Giving Up On A Project And Other Musings

Giving Up On A Project And Other Musings

I had originally planned a whole other post for this week, but then I listened to my gut instinct and stopped what I was working on to change tack completely. So here we are…

Giving Up On A Project…

Let me explain.

Let’s backtrack to a week ago when I rummaged through my stash and found some offcuts of fabric and some leftover scraps from this tee, and an idea was born. I wanted to make a top and put some applique on it using the brightly coloured print scraps.

I looked around in my patterns and then online and ultimately I ended up buying the PDF of DP Studio’s Le 514 top. I was all keen at this point. 

I cut everything out, did a fitting (which was kind of ok but not perfect…maybe the first alarm bell should have rung at this point?) and then proceeded to plan the applique. 

I then cut my fabric scraps, tested out the applique settings and did the applique (which actually turned out pretty well). 

After doing all of this I tried the top on again and it just wasn’t fitting quite how I wanted it to. Due to lack of fabric, I’d made the facings using interfaced lining…but these seemed stiff too.

I still carried on a little bit more battling with the fit and trying to make the insides look nice but a nagging doubt started to creep in. I wasn’t overly happy with the finish and when I tried it on once more I looked at myself in the mirror…and quite frankly the top did nothing for me. I realised that the colour combination really wasn’t me and neither was the shape. 

I stopped and thought “you know what? It’s really ok to call it a day and throw in the towel right now. There will be other better projects that I’ll love more” So I stopped there and then and dropped it in the bin. Oh, the relief!

*** I’m editing at this point to say that a couple of commenters were absolutely right and It’s wrong and wasteful to just bin something. Luckily the top pieces are still in my little sewing room waste bin and they will be donated on for recycling, not sure why I didn’t think about H&M, but it’s been a good while since I took anything there****

So that was that. But what next?

Well, I turned my attention to three tops that I’d recently made. The motivation for this was Me Made May which recently got started on Instagram. I expect you’ve heard of it. It’s something that’s been a part of the IG community for many years and has always been hosted by the SoZo blog. Everyone’s focus for the month is a little different, but basically, we can use the month of May to assess our memades, try new ways to style them, start projects we’ve been meaning to try, and assess our wardrobes as a whole.

Anyway, I needed to make some adjustments to my three tops so after my recent no-go project and before starting something new, that’s just what I did.

First up was the tank top from this twinset. This was an easy fix. All I did was lower the neckline at the front by about ¾”. I just felt like it was gagging me a smidge and now it’s done it feels a lot better.

Next up was my Alek rib top. I guess the wide neckline just wasn’t for me because it still felt a bit bare. I think I just prefer more coverage. My fix was really easy…I had some rib left and simply added a filler piece all the way around from one side to the back neck and round to the other side. It’s a little narrower just around the back of the neck and I actually think it looks pretty good and is a design feature 🙂

Giving Up On A Project And Other Musings

And finally, the Vikisews Terry top that I made in a wool jersey. It turns out that I was never very keen on that cutout section or the too-high neckline. I’ve totally remodelled it and it’s now asymmetrical with an added curved insert on one side. So much more me! 

Giving Up On A Project And Other Musings

I’m feeling ready to get going on some new projects now and with my birthday imminent it’s no surprise that some lovely new fabrics are on their way to me. Get ready for some prints and pops of colour along with my classic light-toned Summer neutrals.

And that’s it from me for this week. A shorter post but a friendly reminder that it’s ok when a project doesn’t work out. It’s just all part of the learning process. Care to share your experiences in the comments?

See you soon!

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  1. Vicki Maiorano
    May 8, 2022 / 12:21 am

    Good job in changing the tops to fit you better. I like them better too 😀

    • Diane
      May 8, 2022 / 2:03 pm

      Thank you, Vicki. Yes, they’re much more me now, glad you like them.

  2. Brenda
    May 8, 2022 / 12:35 pm

    Very creative solutions for your tops and they turned out beautiful. Sewing gives us special “powers”.

    • Diane
      May 8, 2022 / 2:03 pm

      Thank you, Brenda. Yes, it really does!

