I have had quite a few sewing "Ah HA!" moments in my life, but usually they come after the "Uh oh" moment - that time when your brain kicks in and says "Ohhhh noooo - you're going to have to rip that out/recut that/cry."
On of my biggest "Uh oh!" moments was when I learned to do a princess seam for the first time and didn't know that if you pre clipped the seam allowance, that it would be easier to match up the very curved bust seam. So instead I battled this beast for hours - pinning, basting, ripping - until finally I had what I wanted! It was at this point I realized I had sewn the front panel to the back side panel and not the front side panel. D'oh!
Lesson learned: always mark your pattern pieces with a little chalk or disappearing ink, clip your seam allowance on curved seams before you try to piece them together (after you make sure you have cut the right size, of course!) and take a freakin' break - when you're in the middle of a sewing disaster it's hard to get back on track without a brain break!
What's your "Uh oh!" moment and what did you learn from it?
Well... I am ashamed to admit to this UH OH... Last year , My daughter and 2 grandaughters were in our local musical production. And as always ,I got told at the last minute, that the girls had to have old timey costumes [little house on the prarie types]. and my daughter had to have a gypsie skirt and top..I did all 3 and everything was fine.. I was totally exhausted and the leader of the production decided my daughter [who would sing the final song], needed to come out in the end, with a straight shift type dress [red]. Of course, she didnt have one and couldnt find one at the last minute.. in my hurry, I run to the pattern box [remember, I am one of the ones that stuffs big fat patterns in the envelope.. ] Well, I found the right pattern... and quickly laid it on the fabric and cut it out..[all the red fabric I had left] and only a few hours to get it done.. Too my "DISMAY', I had cut 2 fronts out ,from 2 different patterns. I had to try to take one of the fronts and make a back.. [could not find the back pattern peice that went with this dress, another UH OH],, Yes, I cried and probably said a ugly word.. But.. once I finished throwing my fit.. I put the dress together and it was beautiful.Know one ever knew ,but ME..
OK, if I tell you this you must promise not to laugh or drum me out of the sewweekly community..... promise? ok, then...
I have not been shown how to use my sewing machine or how to sew at all really, I did some sewing in my teens but nothing serious. About three years ago I bought my machine and I made some basic things (not clothes! cushion covers etc) and clothes is a really recent advance.
Anyway.... I thought there was something wrong with my sewing machine. The tension was all wrong, I just couldn't sort it. I replaced needles, cleaned it etc etc. I had no idea what to do. This was only a couple of months ago. I even mentioned it on this forum. The tension on the running stitch was ok but the zigzag for finishing the seams was all wrong. I couldn't finish seams and it was getting me down,
Then one day I suddenly realised the tension needed to be different for running stitch and for zigzag. How silly did I feel?
OK, you all know I am a sewing chump now. How shameful....
I hate to say it..but I just got a big ole laugh...I could just see you so frustrated and trying to sew with the stitches the same..ha,ha. but you know what??? We all did some of the same things. As a matter of fact,just a week or so ago..I had made that pink dress for the challenge and When I made all those buttonholes.. well.When I went back to regular sewing, I forgot to change the zigzag stitches.. and I was FUSSING at my machine.. I just knew I needed a repairman..So I understand your frustration...
I haven't sewn much yet, but my biggest "duh" happened when sewing my toddler's dress. The dress had three buttons down the bodice front. Even though I knew this, and looked at the picture practically a million times a day, I cut out the front of the bodice on the fold. So when I got to the part about making button holes I was all...!@#$%@...
I blogged about the details of this tragedy here: http://creativespace.typepad.com (and I must confess that for about fifteen minutes I contemplated not fixing it.)