when a good project goes wrong

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fabric: Vintage Ladies (Ivory) from Ruby Star Rising by Melody Miller (gifted from The Cottage Home)

you know that feeling you get when you are working on a project that you are super excited about, that's taken you forever to get to and that you've chosen very special prints out of your stash for?  it's hard for me to use up treasured fabrics. i have issues cutting into prints i adore, it's like i hear my insides screaming "stop, stop, don't do it!".  seriously...it takes me forever.  so for months now i've been drooling over my friends knitting box bags (from a talented knitter's etsy shop that i hope to feature soon) and  every time i see them i think i'm gonna make some of those for myself to help store my knitting.  i use turquoise cloth storage bins for my knitting supplies but wanted something pretty to use inside.  i thought some gifted cloth bags and these box bags would be the perfect solution.  little did i know this project was going to be the good project that goes wrong...lol.


after researching online for a while to find the best tutorial to follow i picked my chosen one that the most people seemed to refer to when making box bags.  i'm still not sure what happened to make this bag go wrong, but i think it was mostly the fact that i was very tired (reason why i do not sew tired anymore but i broke my rule) and the kids were running around nutso while i became obsessed with making this silly thing work.  even to the point that my sewing machine was an airplane engine and i was the captain and all the chairs they put behind me were seats that they filled with themselves and barbies to go on a holiday to disneyland.  i even spoke with an accent...yes, i was that desperate..lol.  oh the things a mom will do to get some sewing time in :P


i quickly realized that the bag had taken a turn for the worst.  first one i cut out i cut out wrong and messed it up.  cried over my wasted fabric.  second one i cut out i still think i messed up but i went with it bemoaning to myself about having such a hard time cutting out a bloody rectangle..lol.  so once i went to attach the bag to the zipper i realized that my print was going to be upside down one side...duh.  too late now...i whined some more because i'm a perfectionist and will forever hate that side of the bag but for some reason i just kept going.  big mistake..big mistake.  i should have known it was because i had the dimensions of the bag wrong.  oops.  if i had turned it the prints would have been right going from top to bottom and the bag wouldn't look like a long wine case instead of a box bag.  what you say? the pics above don't look wonky?  well....look below my dears...look below..lol..


how's that for the world's longest box bag?  hahaha, it cracks me up so bad now that i can laugh at it.  it's actually not that long but looks longer due to it being so skinny.  you want to know what else?  when i had almost finished constructing my bag i realized it was about 4 inches too long...yes...it was even longer than shown here..lmao..so i chopped that puppy off.  see.....


ouch..that hurt i tell you.  but i persevered.  the fact that my zipper was awesome and i didn't make any errors with it gave me the energy to keep sewing.  that and i loved the prints i used so much i just didn't care at this point.  but did the oopsies stop? nope, that bad sewing karma just followed me around that day. bah to you bad sewing karma.


see the mistake on my topstich on the handle above? i know, i could have ripped it out but at this point it was like a trademark for the bag..lol and because the bag dimensions were wrong i had to attach the handle and sew the box corners about 5 times to get the size to work.  i quickly realized the dimensions given for the handle were way larger than the space i had allotted on the sides so when i first sewed it up the handle was folded and gibbled. not pretty.  i did rip that out...about 4 times...lol...and i had to resew my handle.  but in anger i just whacked some of the width off forgetting that i had an enclosed seam so i had to then rip it apart too and resew. gosh darn it all.


but the zipper looks good right?  that's all that mattered to me at this point..but then i opened the bag and looked at this.


arghhhhhhhhhh! i hate exposed seams.  they drive me batty.  i'm a stickler for finished seams.  this irritated me and yes, i know people cover them with bias tape etc to cover it up but i had chopped mine all gibbly and couldn't do it.  needless to say next time i will be sewing the tutorial i now found that doesn't have exposed seams.  i know, i don't know what's wrong with me but i will make myself another one...if just to prove to myself i can not mess it up..lol.


