10 Mistakes Every Apparel Sewist Will Make

10 Mistakes Every Apparel Sewist Will Make

Have you ever wondered why it happens to you? That moment you sit down to your machine to complete that super-fast thirty minute project and it somehow becomes a three hour project. I spent several hours on an infinity scarf once, it only had two seams. How is that even possible? For me, it was an issue of plaids not lining up and being slightly OCD, but sometimes it is just a total brain fart. (Sorry, I really thought that was the best word here.)

The truth is that we make crazy mistakes all the time. I like to think that there are two types of sewists in the world, the ones who have made these mistakes, and the ones who are going to make them. No one is safe!  I’ve made a list of the “Big Boo Boos” that make us want to pull out our hair, scream profanities, and sometime cry when we do them.

10 Mistakes Every Apparel Sewist Will Make

#1 Stitch A Sleeve on Inside Out

I’m going to be guilty of all the mistakes on this list, but this is one I’ve probably done more than any of the others. I swear I double and triple check before I put my fabric to the machine. I mentally scream profanity when this happens and then blame it on my machine. If it doesn’t stop doing this stuff, I’m going to toss it out for an upgrade.

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#2 Sew a Skirt to the Wrong Side of a Bodice

Sewing a skirt to the wrong side of a bodice is a total bummer. This mistake is amplified when you topstitch the seam allowance before you realize you have screwed up. This usually happens to me when my husband asks when I’m coming to bed and I holler down that all I have left to do is sew the skirt on and I’ll be done in 10 minutes. AHH! Then I realize what I have done. This is when I go ahead and plop down with my seam fix (read about that here) and turn on some Netflix. Really, I should call it SeamFlix or RipFlix with how often I watch and rip at the same time.

10 Mistakes Every Apparel Sewist Will Make

#3 Catch Your Fabric in Your Serger Knife

You are completely finished with your project and on the last run of the serger your worst sewing nightmare occurs. Your serger knife cuts a section of your fabric that somehow snuck in under the knife. This is not a curse words type of event. Break out the tears and throw in the towel for another day. I know a hundred people will say to patch up that hole with a few stitches and plop a fabric flower or something similar over top. My heart just can’t accept that as a fix. It is O-V-E-R, over.

#4 Iron the Wrong Side of Fusible Interfacing

Do you iron in a dark basement or bonus room of your house? In these dark spaces it is hard to make out the fusible side of interfacing versus the right side. Scrubbing fusible interfacing off my hot iron is not my preferred past time, so I try to keep this to a minimum. I haven’t managed to do this with my newest iron, so knock on wood that I don’t do that this week. What is the best way to get that gunk off anyway?

#5 Sew a Neck Binding with the Seam in the Front

I just made this mistake last week. It was on one of those fast projects that should be quick to whip up until you are unpicking a wrapped neck binding that has been serged, wrapped, and then top-stitched with a twin needle. Grr… That crew neck suddenly became a scoop neck. I’m a designer and didn’t even know it. I think this mistake probably happens more often to the sewist in general than the other ones I’ve mentioned. I feel like I see people share this mistake often. Have you done it?

10 Mistakes Every Apparel Sewist Will Make

#6 Cut Through Your Buttonhole Stitches

For goodness sake, stop using your seam ripper to open up your button holes! I swear this is the culprit to our demise. Putting the pins in the ends of the button hole so you don’t go too far didn’t fix my issues. I sometimes snag seems in the center of the buttonhole too. Instead, I use Fiskar Micro Touch scissors (affiliate link) with the spring opening. I feel like I have more control over my hands with this and so much more success.

#7 Cut Two Pieces Instead of One on the Fold

Yap, I don’t know about you, but I only do this when I have just enough fabric to complete my project without any screw ups. I’ve made it better by adding some fabric in the center, piecing it together, and then calling it a design feature. Really, we could try to fix a lot of these mistakes by implementing a designer feature.

#8 Sew a Hem or Seam Without Bobbin Thread

This is a mistake that is easily laughed off, but done often. In fact, I did sew and entire skirt hem this week without bobbin thread. I feel the same way about threading my bobbin as I do stopping for gas. I don’t like to take the time to do it. It slows me down. Because of that, I never completely fill the bobbin (or my gas tank for that matter) because I don’t want to wait for it. Do you see how this could cause a problem. Not filling it then causes me to have to come back and fill up more often. It is a horrible cycle!

10 Mistakes Every Apparel Sewist Will Make

#9 Snip Your Thread When Notching Curves

Guilty! This has happened to me. It is super frustrating. This could probably be paired up with the buttonhole mistakes. Of all the examples listed, this is one I think about every time I’m working. I don’t want to have be the one restitching to try to make something come out right.

#10 Melt Your Fabric with a Hot Iron

We like steam. To have steam in our irons, we need our irons to be HOT, HOT, HOT. This is great on sturdy cotton and linen selections, however on less stable pieces you may have experienced melting your fabric with your iron. I also think my husband does this fairly often on his clothing as well, then he leaves the residue on the iron to share it with the next thing that I am working on. Always check your iron before using it. You never know what could be stuck to it before you put your iron to your fabric!

So, these are the big mistakes everyone makes. Are there any you haven’t done? Do you have a story to share about a major boo boo? Be sure to share it with us so we can bond. Even if you cried over it the first time, you can laugh now while helping to keep others from doing the same. 

This post is written by Cassy Gobin of Pear Berry Lane Blog. Wife, mother, teacher, and sewing enthusiast.