Friday, 26 January 2018

If at first you don't succeed...

As a sewing blogger, or as a sewist in general, we love to show off the makes we are proud of.  The pieces where we have done our best work.
But the reality of sewing is that not everything works out. Sometimes it simply does not work out, or you are not happy with it.
Do you have an area of sewing that is currently just beyond your reach?
For me it is bag making.
I can make a lovely tote bag until the cows come home. However, when I attempt a handbag it just doesn't work out. My first attempt was so bad I didn't even photograph it! The fact that I tried to self draft it based on an existing bag probably had a LOT to do with the fail!
My next attempt was better (top right photo below). I used a free pattern by Blue Calla (see here). However, I didn't have any hardware on hand so just didn't use any. This resulted in a really "homemade" looking bag, but not in a good way. I used this bag for a little while, but don't love it.
I have just finished another bag (bottom right photo below), also a free pattern by Blue Calla (see here). I used hardware salvaged from a worn out bag. Yes, it is better than the last one but I'm still not thrilled with it. I used suede scraps & leftover fabric from my previous bag making attempt. The pattern is great, it's my execution I'm not happy with.
My garment sewing has precision & is as nice on the inside as it is outside. Why is my bag making a hot mess??? Argh! It's frustrating!
Currently, I have so little confidence in my skill that I refuse to buy a pattern. Why spend money on something I'm going to mess up?? But this defeatist attitude is not going to get me anywhere!
I'm considering trying the Necessary Clutch Wallet by Emmaline Bags.  I've seen so many beautiful versions on insta, I especially love those made in cork fabric. Or the Magnolia Mini Messenger by Blue Calla, also a chance to experiment with cork fabric!
I certainly do NOT need another bag or wallet. I just want to conquer this aspect of sewing that seems to ellude me!
Of course, I should stop comparing my attempts to the high quality professional leather bags I have. Lets be honest, I have neither the skill or equipment to come close to my Carbotti or Coach handbags!
Big sigh...I will just keep ploding along and hope for something functional that isn't a hot mess!
Is there an area of sewing that you want to improve in? Or perhaps you want to start sewing, but think you will mess it up (contact me, I can recommend fool proof patterns for beginners!)
Happy Sewing! Wish me luck!!

Xox Allison
On the left is how I want my bags to look, on the right are what I have so far.
Granted, I have neither the tools or skill to make a Chanel bag...


  1. Keep trying! If you are looking for great patterns Sew Sweetness bags are a good mix of straightforward and professional looking. You probably do have to buy the hardware though - I made a few with the wrong size hardware thinking I could get away with it and couldn't!!! Good luck!

    1. Thank you so much for the suggestion! I'll check out Sew Sweetness now! xox Allison

  2. It is super frustrating when you're trying to figure something out or conquer something and just can't, right? Ugh! Hope you can figure out this area of sewing posthaste.

    Funny you should mention at the end of your post "Or perhaps you want to start sewing, but think you will mess it up". I haven't told a soul this except my mom, but I plan to take a sewing class once I get to CA and see if I think I can make a go of it. I've been mulling it over for a long time. I fully expect myself to be a hot mess at the beginning and know I'll need to be very patient and will need to start slow and simple. But even if I could just make skirts for myself, that would be awesome! Another reason why I thought this might be a good idea is that my grandma is actually quite a seamstress. She made all 3 of her daughters wedding dresses PLUS all the bridesmaid dresses. OMG...can you imagine? She's also made a ton of other clothes over the years including several pieces for my sister and me. I figure it might be fun to try to do some sewing projects with her and learn from her.

    Anyways, long story short, I will very likely take you up on the fool proof patterns for beginners when I start.

    1. Beth!! I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to hear you're going to learn to sew!! SO happy!! A class is the best start, ans you will great support from your Mum & Gran. A lot of sewists joke that skirts are the sewing gateway drug...enjoy!! Xox Allison