Mistakes? I’ve Made a Few…



But this is probably the stupidest sewing one yet…

After I managed to salvage a Mabel out of the scraps of my Megan, I was left with a metre of this lovely fabric I picked up in the John Lewis sale. A Coco seemed like the perfect use for it. If I didn’t bother too much about pattern matching, then I figured I could just about manage it. I managed to cut it out in a spare hour I had in between finishing school and picking the kids up. Oh, and I was also trying to tidy up the kitchen and sort out the washing at the same time. Stupid idea! Not sure if you can tell from the above where I went wrong, but perhaps the following will help…



How stupid? Seriously, unfolding the pattern fully, before pinning and cutting, is so basic, it’s not even featured in the instructions. And Tilly’s are pretty  comprehensive! But no, I happily cut it folded… I was so annoyed with myself!

After sufficient time had elapsed for me to calm down (a good week), I decided it was worth trying to rescue the situation. I had nowhere near enough fabric left to cut the whole piece again, but I thought I could try and just cut the missing bit out separately (including a seam allowance) and attach it. The only problem was that as I didn’t have an awful lot of fabric left, pattern matching would be out of the question. And while you can kind of get away with it on the side seams, right at the top of the front bodice was going to just be too obvious. After playing around for a bit, I decided that it would be better to just reverse the fabric instead and attempt to make a ‘feature’ of it. And rather than just have a random section of it in grey, I figured it would be better to reverse the sleeves too.

So, while I did manage to ‘rescue’ it, I’m not fully convinced that it worked! And for a whole host of reasons… It’s a fraction too small and doesn’t really work with jeans. I had to remove my belt for these photos to avoid a rather unsightly bulge around the middle. And really, this pattern was made for wearing at the weekend with jeans 😦 I’m also kind of wishing I’d cut more of the ‘missing piece’ as it maybe looks a little too narrow a section to work? Maybe it’s a touch too long in the body at the same time? Maybe it’s a case of a little of all the above.

So what’s the stupidest sewing mistake you’ve ever made? Tough as it is, could you even beat my stupidity on this project?


42 thoughts on “Mistakes? I’ve Made a Few…

  1. Before I’d read what had gone wrong, and I honestly had no idea looking at the pix, I was thinking that if there was a top ten of cocos then that would be in there!
    Then I read it! And I couldn’t believe that the blocking was accidental. I’m a great believer that everything happens for a reason, and now you’ve ended up with a super cool coco!
    I love my blocked one and it get the most compliments out of all of them I’ve made, and I’ve got a few! 😀

  2. Oh no! I’m really sorry but I did have a chuckle reading this! Well done for salvaging something out of the situation and I actually think your new top looks pretty good! I’ve made my fair share of stupid mistakes too. Yesterday I inserted my first ever invisible zip and when I put my brand new invisible zip foot on my machine I put it on backwards! The needle had nowhere to go and it snapped in two and I thought my poor machine was going to die. Thankfully it’s fine but I’ll never do that again and I’m sure you won’t either. We learn so much from our mistakes -stupid or otherwise. ☺

  3. I agree with Thimberlina. I looked really hard to spot the mistake and couldn’t see one. I like it very much as it is. I have only just begun sewing again after a long break so am taking each step super slowly but still make lots of silly mistakes all the while. The worst I can remember from the past is cutting out on my lap as a child (dolls clothes probably) and cutting through the skirt I was wearing at the time! I was not popular with my mum. I did learn from that though!

    • Do you know I think I’ve actually read a short story where something like that happens? 🙂 I really need to know when I’m too tired to get things right, and just stop! One day…

  4. I think it looks really good! Definitely intentional 🙂 I’ve made so many stupid mistakes, cutting out the same sleeve twice (and not having enough fabric to recut it), cutting a teeshirt out with the stretch running up and down instead of across, cutting out a jacket pattern based on finished garment measurements instead of body measurements, punching an eyelet straight through the front of my 99% completed coat…

    • Oh dear! I guess we’ve all made them then 🙂 So frustrating when it happens though. Life is just so busy that I find it really hard to slow down, or even recognise the moment when it’s time to stop!

  5. I too didn’t pick up that anything was ‘wrong’ from the picture. It looks great and I thought you had given an interesting twist to the pattern! Definitely a happy accident!

  6. I’m with Jennifer, and Springystitches, couldn’t pick a problem and only saw really nice colour blocking. An excellent save, worth persisting when you have lovely fabric.

    • Thanks! I think it was the fear of wasting my nice fabric that made me so annoyed with myself? And as I already have a dress, skirt and scarf in this very same fabric, perhaps it was time to ring the changes, even if unintentionally 😉

  7. Its a great rescue job because that top looks fab on you! The contrast yoke works really well. It is frustrating when a cutting mistake is made ~ and its prone to happen when other things are being done. I too have had my fair share of cutting errors. Now i will only cut fabric at night after my little ones (and hubby) are in bed :-).

  8. I definitely thought this was intentional. I love the color blocking, but I know how annoying it is when you make mistakes like this. Just two days ago I was cutting sleeves for a Linden sweatshirt and I was short on fabric so I had to cut on the single layer. Well, of course I forgot to flip the pattern so I ended up with two of the same sleeves. I had to sub in a solid fabric for the sleeves since there was no way to recover. I have made that mistake so many times that I think I need a tattoo that says “flip the pattern”!!

  9. I do believe everything happens for a reason and this was definitely meant to be! I thought you meant to do it like that and thought it looked great! Then I read you made a big mistake and I was like… What mistake… Seriously, that was a very good “mistake” to make!! Shame that you kind of waste the pretty fabric but the colour blocking idea is amazing!

  10. I thought it was supposed to look like that!? How about this one… I am making the fly flap on my jeans. I sew all the layers together. After I am done I find that I have sewed my jeans zipper shut. So I pick it apart….. And I do it again, exactly the same, sewing my zipper shut again! That’s when you know it’s time to quit for the night!

  11. I think you are being a bit hard on yourself, your top looks quite good and wearable.

    Oh thank you Linda for talking about sewing the zipper shut, I feel better now as this is what I did to hubby’s short, thank fully I only did it once.

  12. Think you pulled it off though!! It looks great! Mine, is still buying the Klona Cotten to make a royal blue dress (it’s actually uniform fabric) so it is a midwife outfit. I didn’t even finish it! What a waste!

  13. This is one of those “happy mistakes” because I think the color blocking really enhances the design of this top. It is very flattering on you. Bravo!! I have made so many silly sewing mistakes I got a list of them lol I find that when I get tired is when I will start to make all sorts of craziness happen 😉

  14. That’s funny! Although probably not to you! I thought the pictures looked great before I even read about the mistake. I made a skirt once and didn’t cut out all the big pieces first. Dumb. So, I had to sew two remnants together for one of the big pieces. I honestly think that made it look better than if I had done it correctly.

  15. Soooo clever of you to rectify a mistake only you would have known about!
    I admire your patience and your creativity, I may have been tempted to bin it, so you are a better woman than me!

    bestest Daisy J

    Ps just found you via handmade Janes blog and very glad I have!

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