it holds my knitting great, it's easy to carry and store and i really love the fabrics.  so i'm still using it and you know what?  it brings a smile to my face cause i can just laugh it off.


cause if you don't look at the bad parts it can look pretty cute, no?


ahhhhh, the zipper.  and then i realized it was like a metaphor for my house and life right now.  i can try to ignore the bad and frustrating parts and focus on the good things that make me happy that are actually harder to do than the rest of it.  like that zipper for instance.  i used to have a giant sized fear of zippers and now i find them fun.  moral of the story...don't give up, even if it's not working.  rearrange, try again, persevere cause you never know, you may love it in the end.  not everything has to be perfect :)

have you had a good project that's gone wrong lately?  c'mon and share with me.  what did you do with your project?  let's embrace our oopsies today. 

42 comments:

  1. oooh! I LOVE that fabric! Would you mind sharing the designer?

    I think it looks great, and yes! You can just smile when you look at it. :)

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    1. It's Melody Miller from the Ruby Star rising line (I think) called Vintage Ladies ivory. Love it and all Melody Miller fabrics.

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  2. I love it! I've been working with some really long straight needles lately, and this size of bag would work perfectly for carrying that kind of project. Honestly, it's lovely! Your next one will be perfect.

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  3. This is such a great post. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one to make mistakes. I also got a chuckle at the lengths you went to to sew with kids in the house. I mostly sew at night but yesterday I just wanted to sew in the day when I wasn't so tired. Bad idea! I swear on of my four children was asking me for something every two minutes. Then they started running laps around the house and tripping over my sewing machine cord, bumpin into the ironing board. Very safe! So the sewing stopped and I will go back to being a late night, sleepy, mistake making sewer. :)

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  4. oh, goodness, goodness, goodness. This gave me a great laugh only because I've BEEN THERE and recently too. At one point you actually had me in tears. It's beautiful, in a quirky and fun way, and I say kudos to you for this awesome post!

    Rachel

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  5. looks cute! I would never have known it was a project gone wrong. I am also terrified to cut into my "good" fabrics ! So much stress over it.

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  6. I've had one of those days today. I'm making a top from the Danish pattern company Onion. The shirt and the yoke turned out lovely and I was really excited to just do those cute balloon sleeves and get them on there! Oh no! It wasn't to be. The instructions didn't make sense, I sewed the first one on back-to-front, and when I finally got them on there it somehow distorted the shape of the whole shirt and it no longer fits...now moving on and finding comfort in the fact that my husband has found time on his business trip to NYC to go to Purl SoHo and get me a new stash of fabrics!!! I'm beyond excited about that!!

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  7. I'm so glad you shared this. I think too many of us shy away from posting oopses, and we all make them! I love that you are making use of this and helping other in the process.

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  8. Absolutely lovely post! And totally agree with *not everything has to be perfect*. BTW your knitting boxed bag, it's gorgeous in every way, we must always remember that we make HANDMADE. And that's absolutely perfect.:)
    xx

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  9. This post is awesome! We really do have to be able to laugh off the days that go horribly "wrong" embrace all that is good, learn a lesson or two and MOVE ON! I would have loved the post even MORE if you would have linked us up to the Tutorials you used.

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    1. I didn't share the tutorial as I didn't want that poor person to feel like I was bad mouthing them and some of the parts of the tutorial I think could have been done better :)

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  10. I totally love your fabric - superb!
    Well, you wouldn't believe it - I have just this afternoon made a box bag for a prize I'm donating and a the same time photographed my new box bag tutorial!!! I am going to post it on my blog in a couple of days, when I get a chance to write it up. I'll send you a link!

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    1. Looking forward to seeing it and if I must say...please make it seamless inside...lol :)

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    2. Here go Shannon - all done. New box bag tutorial - pretty pics and (hopefully!) clear instructions! Fully lined, handle, pull tab and NO INTERNAL SEAMS!!! http://trulymyrtle.blogspot.com/2012/03/box-bag-tutorial.html
      Good luck!

