While decluttering my room recently I found some pretty horrible things. Crimes against sewing I scarcely remember committing. So I figured I should document them here before I cannibalized them for the useful bits.
This first one is a blue waistcoat I made without doing any research into how shawl collars work. Or rather, a waistcoat I mostly made and gave up on when I realized it could never be wearable.
|After taking this picture I cut the silk bits off and saved them.|
I do still like the embroidery I did on the collar, but I think the print really takes away from it. If I were to make it again I would not use a print.
I think this "coat" was one of my first sewing attempts ever. (Not counting the tiny hand stitched felt things I did in Elementary school) I have sketches of it from 2011, though no photos of the thing itself in its entirety.
|A lot of actual fabric scraps were painstakingly represented here.|
Sadly, this looks pretty decent compared to the coat I ended up "making".
|I stuck a teacup on one of the patch pockets|
and I'm pretty sure the teacup fabric was old bedsheets.
|Garbage fabric that has finally been returned to the garbage.|
|There's a tiny little brown cotton pocket bag in there.|
I still want to make something out of scraps, but when that happens I'll do it very differently. I got rid of most of my synthetic scraps, and when I sew my nice natural fibre remnants into something I will sew them together nicely.
My first actual attempt at patterning & sewing a coat is another thing I don't have a picture of, but I do have the sketches from around that time!
I made it when I knew absolutely nothing about patterning, and so of course the seam placement was awful. My sketchbook also included a drawing of the terrible pattern pieces.
|I had made the pattern by cutting up the aforementioned lab coat|
along whatever lines I felt like and then tracing the pieces.
I sewed it up in a horrendous polyester drapery fabric, which was thick and scratchy and frayed a huge amount. It had nice black & gold stripes though. This was also before I had gotten it through my head that lining should be slippery, especially linings in things with fitted sleeves. So it was foolishly lined in a brown plain weave cotton. It also had no interfacing anywhere.
|I was a lot worse at painting then too.|
I don't know what happened to the coat. I'm pretty sure I never finished it. I assume I must have cut it up to use the lining fabric for something else, because all I found was the outer part of the collar.
|At least I got the stripes more or less centred.|
Update: I found it! It was in a box of horrible fabric and scraps that I'd misplaced and forgotten I had. The lining was missing, and it still had the collar, so that other collar mush have been a failed first attempt.
|Look at all that fraying!|
|Those back seams... ugh, no.|
I can recall 3 early attempts at making cotton shirts, one of which I finished.
The back, sleeves, and ruffles are made of a fine cotton, while the rest appeared to have been made out of yellowed and slightly flannely old sheets. The cuffs are tremendously bulky. I'm pretty sure the collar and cuffs were interlined with more futon cover fabric. I hadn't yet learned that late 18th century shirts didn't have any sort of interfacing.
|It didn't match at all in colour, or weave quality.|
And why did I put the nice cotton piece on the back??
I think this purple waistcoat was the second one I ever made. (The first was a big shiny brown thing made of 3 different drapery fabrics, which I don't have any pictures of.)
Once again, it isn't interfaced. The back is the same fabric as the front, and I made 2 rows of buttonholes because I didn't know how to do double breasted stuff. The brass buttons are all the same size, but are 3 different designs because I didn't have enough of any one.
I think the biggest problem with this one is the pattern. Especially the lapels. I also put bust darts in, even though I hated doing bust darts. In the next 2 waistcoats I tried doing princess seams in the front but I hated those too. It took me quite a while to figure out it's the bust itself that I hate.
|I wore it quite a lot in my late teens, along with the horrible sheet shirt, |
and thought myself very smartly dressed at the time.
I also stab stitched the entire binding on, which cause my fingers a great deal of pain and left very visible stitches. Nowadays I do bias binding with a very small slipstitch or whipstitch.
|Also, note the spacing of the eyelets.|
The pattern didn't have them all the way to the bottom, so I added more later.
I have since given it away at a clothing swap.
I'm including a picture from this post because I don't have any better pictures of my first shirt, which was also the first garment I ever made. It was for a grade 11 sewing class. I did well on the assignment, but it was not a good shirt. It was made of silk (NO! Bad bad bad shirt material!), made from a commercial pattern (Circular ruffles! 2 piece collar! THE HORROR! And such a wasteful pattern compared to historical ones.), and the edges of the ruffles were serged (SO MUCH WRONG!). I think it wore out pretty quickly, which is precisely why you do not make shirts out of silk.
|At least there's nothing wrong with the red cravat thing.|
Have you got any early sewing horror stories? Might you be persuaded to post about them? (If so, please leave a link in the comments so I can see them!)