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The biggest mistake ever


This doesn’t look too bad. It’s my take on the pocket of the StyleArc Talia pants. The instructions are minimal, there are instructions on their website but I was not sure it would look good. So I decided to make a “window pane” construction. After I had done all the work I was wondering why the pocket bags didn’t meet the center front, they did in the paper pattern…..

Turned out I’ve sewn the pocket in the back pattern pieces. The BACK!!
In the many years that I sew I’ve made every mistake you can think of. But this one made me think I’ve gone mad. Bet you never did this!

How did this happen? A week ago I cut this pair of pants to quickly sew it up without the pocket to have my daughter try it on. So I did not cut the front with the ‘indent’ for the pocket but just cut a straight line. Both for ease of sewing and for the fact that I was not sure about the construction in the instructions. After my daughter had tried it on and I marked the few adjustment necessary,  I just opened part of the seams to construct the pocket, thinking I would serge the seams later on. I must have been too tired and didn’t notice I was working in the back pattern pieces.

After the initial disappointment (and being very angy with myself, also doubting my ability to sew) I’ve cut the pocket part off and changed the back to have a shaped yoke. The pocket will be a traditional inseam pocket probably. I promised my daughter to make her these pants, if it would have been for myself I’d probably tossed it in the bin yesterday evening.

Tell me about your worst mistake, let me know I’m not alone in doing something stupid!


  1. I cuta pocket facing out of the middle of the back piece.Urghhh!!

  2. I was trimming a seam on the neckline and cut a hole in the fabric, right in the front!! and then, I did it again at the armhole...Learned my lesson, don't cut when I'm tired.

  3. Just a few weeks ago, I very carefully inserted pocket bags into the side seams of a pair of elastic-waist, wide-legged trousers. I French-seamed the pocket bags, and then French-seamed the side seams.

    I tried on the garment, only to realize that I had very carefully inserted the pockets NOT into the side seams near the waistline on each side of my body. Instead, I had very carefully inserted the pockets into the inseams, near my ankles, upside down.

    Thank goodness for the wide legs -- was able to salvage the project by shaving off some width in the legs, along with the pocket bags -- which I then inserted into the proper place on the trousers.

  4. Reading this makes me feel better. I thought I'd lost my sewing senses when I sewed a dart so the uptake (flap) was on the outside. THREE times in a row. I blame it on late night sewing...and no wine was involved! (And my darts are really big, so no, it could not be turned into a design detail.)

    I am, a little, getting better about pausing before stitching or cutting to make sure it's OK to go. It's only taken me how many decades to learn that lesson?

  5. I put the same zipper in the same dress (CB, invisible zipper) INSIDE OUT twice. TWICE. I put it in, it was perfectly lined up with seams, etc. and then I ripped it out. Then I did the EXACT same thing again. Those seams were pretty beat up by the time I got the zipper in the correct way.

  6. After carefully deciding which way was up and down on a lovely fabric, I carefully cut the back out upside down to the front. The pattern marches over my shoulder...
    That's merely the most recent!

  7. Actually I did something similar with my current project, sewing one hip pocket so it ended up on the right side of the pants. It took a good seam ripper and some luck to have it undone and sewn properly. It happens, all it takes is a moment of distraction.

  8. It is so helpful to know one is not alone. I had a wrap dress all cut out except for the pockets. So I picked up a piece of fabric and cut pockets out of it. You know what happened, right? I cut the pockets out of the piece that was to be the top skirt wrap. So I filled the space with a fusible interfacing sandwich and made the underlap the overlap instead. I wore it for years anyway, and every time I put it on it was a little reminder to check that that "extra" piece of fabric is, in fact, not a cut out pattern piece. I haven't made THAT mistake again, at least.

  9. My mother always told me: "Never sew or cut out when you're tired". My mistakes – too many to think about, too many to mention even after eons of sewing. This has given me a good laugh to realize I'm not the only one. Hitting my forehead. Saying: "Doh!" Glad you were able to salvage the pants. The fabric and colour is great.

  10. I inserted an invisible zipper, really beautifully, near darn invisible. It looked great, but then it turned out to be in the centre back split of the hem of the skirt and I had to very carefully unpick it and insert it in the correct place as it was the only one I had in that colour. That was also annoying.

  11. After all these years, no decades of sewing, I am still perfectly capable of sewing inseams together for pants so I end up with a skirt with a pointy crotch. Another one I love perennially is switching sleeves. I try hard to cut only when well rested so I make fewer fatal mistakes, but I still end up deploying buckets of creative fabric pairing to compensate for what I inadvertently hacked to bits. Really, you are NOT alone ��

  12. My most recent mistake was sewing the waistband on backwards. I didn't discover the mistake until I had all of the legs seams sewn up and was attaching the elastic to the back of the pants. Needless to say, I did a lot of seam ripping and resewing. Luckily it wasn't a place where something is cut off. Last year I attached the pocket bags on the wrong sides of the pants and thus on the wrong side of the fabric. I didn't discover the mistake until I had already trimmed away the seam allowance. Some very careful seam ripping and sewing ensued after that mistake. Now I very thoroughly inspect before trimming any seam allowance!

  13. Don't be too hard on yourself. I too, when tired, sewed a collar on backward and could not figure out why it did not sit right. Also, when I give myself a deadline, you can be sure there will be some ripping. Your blog is always very inspiring.


  14. Hi Sigrid,

    Je blog was ik kwijt dus ik lig flink achter. Leuk dat jij ook soms een superfout maakt. Bij mij is het regelmatig gebeurd dat ik verkeerd lock en in de broek of jurk snij. Vreselijk en meestal onherstelbaar.



  15. I sewed the neck facing before inserting the collar- dumb-dumb-dumb! It was late night sewing and I seam ripped mare than I sewed. :o( And it was such an easy pattern!


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