Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Epic failure... or I-learned-a-lot success?

Ugh! I hate projects from which I learn a lot, aka I messed up a ton, although I should get used to it (it happens more frequently than I'd like to admit).

So my little man had his 4th birthday a few weeks ago, and I knew I wanted to do something special for him. He's just gotten into make believe and dressing up (not to the extent of his girl friends, but you know). I made him a super cape (his term, "super kate,") a few months ago and he loves it.

Now he's very big into Disney's little pirate cartoon, so I thought I'd make him a vest and bandana like the main character on the show. It started out simple enough... I used one of his shirts to cut out my pieces: two backs and four fronts, so I could fully line it.

But I haven't made a vest before, and let's just say the way I thought it would work in my head was SOOOO not the way it needs to actually work. I started putting it together and that's when things started to fall apart (only figuratively). PS- Don't start sewing sides and shoulders and arm holes like you would a shirt if you're lining it. Doesn't work...

I HATE unpicking things, but it never fails -- almost every sewing project I do with a pattern, I end up misunderstanding something, sewing it the wrong way and having to unpick my seam. My seam ripper and I are good frenemies...

With this project, I unpicked, a LOT. And here's what's stupid: One of my favorite craft blogs has an excellent tutorial on doing a lined vest. I had read it a couple months ago, but didn't take the time to go over and reread it before I started my project. Could have saved myself a lot of time. Booooooo....

So I guess the moral of the story here could be to really do your research/double check the pattern at the beginning of your project. As I kept unpicking the arm holes, then unpicking all around the vest, I just kept thinking to myself, "Epic failure..." Also, if you get tempted to just throw the whole thing in the garbage, with a lot of angry force, just remember it can be salvaged, albeit with some unpicking. I'm glad I finished it.

But enter the hero of our story: Bias tape! I've been on a bias tape kick lately, and I was already planning to use it for this project, but it really saved me this time! I ended up unpicking all the edge seams, and I had already trimmed and clipped my material to lay flat in the collar corners and around the neck. So my serger smoothed things out for me and I serged all the outer edges, (you wouldn't normally need it with the bias tape) -- it trimmed it all up nice where I had clips, etc. Much easier to work with.

Yeah, bias tape is pretty awesome, and it made my little pirate vest look just right and covered my crazy edges. I added some gold buttoms and YO HO HO! My birthday boy is a pirate!

Aaaarrrgh! I wanted to share this tutorial, but I did it all wrong. So make me walk the plank... If you want a vest tutorial, head over to that blog I mentioned earlier and search her tutorials -- hers is much better! I will, however, be sharing a tutorial for my bias tape cape in my next post. :)

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