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    3. AWESOME!!!!! Love it!!!!! For sure using it as soon as I make another one!

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  11. oh goodness yes! i have been working on my easter dress and first miss cut the back bodice then cut a curve for pockets out of both front AND back skirt pieces... of both outer fabric and lining, also i did not have an invisible sipper so i used a regular one... guh. ive set it aside for three days because im just irritated about the whole thing.

    but- im sure it will all work out! its nearly finished now anyways.

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  12. Oh my, still laughing. Its like that post is about me. My last fail...a sweet sunhat for a baby. I sewed, I ripped, sewed some more, turned it, cursed it, sewed it again. After a full day of trying to line it all up and keep it looking like a hat, I held it, looked at it, and used it like a frisbee when tossing it into the I give up pile. Thanks for the laugh, and do you need a sunhat for a watermelon?

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  13. oh my gosh! Is something in the air? That sounds like my struggle right now! I'm working on st patty's day dresses for my younger two daughters. Used up some stash fabric I was holding onto, check... cutting snafus, check... the kids going bonkers while I'm trying to sew, check... last night I put down my project when I realized that in sewing the skirts to the bodices, BOTH the dresses ended up having the wrong side of the fabric facing out-- and this was after futzing with box pleats on one of the skirts for 15 minutes to make it lay flatter then just gathering with a running stitch! Let's hope we got our goofups out of our system for a bit, eh? :)

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    1. Oh my...sending you giant hugs for that dress. Push on m'dear, you'll get it worked out and you'll love that dress all the more for it.

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  14. This. happens....all.the.time.

    Thanks for making me feel normal ;)

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  15. I had to frog the last two sweaters I cast on because of sleepy knitter syndrome...finally reached the "knit even" part of my raglan sweater so I can ease up a little. haha.

    I think the bag looks great. I Love the polka dots!

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  16. Awww, you guys sure know how to cheer a girl up..lol. Love that we all get bad sewing and knitting mojo from time to time. It's tricky and sometimes tough to persevere but I think reading comments like these will help me push on through my next project I have issues with. I tend to come back and re-read posts like this. It's like a warm hug on a cold day.
    I <3 you all for sharing and for reading xoxox

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  17. I love the mental picture of you being a sewing machine pilot. This is good.

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  18. I feel like this is me with just about every project! My latest was my first attempt at paper piecing, it is a wall hanging and the paper piecing went really well and was really fun, so I was super pumped...then came the binding...First it took me 6 tries to get the ends of the binding matched up right, then I realized I used a half inch seam allowance to attach the binding so I no longer had room to wrap it around to the back...then my genius plan was to trim down inside the seam allowance (because I sure as heck wasn't going to undo everything and have to try 6 more times to get the ends back together...)and as a result ruined my corners...after pinning wrong multiple times, literally drawing blood and bleeding onto the backing and some other little mishaps, I eventually got it all attached and you can't really tell unless you give it a good look, but my goodness I was going crazy with this thinking "ok, what else can go wrong!?"
    So...I feel your pain. But In the end I think your bag turned out super cute and good you didn't waste it as it is such cute fabric!! Thanks for keepin it real and sharing your story, reading this and the above comments make me feel more normal now :)

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  19. Ah, I could've written this post many, many times over. I totally cry over wasted, precious favorite fabric!

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  20. I'm working on a project right now that I messed up. I think I've figured out a way to make it work, but it won't be quite as I imagined. Oh well. It's still pretty and I don't think the little girl who will sleep in it will mind :) She's my fourth, due in May! Yikes! I have so much to do!!

    www.vibrant-designs.net

    Julie

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  21. I seem to have the worst luck with those simple projects, too! i actually sewed an envelope pillow cover right side to wrong side for my son's nursery...and i just left it!!! i'm normally so much more of a perfectionist but i was super pregnant at the time, and it has just stayed. but your'e right, lots of issues happen if i'm trying to force sewing when i'm otherwise too tired. it's still a cute (and functional) bag you made, though!

