When bad things happen to good seamstresses.

sleeve 9777_n
Raise your hand if you have a sewing blooper?
imageplaceholder Jill Case
Online Editor, Sew Daily

I was recently working on perfecting my bodice and making a fitted blouse out of a pretty blue linen. I put the sleeve in and magically it went in without a hitch!

When I went to try it on, well the fit was a bit off. After much head scratching I realized my error. Figures, the sleeve that would go in smoothly was actually upside down.

We all have days like this don't we?! What is your worst/best sewing blooper? Let me know here  or you can post pics of your glorious blooper here! 

Bloopers always happen, no matter your skill level. But, for beginners it's always a good investment to stock your sewing library with great books and videos.

Try Sewing Machine Secrets by Nicole Vasbinder for learning the secrets to your sewing machine to get your started.

Happy Wednesday!



Other sewing topics you may enjoy:


Sewing for Beginners

About Jill

I am the Online Editor for Sew Daily and I am so incredibly excited to meet everyone here on this amazing sewing community!

My first passion is garment sewing, I love vintage sewing patterns and working with knits and silks. I also get very jazzed about sewing pants and love learning couture techniques. What about you? I can't wait to get started finding out more about you and what you like to sew.

14 thoughts on “When bad things happen to good seamstresses.

  1. The fact is that if you sew, you will make a mistake. The old adage: If you never did anything you never made a mistake; is the perfect attitude here. If you don’t ever want to make a mistake, then don’t do anything. If you sew and make, you will err. The whole idea is not to get totally pulled down by it. Some and probably more than you realize can be repaired, a very few can’t. Any professional who tells you that she/he doesn’t make mistakes is lying. All professionals have huge big mistakes in their past.

    The biggest mistake I had was when I cut the front out for a client completely wrong, and had to cut a whole new front – that meant taking the front off…..the lapel, the shoulder, the armscye, the collar and side seam, re-cutting it then sewing it back to the back side seam, front armscye, back shoulder, front collar neck/collar and front lapel and facing piece. It had a notched collar, and I won’t tell you it was easy. but……

    Guess what? It worked, and fit the client beautifully. The client thought I just made a few dart corrections and didn’t know what I had done. In this case I couldn’t repair the front, but had to re-cut, and the jacket came out splendid.

    Don’t let your mistakes get the better of you. Mistakes are how we learn. And I either repair or correct my mistakes or I throw them away. The ones I throw away are for my not my clients, but I do NOT keep them around to remind me over and over of a mistake I made way back when. Don’t do that to yourself. I do keep my successes up to remind me over and over of the wonderful things I’ve made!

  2. I can’t post a pic because this happened about 50 years ago. I was making a Sunday dress(remember those days?) for my 2 year old daughter late at night. After fiddling and fussing at putting in the puffy set-in sleeve and trimming the seam, I discovered that i have put the sleeves in backward. Yep, right in left armhole, left in right. Had to remove and redo completely. Pretty dress when it was finished, but I NEVER sew when I am tired ever since!
    I know that i have made other bloopers since then, but that is the one that sticks in my mind whenever I make something fancy.

  3. Not a mistake I made, but one I remember from childhood: the dress was intended for an unusually thin child. The pattern was bought according to chest circumference only. The day it was finished it was too short ( I think the adult doing the sewing stopped sewing after that). Many years later my children were also very thin so I checked the length as well as the girth, and got into the habit of lengthening the patterns I was using. When my daughters needed flower girl dresses I got a suitable pattern , cut out one dress, sewed it up and realized the neckline was much too wide. Since I didn’t have enough fabric to re-cut the bodice, I filled it in with another ruffle. (there were ruffles at the hem, cuffs etc.) I redrafted the bodice for the other dress. Years later I took the pattern, lengthened it, and made them more dresses. They were getting taller, not wider. Another time I made a sleeveless dress for myself and had the shoulder edges high enough to get sunburned right at the shoulder top! When I sew an inset pocket I triple check the placement, stitching and alignment before I cut it open; I don’t want to mess it up!

  4. I’ve only been sewing for a few months, so I make little mistakes all the time. The biggest (and most obvious) one though was when I was making a pair of pants and sewed the waistband on upside down. It was my first time working with elastic and putting on a waistband, and I was so proud that I’d managed to do it and it looked great. Until I looked closer and saw the raw edges on the top and fold had been sewn into the pants! Thank goodness it was a lovely day outside so me and my upsidedown pants and my unpicker spent a quality hour or so in the hammock with a cup of tea and undid the whole thing.

  5. When I first started to use a serger in our high school theatre shop, I was serging off the seam allowance of a sleeve I had just sewn in. I caught the sleeve itself in the serged seam and cut a half dollar size hole in the sleeve. Had to remove the sleeve and remake another one Luckily, I only 25 “Annie” dresses to make. The worst mistake I made was serging the seam allowance off a male costume for “Pirates of Penzance”. It was made with popcorn gathered satin. The way it had been cut out, 2 pieces of popcorn were at the same location. My seger literally blew apart when it hit both of the popcorns. Needless to say, that mistake cost $114 to fix. Whenever I cut that type of material out, I make sure the popcorns never fall within an inch of another one.

  6. I finished a hostess gown for my mother on Christmas Eve. It was made with whipped cream fabric so I french seamed all of it. Christmas morning when she tried it on the sleeves were set-in inside out. Thank goodness for seam rippers. I was 16 years old then and many years have passed but that was my worst mistake.

  7. I was making a jumper for a friend and the fabric had a collie on it. I had looked and double checked that I had the pattern going the right way since it was a one way print. Got the bodice attached to the skirt.Put in the facings and started to hem it when my husband came in and asked me did I know the dogs were upside down on the skirt. I had attached the bottom of the skirt to the bodice. I had to get out the ol’ seam ripper. I try to be very careful now when working with one way prints.

  8. I often say that working with fabric is similar to working with children – except that when you properly plan with children and give them structure and discipline, oftentimes they will actually do what you say.
    Recently, I was making a set of jersey shirts for a client that reduced me to tears. I never did figure out what I was doing wrong (bamboo rayon jersey), but they shredded at the slightest provocation. However, the most hilarious of the mishaps was that on one shirt I put a sleeve on upside down (three times) and once, then I put it in the neck hole. At that point, I had no choice but to just walk away from the shirt laughing. Those were all firsts for me.

  9. I am on disability for chronic migraines. Between the migraines and the medications, my brain has been fried! I can’t begin to count the stupid things I’ve done.

    I think the worst was when I was making a linen shirt and pants set for a client (kind of an ashram type outfit). First, I sewed one of the pckets to the back seam of the pants. Upon discovering my error, I ripped it out and promptly proceeded to sew both pockets to the bottom of each pant leg!

    I am ALWAYS sewing something in upside down or inside out. It has become something, I can count on, and I have to allow extra time for both unexpected migraines., and correcting all my errors! So frustrating!

  10. My latest error was serging the armsye cap on a tailored shirt. I was going too fast and nipped the sleeve itself. This now got patched followed by embroidery. There was a good lesson for me, remove the blade for serging those sewn seams!

  11. I once sewed a zipper in the wrong seam of a pair of shorts. When I tried them on, they pooched out in front, couldn’t figure it out until I asked my sisters, who of course were more than happy to tell me the problem. LOL!

  12. I just made my husband a pair of fleece pajama pants…with one of the pockets on the back seam instead of the side. He told me he didn’t think it would be very handy back there!