January 21, 2011


Before you all jump all over me based on the title – read ahead please.

Isn’t failure what defines so much of what we do? When in the course of growing up did we learn to let the fear of failure stop us? For me – this refers to many things – designing knitwear, sewing, even my health. It’s often what stops me from spending lots of time trying a new pattern. What if I just spent 2 days of sewing time on it and it doesn’t fit (why yes, I do have size issues), or looks horrible, or, or, or.

What if I ruin a lovely piece of fabric. Anyone want to place bets on when the lovely red wool I bought for the Coat Sew-a-Long gets made up? Or how about the very expensive blue lace I bought lace spring to make a dress? Both of those pieces scare the beezesus out of me.

This weekend my plan is to take McCalls 3830 and make a muslin. Most likely a true down and dirty muslin. But frankly – Beangirl, and everyone else, is right – nothing ventured, nothing gained. If I never make a true straight skirt, but continue to make slightly a-lined skirts and then moan that they aren’t what I want, I’ll never know if it’s a straight, pencil skirt is a dream I should keep alive or not – will I?


  1. You're worth it babe, even if you have to re-order the perfect fabric. Sure, it might make MAKING your own clothes less cost-effective, but it's all good. Use the good china. Cut the scary-beautiful fabric. Eat dessert first.

  2. I always make a muslin, even though I think its tedious and a pain in the rear. But I've had an experience like yours and now, I always do muslin.

    Good luck!

  3. you go, G! We're all waiting to see your conclusion, whether that's "Yay! Straight skirts!" or "Hmmm.... not straight skirts."

    Get a reasonable fit ("reasonable" being the operative word) and then cut into the "good" fabric. Having just moved all the fabric I own (or three-fourths of it), I have finally (maybe) come to the realization that there is almost nothing in it that can't be replaced. Things that I bought thinking, "Oh, I'll only ever come across that type of fabric at that price once in my lifetime" are in fact not so impossible to find again. Right? Right.

    So you go, G!

  4. Go ahead and dive in and make up those fabrics. If you hate them and can't or won't wear them, you're not in any different position than now when you can't wear them.

    I don't understand your reluctance to try new patterns. You may be missing the perfect one that could be your new favorite. Go for it. You're better at this than you think.

    By the way, I've never made a muslin. I just leap in.

  5. Personally, I know this can happen for you! If I can get a straight skirt to fit my rotound body - you can too! Go for it!

  6. What a great plan...I wish I had thought of that before I ruined some really nice, never available again fabric! And yes...I totally understand fear of failure...

  7. Good idea to try it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained after all. And if it's wonderful, then you might just nudge me into trying the pencil skirt pattern I have and am afraid of!

    And since you're doing this, I'm going to try the Vogue #8409 pattern I have this weekend, in that brown. If I hate it, I haven't ruined a color I don't love. And if I like it, then I'll do it over and over. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. You can do it my friend! And if fabric gets harmed in the making, have no fear...we'll go buy more in March! (wink! wink!) Mary

  9. I totally understand your fear of cutting into precious fabric -- I'm like that with the vintage fabrics I've collected. How many projects have been sitting in my head for years? I love Sue's point -- if the pattern doesn't work out, you're in the same position you were when the fabric was flat -- you can't wear it! Which gets to the root of the problem for me, perhaps...deciding on a use for a piece of fabric and doing it eliminates all the other ideas you have for it.

  10. ah, you've got nothing to lose - give it go - I'm guessing it's going to look just fine !

    Of course this advice is easier to give than to take - I've a pile of my own that I'm afraid to try :-) lol


I appreciate you coming to see me. It may take me a bit to publish your comment - but I will get to them by the end of every day. If you leave a way for me to get back to you, I will. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your opinions. g

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