Wednesday, September 8, 2010


My sewing box is a bit ridiculous right now. I have several unfinished objects (UFOs), ideas for new projects, and scraps leftover from projects that are too big to throw away. Yesterday I worked on cleaning out my box, and decided that I need to learn when to cut my losses and determine that a project is not worth finishing. Here is a peek into my UFO pile.

Numero Uno: McCalls 2401

A simple sheath, this dress was intended to be office-wear. I started it a few years ago, found the neckline to be wonky, tried to cut corners which didn't work out, realized I had cut it a size too big, got frustrated and put it in the sewing box for later.

Yesterday I pulled it out again. All I needed to do was sew on the neck facing, put a couple of darts in the neckline in the back, and hem it up. 

But it's still too big. So I need to take it in. Will I? TC says I should because we both like the fabric (it's a black with gold pinstripe suiting fabric with stretch) I really like the sleeves. Plus I already wasted a zipper on this thing, so I might as well, right?

Here you can see the darts I added in the neck line because there were major gaping issues. What a strange pattern, or maybe it's the fabric? Or maybe it's the size I cut?

Numero Dos: Simplicity 2497

I cut out a hybrid of basically all the versions. I picked the length of view B, the sleeves of view A, and the ruffles of views C and D. The problem with this dress is simply the fabric I chose. And honestly, this seems to be a problem of mine: I buy inexpensive fabric in the hopes that it will not look inexpensive. I should have the common sense to figure out that if it's $1.95 a yard, there's a reason for it.

This is what I've done so far. I need to install the zipper, sew in the sleeves, attached the ruffle, and hem it, which is maybe 3 hours of work. It's nearly finished.

This is the fabric I bought. It's "designer" but it hangs horribly. It feels like plastic. Blech.

I'm debating whether it's worth it to finish. I think I would rather start again using a silk dupioni, but I have a problem justifying the expense. I don't have any occasion to wear such a dress. It's a bit dressy for church. So, I'm undecided.

Numero Tres: McCalls 5391

I was excited about these shorts. I love how they look on the model, I love that they are long and loose and look comfortable.

My shorts are anything but loose.

They are really just missing belt loops and a hem. However the problem is this: the fit is horrendous. They are tight in the front, give me a wedgie in the back, muffin top all over, and there's a weird smoothness around the abdomen that is just odd looking.

It's disappointing to go from excited about a project to frustrated and disillusioned.

And the back. The back of the shorts is really kind of odd for pants that aren't slacks. They just have two darts and other than that are plain. It's a weird look for denim shorts that are supposed to be casual. Really weird. Plus, in my opinion, the waistband should be thicker, taller, whatever. It's too narrow.

I think if I am going to permanently scrap any of these three projects it will be the shorts. They are a disaster on me. The only way I could see finishing them is with the intention of donating them so that someone thinner than me could possibly enjoy them, but even at that, I don't know if I'm that benevolent.

Now you know three of my deep dark secrets that lurk deep in the darkness of my sewing box.


  1. I love that second dress and I would totally wear it to church, its not too dressy. I totally vote for finishing #2 and wearing it to church this Sunday. LOVE. You're amazing, in general. Wow.

  2. I also love the 2nd dress, I bought this pattern too but haven't taken the plunge into sewing it yet. I love those neck ruffles but they look awfully daunting to me.
    Anyway I was going to suggest dupioni...I've sewn with it quite a bit. Drawbacks are it has absolutely no stretch or give, and if you buy online you can't gauge the texture because there are light and heavy dupionis. I've been spying some at JoAnns in my neck of the woods lately that are light and in gorgeous colors like plum purple. I always wait till I get that 50% off coupon and buy the fabric then so I can usually get it for like 8 bucks a yard .STEAL!
    Anyway sorry for the novel, I love reading about your sewing projects! :)

  3. for the record: I think you have the proper amount of classy and sassy to pull off the beautiful silk at church. there you go. justified in purchasing BEAUTIFUL fabric at $15/yard on sale.


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