Monday, October 3, 2011

Bad Sewing Mojo.

Last night, I was working on my second Helena Skirt. The first one I made was very simple and turned out wonderfully in a textured, light-weight indigo denim. This time, I'm making one in a soft, heavy, olive green/drab cotton twill that will be work-appropriate for days other than Friday. Hopefully it will also look great paired with boots and tights this fall/winter.

Not only is this pattern easy to begin with, but I've made it before. No brainer, right?

I cut the fabric and marked the pleats on Friday, so I was ready to put a skirt together last night.

The problem: I totally lost my sewing mojo! No!

Here's how last night went:

  1. I'm still figuring out how to properly wind a bobbin on my new machine. If the thread doesn't really click into the tension plates on the bobbin winder, the thread winds too loosely. Well, last night, I got it going correctly at first, but then I think I must have jiggled the thread and it came out of the tension discs, and then I fixed it, but blurg - a badly wound bobbin! Drat!
  2. Unfortunately, I only seem to have one spool of thread that matches this odd shade of drab taupe/green, and I happen to know that will barely be enough for this skirt, which calls for a lot of topstitching and buttonholes (I know because I went through the better part of a spool the last time I made it). 
  3.  This led to Bad Decision #1: I decide to try to make do with my partially badly wound bobbin.
  4. I sew the first seam.
  5. It looks like crap. 
  6. Yes, it will be visible on the outside of the skirt.
  7. I commence seam-ripping.
  8. Why does it look like crap? Because the bobbin is badly wound. I experiment a ton, unwind half of the bobbin, put the rest in, and finally get the bobbin thread to stop bubbling.
  9. I top-stitch again. This time it looks okay.
  10. At this point, I clumsily drop my nice sewing shears on the floor. 
  11. When I pick them up and try to close them, I feel a nick on the blade, that catches.
  12. Well, &*$%.
  13. I consult the instructions. Next, side seams!
  14. I sew the side seams.
  15. Bad Decision # 2: I trim the seam allowance and flat-fell the seams. This didn't turn out quite as neatly as I had hoped, but at this point, my bobbin thread seems to be behaving itself, so that's something.
  16. I congratulate myself for getting something right. I consider dropping my scissors off to be sharpened this week.
  17. I remember I had wanted to include side seam pockets. Which needed to be installed before sewing the side seams. I had even cut them out and they were waiting to be installed.
  18. Well, %!@#ing @#$% on a @#%^ sandwich.
  19. I sulk off to bed.
Now what? Should I just go with a pocket-less skirt? But I love pockets! Pockets were an essential part of the fantasy skirt that I dreamed about before I started on this project!

Or should I unpick the flat-felled side seams and install side pockets (keeping in mind that I trimmed one of the seam allowances to almost nothing)? Oy. I definitely need another spool of thread.

Or should I just crumple the whole thing up in a ball and shove it in the closet and try to pretend this never happened?


Please tell me that you lose your sewing (or other) mojo sometimes too.


  1. Wah, sorry to hear things went badly. I hate it when I set aside sewing time and then stuff like that happens. Yes I lose my mojo all the time. A few days ago I was doing the relatively easy task of sewing a baste stitch on a the skirt part of a dress for elena so I could gather it as per pattern instructions. Well after bobbin issues I finally get it to sew without getting tangled and instead of sewing the baste stitch around the diameter of the skirt, I just sew straight (thus the front and back of the skirt is sewn together at the top like a pillow case...ripped seams, its now in a ball waiting for me to get back to it :( So, what's this new machine? :D

  2. Hmm, how would side seam pockets go into a flat-felled seam anyway? My head hurts thinking about it. Maybe a couple of neat patch pockets on the front instead? I usually find I make the most mistakes with patterns I've done before because I get over-confident and don't think it through enough. Having said that, I'm usually much happier with the end result when I take the time to go back and really undo my mistakes and re-do them properly. Which makes me sound terribly patient, which I'm rather not.
    My sewing mojo comes and goes but a fiddly/temperamental machine is most likely to suck it out of me! I keep accidentally unwinding bobbins by dropping them and boy do they roll merrily away.

  3. Jane: Exactly. My decision to flat-fell those side seams was obviously completely unrelated to my decision to add pockets. They seem to have happened in entirely separate hemispheres of my brain. Brain: Not working so hot. Ai yai yai.

    With the pleats in this skirt, I don't really think I can do patch pockets, but I might just go pocket free on this one. Sigh.


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