Tag Archives: Project Failures

Seth’s T-Shirt


I finished Seth’s Valentine’s t-shirt. And I try hard to salvage most of the things I sew even if they don’t go as planned, but Jon’s t-shirt is a definite did not finish project.

It’s just that I’ve noticed that sometimes the thread breaks a little bit in my serged seams in areas of a lot of stress (like the armpit).

Last week when I was pulling my running top over my head, a thread broke in the armpit because I pulled too hard. I was trying to think of all the reasons that the thread would break and one of the things I came up with was that maybe I needed to use a smaller stitch length (I usually use about a 3) so there would be more thread to help make the seams strong.

So for Seth’s t-shirt, I turned the stitch length down to about 1.5. That was a bad idea because it made the seams really thick. And wavy because there was more thread there than my poor seams knew what to do with! But in my defense, they were super strong.



I used my t-shirt pattern for this t-shirt, as usual (a color blocked version).

I asked him to put his arms down at his sides and he told me that would look stupid.

I asked him to put his arms down at his sides and he told me that would look stupid.

Seth’s t-shirt came out ok, but not great.

For Jon’s t-shirt, I decided that maybe since I had changed to a smaller stitch length that I needed to change the differential feed to compensate for the waves I was getting.

I’ll be honest and say that I knew that the differential feed changes the way the fabric feeds through the feed dogs, but I didn’t really understand how it changes it or what the numbers mean on my differential feed dial.

So I changed the differential feed to a 2 and serged up the seams in Jon’s t-shirt. That did not go too well! The seams were puckery and awful looking.

So I did some googling so I could learn exactly what the differential feed does, and then I understood that since I had it set on 2 I had actually gathered the seams in Jon’s t-shirt. Not what I wanted to do, but it did make some lovely gathers in the sleeve caps 🙂

I wasn’t happy that I ruined his t-shirt. I hate the feeling that I wasted time when projects don’t turn out right! I was so mad that I stomped around and this is what I wrote in my sewing notebook under Jon’s t-shirt entry:


But now I know more about my serger at least. I still don’t know why my seams would pop sometimes, but I think I probably need to do a better job of adjusting my tension (and definitely going back to a longer stitch length!). If anyone knows why my seams would pop, I’d love to hear why.

Now, I’m working on making me some more jeans. I’m working on trying to fix the dreaded leg twist I’ve been getting. I made a muslin last night and I think I know why I’m getting the twist, but until it’s 100% fixed I won’t be sure. If I can’t figure it out, I’ll probably fly into a rage and pull all my hair out or something!


Project Fails

So I made a pair of those Jamie Jeans I talked about in my last post. Well, I almost made them. I haven’t hemmed them or put on belt loops.

I made a muslin, and I thought I had the crotch wrinkles under control. There was just a little bit of wrinkling there, but I thought for sure that when I put the waistband on it would pull the crotch up and the wrinkles would go away.

But that didn’t happen. There is a big, unsightly, horizontal wrinkle across the crotch area under the zipper.

See that awful wrinkle?!

See that awful wrinkle?!

It's even worse when my legs are close together.

It’s even worse when my legs are close together.

I have learned how to handle imperfections in the things I make, but I absolutely can’t handle the crotch wrinkles. I’m through with them.

I really like everything else about the Jamie Jeans, though.

The back is good.

The back is good.

Little front pockets are adorable.

Little front pockets are adorable.

I sent a message to Kenneth D. King (he taught the Craftsy class I took awhile back called Jeanius) asking him how to get rid of the wrinkles (I included a picture) . He told me to try taking a dart in the crotch, right where the big wrinkle is, and extend the dart over to the side seam. Then he said to add back in at the top waist what I took out in the dart so that the waist is still the right size. If that doesn’t work, then he said to try flattening out the crotch seam too. Those are very helpful suggestions and I think I’ll get it right one day.

I took some pictures of the Angela Wolf jeans (that I also talked about in my last post) that also have the crotch wrinkles.

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I drafted my own jeans pattern last year, and lately I’ve been wearing a pair of shorts I made from that pattern awhile back. I didn’t realize how good the crotch of those pants looks until now.


There’s still a wrinkle but it’s a lot smaller and I think flattening out the crotch seam would take care of it.

What I don’t like about my pattern is the front pockets and the waistband (it’s not contoured). But I’m thinking that I could use the waistband and pockets from my Angela Wolf pattern with the body of my pattern and have some pretty rockin’ denim shorts.

We will see but for now, I’m taking a break from the crotch wrinkles to sew some nice, easy stuff.

Current Sewing

I haven’t posted any new projects for a little while. But I’ve still been sewing, although time has been limited because we went on a trip to visit family and the weather has been so delightful that we’ve been outside a lot.

I spent about a week making some capris for me from my Angela Wolf jeans pattern. I just finished them up yesterday, and I am not impressed. I haven’t been happy with the crotch in any of the jeans I’ve made from her pattern, and these are the worst.

