Murphy’s Law of Sewing

I guess everyone has these projects from time to time. You manage to finish something super-complicated, everything comes together beautifully….and then you try to make something that’s supposed to be easy and everything goes wrong.

This project, for me, has been the top from the Hummingbird separates, which I’m making as part of Steph’s 30-minutes-a-day sewalong. (There won’t be pictures for most of this post, because my desktop is also not speaking to me at the moment and refuses to turn on. It’s probably just as well, given how things are going.)

This is how it’s supposed to go:
Day 1: Determine your size, gather your supplies, and trace the pattern.
Day 2: Cut your fabric.
Day 3: Test the knit stitches, sew together one shoulder seam and the neck binding.
Day 4 (today): Sew the second shoulder seam, the sleeve bindings, and the side seams.

This is how my shirt is going:

Day 1: Determine my size, gather my supplies, discover that I have no invisible zippers that are the right color to go with my skirt fabric, or even remotely close. Also, I’m completely out of hooks and eyes, as of the wedding dress. Get together the rest of my supplies anyway, make a mental note to try to get to Joann’s soon, and trace the pattern.

(Pic from Twitter)

Day 2: Spend about an hour turning my fabric every which way, consulting the sewcialists on Twitter, pinning and unpinning and repinning to figure out how on earth I should configure this knit print, and finally throw in the towel and go get ready for bed.

Day 3: Finally decide to seam both the front and back down the middle, add seam allowances, spend about another hour pinning and unpinning to try and get the motifs to match up as much as I can, cut the remaining pieces, sew the front and back halves together to get caught up, go to press the neck and sleeve bindings only to realize that they won’t work because the knit is only a 2-way stretch and I cut it the wrong way to try and make the pattern look nice, recut those pieces, press them in half as much as the fabric will allow me to, decide that I should actually practice my flute while my husband orders pizza for dinner, call it a day.

Today: Sew one shoulder seam. Pause when looper thread breaks on my serger in order to rethread. Realize that was actually only half of the shoulder seam and I didn’t interface it entirely. Fuse interfacing gook to my iron in attempt to fix this. Start to sew shoulder seam again. Realize interfacing is sticking to my presser foot, and restart the seam on my serger. Go to sew on neck binding. Realize that there is absolutely no way on earth that this length of neck binding will stretch to fit this diameter of neckline. Recut it for the third time, this time with one end on fold. Start to stitch. Decide seam allowance won’t leave me with a usable binding, since the edges are curling and in danger of developing runs in the fabric. Make that more narrow. Try to press it under. Stick more bits of shirt to other interfaced shoulder seam and have to peel off. Decide I really need a pressing ham. Decide to just press the neckline under entirely wherever this super-thin knit wants to fold and topstitch. Do so, then remember that I won’t get it looking right if I don’t sew the other shoulder and finish it in the round. Wrangle that into place, with a very messy edge at that one shoulder where I had to pick it out. Remember belatedly that I meant to reinforce that stitching, end up catching the shoulder seam in multiple places and have to rip all of that out. I hope I didn’t make holes. Husband calls to let me know he’s finally on his way home, giving me an excuse to throw in the towel. Even though I’m only done through day 3.

After all of this, the shirt had better look good.

Also, I’m not blaming Steph at all for this, because her pattern is well-thought out and the directions are explained well. It’s probably just a combination of rushing into a project before my sewing room is even entirely unpacked, recovering from wedding/honeymoon travel, waking up early every morning because the bedroom is in dire need of blackout curtains (which I have fabric for, but I’m afraid to wash it in that washer that already ate my shirt with that much yardage, so I have to wash it at my parents’ house), and just trying to settle into the routine of newlywed life.

The skirt will go better, right?


4 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law of Sewing

  1. Hey- I hear you, sometimes The Sewing just won't go smoothly… Can I help?

    –Why is the interfacing sticking to everything? This shouldn't happen at all, and it would definitely make the sewing harder. Did it melt/stick at some point? Is your iron too hot? First order of business is definitely clean the iron. There's an iron cleaner stick out there you can get, follow the instructions and it smells weird but it is effective. A simple baking soda/water paste can also be really effective.

    –Curling fabric: There's a couple of things to do here. Curly knits can drive anyone up the wall! Try spray sizing, it's like starch but not. I use “Best Press” sometimes. Anyway it stabilizes the fabric really well. Another option is to pin the curling edges of fabric together, or even baste the edges together on a binding.

    –Good call on just folding the neckline edge under and topstitching, some fabrics just need to be handled that way.

    You can do it! Your fabric is soooo gorgeous! šŸ™‚


  2. TBH, I'm not entirely sure I used the right product. It looked like fusible interfacing and was the right width, but the packaging got lost somewhere in the move!

    I ended up just doing a serged rolled hem on both the sleeves and peplum. I'll do the “real” instructions once I get my hands on a different, more cooperative knit!


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