Material world or: How I came to stop worrying and love the seam ripper.

What a week.

This week I learned that sewing expectations often don’t meet the reality of your project. I’m laying the blame squarely on my choice of fabric.

Firstly, what went right. This is my Wendy Ward jacket, made from a free magazine pattern. I had some interesting material purchased in error from ebay and I wasn’t sure the pattern was any good so I really had nothing to lose. I sewed this up listening to the beautiful 6 music tribute to David Bowie, so my mind really wasn’t 100 % on the jacket and I almost didn’t notice how well it was going.


Typically for something that I thought would end its days in the recycling bin, it turned out really well. It’s mega warm and was even nice enough to garner some oooos and ahhhhs when I wore it to work this week.



Things I learned:

Ebay isn’t the best place to take a gamble on your fabric.


Another zip fitting went alright!


Bias binding the edges is easier than it looks and makes for a very nice finish.

However the fabric isn’t ideal, and needs to be a bit more ‘breathable’, but this was an excellent test run for some technique for later more complicated jackets I’ve got in the pipeline!

Buoyed up by my unexpected jacket success, I attempted Robe Eleonore from the Un Ete Couture book. A challenging but definitely achievable make, or so I thought.



The pattern has a complicated construction with a cross over front, that makes for a very librarian from the 40’s look. Everything was going really well. Fiddly top constructed, button holes made, waistband deciphered and constructed with aid of google, first half of elasticated waistband sewn up, feeling smug, and this is where I fell on my face with the finishing line in sight. Warning: sewing machines can sense premature smugness.

I chose to make this dress from a very floaty, drapey rayon fabric which was so delicate I could have been stitching tissue paper together. Ughhhhhh! The sewing machine caught the skirt and ripped a massive hole in it.

Imagine someone dropping their freshly made show stopper bake straight onto the floor as they approach the bench in bake off…that’s how it felt.

Several moments of quiet anger, disbelief and despair at my first world problem followed before I decided to finished it anyway.


I fixed the hole and finished the dress because I said I would share my mistakes. I chose the wrong fabric, and no amount of correct cutting, seam ripping and alteration can really change the outcome.

It actually feels nice to wear, and doesn’t look too bad in the pics but I’m not sure that this will make it into my wardrobe as every time I wear it I will only think of whats wrong with it. A good practice run for next time!

However, coffee cup half full, I did do some things right:


An elasticated waist band

Deciphering sewing instructions so vague it felt like sewing for the crystal maze.


Accepting your sewing mistakes don’t look as bad to everyone else as they do to you!