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  22. so what tutorial are you going to use next? linda gerig

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  23. I'm completely new to sewing and one of my most frustrating moments was when I stayed up super late trying to finish a dress for my daughter. I was tired (but who isn't) and everything was going fine until I tried to sew in the second sleeve...then I realized I didn't flip the pattern piece over when I cut it so I cut out two right sleeves or two left sleeves...it didn't matter which one. The point was that I had a perfect little sleeve that had been hemmed with an elastic casing at the edge which I had already completely finished...elastic inside, casing closed, the works! I was pretty upset. I think I ended up going ahead and cutting out another sleeve but went to bed after that. I finished the little dress the next night and I have used that lone sleeve for testing stitches when I'm sewing. :)

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  24. Yes, it is long but still very cute. One thing I like about your blog is that you are a positive person. The world needs more positivity. Even though this post is all about what went wrong, that is not your focus. Frankly, every time I sew things go wrong. Part of the fun is figuring out how to make it work any way. As a Canadian and mother of young children, you are likely aware of Charlotte Diamond. She gave a concert this week at my daughter's school. My daughter just fell in love with the stuffed Hug Bugs she sells. Unfortunately, CD was already gone before I knew how desperately and passionately my daughter wanted one of these. I looked at CD's website and it is $45.00 for a Hug Bug. I decided to make my own version. The first went horribly wrong in many, many different ways but the second, oh, that is a good looking Hug Bug. Next time you make a box bag, I bet it is perfect! Like you are enjoying your bag despite of its flaws, my daughter is equally entranced with both Hug Bugs, the good and the ugly! Thanks for blogging!

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  25. lol! when i read this i thought of myself :) since i do the major part of my sewing late at night into the wee hours, mistakes are a plenty. i would usually endure and, keep going making mistake after mistake,correcting and correcting but, this last project i learnt my lesson... a mistake was sewn in i noticed it right away and promptly turned off my machine and went to bed :)

    come by and take a peek http://polliwogsinbloom.blogspot.com/2012/03/monsters-go-marching.html

    what tutorial were you using for the box bags, i'd love to make some.

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  26. I love your spirit Shannon.... and that's one damn nice looking zipper :).

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  27. Oh, Shannon! Thank you so much for posting this! Why is a rectangle so difficult to cut?? I was going to make a friend a lovely notebook cover, that's going to have to be a pieced tote bag, I screwed it up so much :S But you're spot on about laughing and enjoying it anyway. The bag definitely looks cute and the zipper is PERFECT :) Lovely!

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  28. I'm trying to imagine the scale of this bag! At first I thought it was cosmetic size, but obviously not. LOL
    You are a machine. I quite seriously, would have tossed it aside and either gone back to it a year later or started a fresh one choosing to ditch the karma attached to the old project. I'm like that. Weird.
    However, in the end its a great bag and that fabric is amazing!
    Funniest part was me imagining the airplane scene. LOVE kids' imaginations eh?

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  29. Thank you all for sharing your "when good projects go wrong" stories too! It's nice to know we are all not perfect but can still embrace our oopsies and make the best of our handmade adventures.

    Love that you all commented :)

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  30. hugs to you! it looks awesome, but sewing can be confusing! hehe. the effort it worth it though :)

    Barnicles

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  31. This post cracked me up! And totally made me feel better :) Thanks for keeping it real....that's what I love about your blog. Way to rock the zipper!!

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  32. I loved this! I do the samething everyone else does! I really hate it when i have to stop, get in the car and go get more fabric, zipper, matching thread! The closest sewing store is 25 miles. One night my iron quit on me at midnite and my back up didn't work either(who ever heard of one quiting a midnite???)Lucky for me walmart was a 15 min drive. Thanks for all the laughs, i feel better now :)

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  33. Ahh, I love this post. The dress I've been working on has been having so, so many problems and I've been working on it (or rather trying to fix it) for almost a month and last night I may have cried over it. I know how frustrated you feel, but your post definitely cheered me up! xx

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