at the time they broke. Yes? :)

  15. Elizabeth B / Mar 7 2012

    Ahh I feel you! If you get completely confused by directions you can call the pattern company (usually) and ask a professional what the heck is supposed to happen.

    From what I gather, once you have your collar (outer) and collar facing sewn at the shoulder seams, you then put them right sides together and sew along the bottom edge (that dotted line in pic 8). You then take one of the layers of seam allowance and trim it so that when you turn it right side out (step 9) it’s not so bulky at the bottom edge. Is that what “grade seam” means? I don’t know what this technique is called at all.

    I myself never understand when directions will sometimes tell you to trim both edges of seam allowance. Why not just make me do a smaller seam allowance?! Baffling.

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      The silliest thing with everything is that I know how to attach a collar to a blouse! heh I was just trying to rely on using the pattern directions instead of doing what I thought it should be done… And I couldn’t get past it. Tonight I’ll just be doing my own thing to the collar. :)

      They were referring to the collar facing and facing as two separate things (ie underside of the collar vs. the neckline facing) when I thought the directions was only referring to the neckline facing. So I was confused where the underside-collar piece was supposed to fit in. Fun stuff these pattern directions.

  16. Jo / Mar 7 2012

    Omg, I so feel for you! And I have a sneaking suspicion this pattern may be cursed!! I bought it with the hopes of making cute tops… I can’t get it to fit, waaaah (check out my blog for two posts on all the things I’ve been doing on it.) I’m such a beginner, sometimes the fitting just seems insurmountable, like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew!
    And I think of you as an expert, so now I’m more worried than ever about getting this pattern to work for me, lol!
    If you have any fitting insights, please do let me know! And good luck on getting that darn pattern to behave, I KNOW you can do it :)

    • Liz / Mar 7 2012

      Your muslin looks great! As for mine… I’m not including a closure on mine so it’s all loose and billowy in order to get it above my head & shoulders. I’m using a super lightweight fabric that has some drape in hopes of avoiding looking like a sac. I’m also planning on adding a simple grosgrain ribbon to cinch the waist.

      The only issue I had on mine was that back was all loose and baggy like. So I did a quick fix and raised the shoulders till it looked nice and recut the neckline. I also added width to the side seams for my hippy-hips and booty. I didn’t feel like doing a second muslin to check the fit, so this blue blouse will be the test to see if it worked. I was looking for a quick, easy blouse so I didn’t feel like doing all the work you’re doing. Which I’m guessing will pay off in the long run, since your muslin looks great already! :)

  17. Tilly / Mar 8 2012

    Once you hit a couple of hurdles, it’s so easy to for them to multiply. And as satisfying as it would be to battle on through to feel like you’ve achieved something, it’s often a good idea to step away from the sewing and relax for a bit.

    I’ve also had two rubbish days in a row trying to draft a skirt pattern. On the one hand I could say they were totally wasted days and I’m back at square one, but on the other hand I’ve learnt a lot in the process about what not to do!

    Have a break and hopefully your blouse will seem easier when you get back to it. The pattern is lovely!

  18. Evie / Mar 10 2012

    This happens to me too. I cut a big hole out of the front of the last top I made and had to re-cut the front! Thankfully I had enough fabric. At times like this I just shut the door on it, dig out chocolate and wine and crash with a movie. It usually helps! ;-)

    • Liz / Mar 12 2012

      Chocolate helps with everything, don’t you think?! Sorry about your sewing snafu, it seems sewing projects have attacked everyone this month. :)

  19. Amie / Apr 25 2012

    This exact same pattern is driving me insane right now! I just found your blog post while searching about the pattern. Going on everyone elses comments… I should just go eat all the Nutella in my kitchen cupboard instead! :P

    • Liz / Apr 25 2012

      Ooooh! Nutella does solve problems sometimes. :)

      Let me know if I can help in any way with your blouse.

  20. Creative H / Aug 9 2016

    Please help Liz.
    I realize this is an old blog but I am struggling so much with the exact same issue. The stupid directions for the collar. I have been searching for hours trying to find anything about this collar and I’m ready to throw everything in the bin. Pretty pretty please have you got any tips for me? TIA

    • Liz / Aug 9 2016

      Hello! Well… I’m in France and can’t really see the blouse construction. Lol
      I’m so sorry you’re having trouble with this. Honestly after re-reading … I wouldn’t even do those directions. I’d stitch the outer collar to the under-collar on the outer edges (after having sewn the shoulder seams). Then I’d omit that weird tabby thing. And see the collar to the blouse , under stitch the seam allowance to the neckline under the collar and cover it all with some bias for a clean finish. Then just tack in the bow. :) hope this helps you and good luck!

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