Does sewing sometimes just leave you feeling plain stupid?

So, am I the only one who sometimes just feels plain stupid trying to learn a new skill?

This is my second attempt at Seamwork’s Akita top. I was really pleased that I had this much lighter fabric in my stash as much though I loved the colour and print of my previous one, it left me feeling a little bit ‘boxy’. I don’t have all that much experience of sewing with flimsier fabrics, but this was actually really straightforward right up until the bias binding… Armed with a book I received last October as a birthday present (but which mostly features Spring/Summer wear, hence I haven’t used it so far), I attempted this technique at preparing bias binding…

But dear God, this made no sense to me at all! I think the idea is that you do it in a square so that when you cut it, it forms a long, continuous strip as you snake your way down… But I’m using the word ‘think’, as I simply couldn’t do this at all! The first time, to be honest I didn’t measure my two squares exactly, so a little frustrated I discarded these pieces (luckily I had plenty of leftovers), and started again, this time measuring carefully. But I still couldn’t get my triangles to match up as in the illustration, grrr…. I even left it a couple of hours before returning with fresh eyes, but nope, this was totally beyond me!

Annoyed by now (and left just feeling plain stupid) I resorted back to cutting simple, long strips. Even this wasn’t easy though as the fabric was so flimsy, it proved really difficult and fiddly feeding it through my new bias binding gadget. I think possibly I need one in a wider width for this kind of fabric which doesn’t hold the creases as easily? I vowed I wouldn’t be doing this again with such fabric, but actually on reflection, the finish looks so neat that, much though I hate to say it, it was probably worth the pain…

For me, this style works much better in a lighter-weight fabric (and tucked in). I’m really pleased with this, as not only does it go perfectly with my old, faithful BHL Charlotte skirt, as seen in these images, it looks like it will need to go nowhere near an iron either πŸ™‚

Again, I failed miserably at completing this in the approximated time, but only because of the darn, bias binding! Grrr…

Pattern: Seamworks Akita Top


Adjustments: none

Soundtrack: Birdy Birdy



50 thoughts on “Does sewing sometimes just leave you feeling plain stupid?

  1. Many of these indie patterns require bias binding which is easy for the pattern drafter and not that easy for the sewist. I think they should provide facings which are much easier to put in and you generally get a better finish especially when you are not that experienced. It is not that hard to trace off your own facings, and I think a lot quicker than making your own bias tape.

  2. Wendy Ward has a great post on her blog, easy to follow and I have been making some today. I have to have the picture in front of me and make sure my fabric is in exactly the same position as hers for each step and then it seems to work ok. I find it works best with lightweight cotton the best as you get a good crease and it feeds through the binder maker easily.

    • Thank you! Hopefully one of these links posted will work for me too, feeling very stupid looking at the one in my post… And yes, much easier with the linen/ cotton I made my last Akita out of, even though I prefer the finished result of this one.

  3. I’ve never tried to make bias binding this way but I often feel stupid when I’m sewing and can’t follow instructions!! The top looks really pretty and you always looks so lovely and smiley in your blog photos!

  4. It took me a couple of years (yes years, not months!) to be able to understitch necklines etc without having to look at online tutorials. So I know how you feel re the bias binding, sometimes your brain just doesn’t get it! Love your outfit by the way, you look fab! x

    • You’re making me feel better, thank you! I couldn’t make rhyme nor reason of this set of instructions. I thought this was doomed when my new gadget wouldn’t fold the material either. Amazed this actually turned out well all in all… πŸ™‚

  5. Do you know what: I must have made hundreds of yards of bias binding over the years but I never got this tube of fabric method to work. Totally defeats me – I use the long strips of fabric method too (helped by the many swear words method that helps me in so many other areas of life πŸ˜‰ )

  6. Lovely fabric, Teresa, and a thoroughly delightful outfit.
    I have the same book, but have never, ever tried making bias tape that way.
    You are not alone!
    I’d probably think purchased bias binding too stiff for that fabric, & would cut out neck facings instead.
    Life’s too short! πŸ˜‰

  7. I never understood that triangle thing either ☺. Your blouse looks great on you despite the binding problem. Love it tucked in. I actually answered the title question with a resounding YES! before reading your pistπŸ˜ƒ

  8. I teach continuous bias tape in one of my adult classes. It can be very confusing and I think it’s better learned in a hands-on environment. It took me a bit of practice to master. Your fabric is gorgeous and your blouse is lovely but, I think you would have better luck learning bias tape using a different or more stable fabric. I learned to master this skill by following this tutorial… Try it again. It really is fun and makes tons of bias tape.

  9. At least you persevered! If I get to the point of being really fed up cause the instructions don’t make sense, then I usually dump the item, or come back to it later! Great top and fabric.

  10. I often find instructions don’t make sense to me and end up wondering if I’m really that stupid! I usually end up making up my own method and hoping for the best with mixed results.

    • Thank you! I love sharing these moments on here as everyone so reassuring. And I now know some German swear words to make the next moment like this more endurable (see Chris’ comments) πŸ˜‰

  11. I’ve never fathomed it out either and just cut strips and see them up and wrap them round my phone. Takes about 20 minutes to do a few metres, which is ok. I’m going to check out the link above tho so might try the other way if it makes sense πŸ˜ƒ

  12. This is very cute! I too cannot seem to follow the various methods to make continuous bias binding from 1/2 yard of fabric. I have tried several times and always end up cutting and sewing steps together. I do feel stupid but vow to try again!

  13. Oh, that crazy method of making bias tape! I did it once and was not pleased with how the bias tape came out. I prefer to just cut the long strips and piece them together. It’s much easier on my brain to do it that way! Your shirt looks great!

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