The Worst Dressmaking Mistake I’ve Ever Made

A tragedy has just occurred. I made a super silly dressmaking mistake. One that I knew I should have avoided. Here’s how it happened.

A few years ago…

I took a pattern-making class and a sewing techniques class from an experienced professor who had working in both construction and pattern drafting for upwards of thirty years. It was so exciting to be growing towards my dreams of designing and making the perfect dresses that I could never find in stores.

I asked the professor to help me fit a pattern sloper (the base used to make all other patterns) to be a perfect fit to my body. Although I’d ordered the correct size for my body, and the measurements of the pattern were listed, she insisted that we measure the pattern itself to compare it to my measurements. “Never take the measurements for granted,” she told me. I kind of listened….but I didn’t really see the point.

Fast forward to this week.

I’ve had some cheap floral fabric (thrifted sheets or curtains, I think) in my stash for almost a year, and I’ve been dreaming up a vintage floral wrap dress for ages.

This week I finally got to work. I printed a free pattern, measured myself, cut out my fabric and took my sweet time sewing the best dress bodice I have yet to create. After I put the sleeves on I whisked that bodice into the bedroom to finally try it on, only to discover…

GASP!! The dress is tiny! It may be too small for even most twelve year olds. I look at the mirror in confusion and then it dawns on me. I didn’t measure the pattern. I assumed the sizing was the same as commercial dress sizes. I relied on a free pattern and a separate standard dress size chart! I took the measurements for granted! I died a little.

BUT, I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and now I am learning from my mistakes. I hope you can too. I will never, ever, ever again cut out the dress pieces without measuring the pattern and comparing it to my measurements first. ESPECIALLY if the pattern itself doesn’t come with a size chart. But, oh the price of that knowledge. *tears*

The worst dressmaking mistake I've ever made, and how you can learn from it.

So, please, take the time to measure the pattern! It could save you a lot of trouble. However, that in itself isn’t the only lesson you should take away from this post.

I am such a perfectionist that when I make a mistake like this it can cripple me and I’ll stop sewing for fear of ruining another project.

Here’s a tip for all of us:

Learn from your mistakes! Embrace sewing errors as a way to evaluate and improve. One failed project doesn’t make you a failure.

So, what sewing mistakes have YOU made we can learn from? Come on, fess up. 😉

Love, Jess