I know the crotch is too long (I have a very short rise in the front) and I’ve been slowly shortening it with each pair. On this pair, I think I should have shortened the zipper part instead of the part under the zipper because now the zipper goes down too low and since the zipper doesn’t bend, there are strange wrinkles there in the crotch.

I was so mad about it after I finished them, but I got over it fast and I’m going to try a new pattern. Oliver + S started carrying other designer’s patterns besides just their own, and when I saw these Jamie Jeans I was very intrigued. The fit is exactly what I’m going for.


I bought the pattern last night and put it together. Now I’m trying to alter it and then I’ll get ready to start. So that’s what I’ll be working on for the next little bit.

Seth’s T-Shirt (Third Time’s A Charm!)

After making Ezra a raglan t-shirt last week, I decided to make Seth one too. I thought it would be nice to use up some of my scraps of fabric and Seth definitely needs more t-shirts anyway.

Unfortunately, I had troubles with the Oliver + S raglan t-shirt pattern in Seth’s size. It looked too small for Seth (even the biggest size that the pattern offers), so I decided to add a little extra room at the fold in the front and back.

I blended the neckline and thought it might work, but it did not work! The neck hole was way too big. I should have realized that would happen before I tried it, but I’m still learning about pattern alterations…

When I tried the failed shirt on him (when it was completely finished except for the hem), the body of the shirt looked like it would be okay without the extra room anyway. So I decided to start over and make another one without adding anything extra to the pattern.

I got that one all finished (again, except for the hem) and tried it on him and saw that the shoulder area was way too tight for him. I didn’t notice that when I tried the first one on him because the neck was so floppy it wasn’t obvious.

By then, I decided to bag the Oliver + S pattern and just use my children’s t-shirt pattern. I really want a raglan pattern for Seth, so one day I’ll fix that pattern so it will fit him. Or better yet, I’ll alter my t-shirt pattern and make a raglan sleeve option.

So, it took all week to finish one t-shirt for Seth that actually fits!

He started our photo session out being goofy. And with a wet mark on his shirt from brushing his teeth.

Then he realized he was going to be late for school. Can you tell he hates being late?

Not happy!
I love the sassy little square pocket on the front. I copied the front pocket from the Oliver + S raglan shirt, but I made it a square pocket instead of rounded. The rounded one isn’t worth the extra work.
And here are the two failed attempts:

The Last Of Christmas And What’s Up Next

I haven’t been sewing for a little while because we went to visit family and then we were busy with Christmas. But before we left for our trip, I finished another pair of baby pants-this pair was for my sister-in-law. She’s having a girl which is a big deal in our family since girls are really scarce.

I used some lightweight corduroy and it was fun to pick out some girl fabric.

I also made another t-shirt for Jon for Christmas.

A couple of days ago, I spent two hours trying to make a shirt from this New Look pattern. I tried view B, and it was incredibly frustrating and I finished my attempt by stomping my feet and hurling the shirt across the room.

I couldn’t understand the instructions for the pleats or for how to finish the collar or for how to attach the sides. Hmmm…I guess I basically didn’t understand any of the instructions. Oh wait! I knew how to do the sleeves.

I was very bummed when I was done trying, because I will never understand how to read commercial patterns.

But I am so over New Look and I’m movin’ on. I have started my craftsy.com class on sewing designer jeans by Angela Wolf. I have loved it so far. I’ve learned a lot about pattern alterations already and that’s good because it’s something I struggle with.

I bought her jeans pattern and I have it all taped together and ready to go. I made a few alterations to the pattern and I’m ready to cut out my first test pair. I am planning on it taking awhile to get the fit down and actually sew the jeans, so that is what I’ll be up to for the next bit.

Welt Pockets

Today I started making Ezra some Sunday pants. I sewed for a couple of hours, and all I got finished with were the back pockets. But the back pockets are welt pockets, and this is my first time making welt pockets so I’m not surprised it took me so long.

The pockets were very technical and I had to concentrate to make sure I was doing all the steps right. I’m pretty pumped with how they turned out.
The front of the pants.

The pocket bag from the wrong side of the pants.
I was especially pleased that the pockets turned out because all last week I wasted my time on something that didn’t turn out. I drafted a skinny jeans pattern for me and then made a pair of jeans from the pattern, but they turned out looking awful. They weren’t tight enough through the legs to be categorized as skinny jeans and they just kind of looked like old lady pants.
 I spent so much time measuring all the lines of my draft to make sure they matched up with the originals, and they did. So I think what happened was that I drafted from a pair of jeans that had been worn recently and so they were stretched out just a bit. 
I was so mad that they turned out differently than I had hoped. I knew I should have done a test pair without all the pockets and details, but I didn’t so I wasted a ton of time. Whenever that happens, I start to wonder what the heck I’m doing spending my free time on sewing clothes that look bad.
But I always get over it. And skinny jeans, I’m not finished with you. I will conquer.