Sewing Saves

I’ve done a few podcasts with the lovely Maria from Sew Organised Style podcast about my sewing saves – or hiding the crimes as my son would put it – and I thought I would create a kind of living blog post where each save is documented in a bit of detail, just in case it helps someone else save something which would otherwise be discarded. I would like to emphasise that whilst not every mistake can be rectified in some way, most can and it is a wonderful way to exercise the problem solving part of your brain.

I’ll start with the Merchant and Mills Gyo top. I have previously blogged this top here, explaining the problems I have had, and highlighting how I made it bigger when I chose my size rather than the finished size, as is the way M&M do their patterns. However, I also had to piece the facing as I managed to cut two out incorrectly and had to make a new one out of scraps. The back facing now has four seams in it that shouldn’t be there. I took a photo but only managed to get three of the seams in, but you get the idea. The yellow arrows point to them.

Piecing like this is easy enough as long as the pieces are on the straight grain. Cross grain works well too, I just make sure I draw a thread to ensure that I have cut the fabric straight.

I also had to add side pieces to this to make it bigger (highlighted in the blog post about the top, here), and what was looking like a disaster is now a top that I’ve worn quite a bit already this spring and know that I’ll be throwing it on often when the weather gets hotter.

The other disaster that Maria and I spoke about in the latest podcast was a favourite pair of Megan Nielsen Flint shorts that I had completely made before I noticed that the front pattern was not matched. The fabric is a beautiful rayon remnant and I fussed and fretted whilst cutting it out, just managing to squeeze the shorts from it. Every seam matched perfectly and I did a quick try on to check the waistband before sewing the button hole, looked in the mirror and was appalled to see that the two fronts were completely mismatched. Not slightly, but off by a whole pattern element. I was so upset that I didn’t even get a photo.

I decided to unpick them – taking off the waistband and separating the front pieces from the back. I laid them together with the pattern matching and could see that I was at least 2.5cm out of alignment. I moved one side up to match the other side, which meant that the crotch was now completely wrong, and so was the pocket. I took one front completely apart so I could reuse the pocket piece.

I still had to deal with the fact that the crotch curve on the left side no longer fitted, so I added in a new section on the leg and recut the front, taking off the excess fabric at the top and cutting into the piece I added.

This is what my inside leg now looks like, pattern matched as best I could. No longer quite joined up at the front and back intersection, but I decided I could live with that.

I am happy to report that although my pattern matching isn’t perfect, at least the pattern now runs in a straight line!

It would have been such a shame to have not been able to wear these shorts. Friends told me that they would never have noticed, but it would have upset me every time I put them on. Now I can wear them and not even think about that piece that’s been added in!


14 thoughts on “Sewing Saves

  1. Clever saves. I have a top almost finished that I buggered up. Been sitting in the naughty corner for a couple of years now. Time to review and find a solution.

  2. Good work! I made some pyjama bottoms and managed to cut the backs out upside down. I figured they were sleep wear, and it’s actually helpful because I know which side is the back!

      1. Most would involve client work (since I think the bulk of my sewing has been for other people) and I wouldn’t dare! Suffice to say they have no idea so it can’t have been too obvious. Phew!

  3. Great save Sue! I really enjoyed listening to your podcast with Maria and than examining your process here. Fun and informative altogether xxx

    1. Thank you dear Hélène! I kept forgetting there were no visuals and was busy showing the audience my patched bits so I had to put that together !

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