  3. May 8, 2022 / 2:37 pm

    I too love what you did to make your three tops “more me”! I enjoyed this post very much. I returned to sewing on my 60th (happy upcoming birthday!) 7 years ago and I’ve learned so much in the past 7 years I could write volumes and for sure some of it has been learning when to toss in the towel on a project that just seems to go from bad to worse, and when to revisit a problem that just requires a pinch of imagination, a determination to fiddle a bit and an hr or 2 investment and voila! the garment is a delight we wear again and again. I just finished a top yesterday that was intended to become a dress but it turned out too short and the fabric too light 🙂 I highly recommend this pattern by the way – honestly it was one of the best patterns I’ve worked with! The Sew House Seven Remy Raglan Top. Every part of this project came together to perfection. My first was in an inexpensive rayon (I have several beautiful silks burning a whole in a proverbial stash pocket 🙂 and I am determined to sew a few of these up this year) as a practice run for fit and suitability. A “potentially wearable muslin”. Now I have another cut out of a remnant silk that’s going to be gorgeous 🙂 I might even make another I like this top so much!

    • Diane
      May 9, 2022 / 9:26 am

      I’m so pleased that you enjoyed reading my musings Kathleen, thanks!
      Ooh, thank you for the recommendation of that pattern. It’s actually the kind of thing I’m looking for in an easy summer top 🙂

  4. Heather in Colorado
    May 8, 2022 / 4:39 pm

    Hi Diane, thanks for the post – I’ve been looking at the DP pattern since it is such a favorite of Tany, and I like the extended shoulder, square hem with side slits and other features. I try to recognise when I should quit a project but am not always successful! 😊
    Your revamped tops are great! Inventive changes.

    • Diane
      May 9, 2022 / 9:22 am

      Thanks, Heather.
      I know, I’ve seen Tany’s version of the 514 and I do still like the pattern. I think I chose a fabric that was too heavy and I seemed to go off track somehow and get the fit wrong for my protruding shoulder blades…Oh for a lovely flat back!

  5. Joan
    May 8, 2022 / 5:25 pm

    Great fixes, Diane! Would love to see the last asymmetrical neckline T in a future photo, just to see how it looks on. I thought the original style was lovely-looking, but that is rather different than “I’m comfortable in it and feel attractive in it”!

    For your first project from last week’s twinset: did you trim essentially from the shoulder forward and leave the back neckline as is, or did you choose to lower the back neck a bit, too?

    Did not know that you are a May girl (as am I) — Happy Birthday in advance!

    • Diane
      May 9, 2022 / 9:20 am

      Thanks so much, Joan!
      Yes, for that tank neckline alteration I only unpicked the front from shoulder to shoulder and used a slightly longer piece of the pink knit to insert once I had lowered it a smidge. I like my high necklines to be just underneath those two little bones that are the end of my collar bone on either side of the ‘v’ bit in the middle.
      And I’m sure I’ll get a photo sometime of me wearing the pink tee for Instagram, so keep a look out.

  6. May 10, 2022 / 7:49 am

    Some great changes here, particularly that pink top. It is good when you can just let go of something that doesn’t work. I tend to finish and donate, but it would be so much easier to bin things!

    • Diane
      May 17, 2022 / 12:36 pm

      Thanks, Sue! I’ve worn the tops a lot since altering them. And actually like yourself I would normally finish a project and donate, but as Jane said I can donate to H and M and as I still have the pieces of top in my sewing room bin, I’ll do just that. (Have edited my post)

  7. Jane
    May 12, 2022 / 9:14 pm

    Definitely agree it isn’t worth persisting with a project if it isn’t right, but please don’t drop fabric in the bin, it can be recycled at local H&M shops or as “rags” with some charity shops, if it can’t be reused in another project. Sewing allows us to avoid fast fashion waste but if we can, we should ask avoid contributing fabric waste to landfill.

    • Diane
      May 17, 2022 / 12:38 pm

      I know, you’re absolutely right. It was very naughty of me and I’ve taken stuff to H and M many times. And come to think of it the top is still in my little sewing room bin so I’ll dig it out and donate.
      Ps…I just edited my post.

      • Jane
        June 5, 2022 / 12:51 pm

        Ah that’s great to hear! Hopefully you can inspire many others to do the same, particularly now H&M are taking fabric for recycling again!

        • Diane
          June 7, 2022 / 2:18 pm

          Absolutely! I took bagfuls to them pre-Covid.

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