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Jan 10, 2018

Meet the Misses!


Friends, when you sew as much as I do -- which is almost daily -- inevitably you're going to make some things that just don't work.

You may have gone into a project with the best of intentions and the result might even be a garment that fits well and is nicely constructed and which others admire (or seem to).  But you know, deep down, that it just doesn't work -- proven by the fact that, over time, you never wear it.

The shirt up top, which combines gingham, florals, and black lace, was a true labor of love.  What it taught me, however, is that I should avoid any garment that exposes my nipples.  Also that a scalloped hem on a men's shirt -- no matter how carefully finished -- is not a win.   Still, I can't quite part with this shirt, yet.


Speaking of nipples, this clingy rayon knit shirt I made for Michael a few summers ago (below) is certainly nicely finished, and while it may not literally expose his nipples, it's just a bit too...nipply for him to wear comfortably.  It now sits in my shirt drawer.  But I don't wear it much (okay, at all).


I loved the idea of blue linen coveralls, but the Kwik Sew pattern I used, KS3389, resulted in a garment that droops, especially in linen.  I still own this garment and hope to salvage it someday, perhaps by adding an elastic waistband in back.  Right now, it's a miss.


Moving right along, I loved the idea of making a stiff black denim jacket out of a vintage 1940's men's pajama pattern (below).  The result is (predictably) boxy and stiff.  I gave this one away a long time ago, which is sad, because it had some nice details.



There is really nothing wrong with this plaid wool cape, cut on the bias.  But it's too bold a pattern and is very hard to style.  LESSON: solid colors are much more practical, as are sleeves.



Next up, no matter how awesome-looking the fabric, if the colors don't flatter you, move on.  Live and learn.


Unusual fabrics, like the shirting below that looks artfully eroded, are interesting to inspect but don't make very attractive clothes.  File under Nipply.


And now a few misses from the more distant past (one might call them the greatest hits of my misses):

Harem pants -- a very big ix-nay.


Baggy boxers -- fine until you need to get into a pair of pants.



Culottes: there are no words.


I recommend you avoid this fashion faux pas of the Fifties (below): this style shirt disappeared for a reason!



Finally, if you must wear leopard pants, avoid cherry red.


Friends, I know many of you have had your fair share of misses too.  I hope, seeing some of mine, you'll feel better about yours.  Hey, sewing involves a lot of experimentation.  If we wanted to play it safe, we'd shop at the Gap! (and maybe some of us do).

Care to share your greatest "miss"?  Jump in!

Have a great day, everybody!

54 comments:

  1. Eroded, grunge style fabrics work best with crazy seamlines, a-symmetry and raw finishes. Trying to combine them with refinement seems interesting conceptually but it leads to incongruent style results. Go whole-hog with the crazy in one piece and then combine it with something semi-polished and great accessories.

    I really love those red leopard pants, but the trick to those is to combine with charcoal instead of brown. A simple white tee, charcoal sweater, belt and boots would look so fly.

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  2. Hi Peter. Loved seeing your misses! Are there any of your more daring items that you love and wear? I’d love to see a blog post on those items. Wendy.

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  3. Your misses cheered me right right out of a cold-induced gloom. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. That Mccalls shirt was my father's favourite throughout the sixties. My mother made him several. Then he got too large. I'd love a copy. Or perhaps I could adapt a standard one. The collar was very simple though.

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  5. All I can say is that I hope I can one day find a situation in which I can use the phrase 'file under nipply'! Brilliant post!

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  6. That was fantastic! Thanks for sharing, its made my day. Cant stop smiling!
    Alison

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  7. Knit blouses, I nail one and then the rest are terrible. I have a real hard time with the neckline and shoulders. Usually they end up strangling me in front and down in back. I am making good ones but they are usually in the worst material.

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    Replies
    1. have you tried a forward shoulder adjustment? I have programmer's hunch after decades of working at a computer all day (or maybe it's old age), and need to more the back shoulder seam forward about 1/4 inch to accommodate the slight roundness and allow the front of the neck to sit in the correct position.

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  8. I ADORE that pink, blue, yellow pullover/sweater thingy. I don't know what to call it, but I love it. :)

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  9. Yes, Peter, all sewists make misses. It's hard to get rid of them but is so freeing when they no longer take up space in the closet. Thanks for sharing your misses with humor! Karen

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  10. Every effort of yours is appreciated - every one!

    Michael's nipples - the first bonus of 2018.

    Keep on! MPB is a bastion of what we all crave and delight in - unbridled creativity and a self-effacing manner.

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  11. So hard to "view" these as misses when they are so pleasing to look at! The sewing is always exceptional! It is so fun to see the interesting fabrics and fabric combos.Thanx for sharing! :o)

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  12. If you take risks as you do, inevitably some are not going to work out. One of my misses was a very nicely made ivory jumpsuit. I wore it once. I fit, it was flattering but I hated getting undressed to use the facilities. I don't much like capes. You didn't know how to style it, I can't figure out how one stays warm in one.

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    Replies
    1. What she said. Also, all those 'year of the sleeve' sleeves that won't go into the sleeves of my coat? If it's awkward to wear, or doesn't play well with the other things, it has to go. That said, I can never tell ahead of time what those things will be. Just gotta try it out. And I am grateful you took some of these ideas for a drive 'for the team'. Saved me, surely.

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    2. So true! Year of the sleeve should have been accompanied by year of the cape. I think we’re all looking at flamenco sleeves but not really wearing them - at least not in the winter outside our own homes.

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  13. I love your red leopard pants. I hope you keep them and find way to style them and wear them. They look great on you.

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  14. I've been reading your blog since its very "early days" and still love your posts and following you on this journey. Your misses offer some very sage advice, though I had to laugh at the harem pants. :-)
    Cynthia

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    Replies
    1. the only time i've seen 'harem' pants that worked were on a guide in the backcountry of Rajasthan. his were linen and coordinated with the rest of his attire, including turban. his work uniform, not a costume. Peter's looked authentic but fabric too stiff. this style is probably best left to the Rajasthanis.

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  15. Awesome. Thank you! I think that cape would suit me splendidly. ;-)

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  16. Love your bold experiments, and this reflection on ones that didn't work out. "File under nipply" made me laugh aloud in the middle of the Seattle airport.

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  17. The best thing about sewing is that you can make anything. The worse thing about sewing is that you did make everything! I think we all sew a variety of things until we determine our style or what garments work for us...the misses are just a part of the learning process. Thanks for sharing yours! And it was good to see you last Saturday!

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  18. I wonder if the two see-through shirts (lace and burn-out) might work better with a solid t underneath, either classic-white-undershirt or maybe black (to make the lace effect more subtle)? I also seriously dig the leopard pants, just not with that shirt! I second the first commenter's suggestion for a charcoal sweater.

    I would totally rock the crazy neon sweater thing, because YOLO. It reminds me of the Rugrats.

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    1. I second that suggestion. The lace shirt is actually cool and looks good on you. How about lining it with nude or black? The scallop thing pushes it over the edge though. Sorry. Maybe do something about that?

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  19. Peter - Have you ever tried nipple covers? They're self adhesive covers for women when wearing a soft bra or no bra. I have no idea how they would stick to chest hair, but they do cover prominent nipples.
    https://www.walmart.ca/en/ip/10-Pcs-Flower-Shape-Beige-Polyester-Nipple-Cover-Pad-for-Ladies-Woman/PRD42CJLTDFEPMO

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  20. I LOVE that you try things that are risky. The skinny branches of sewing are where the breakthroughs happen! It would be so boring if we just stuck to TNTs all the time. BTW All these garments LOOK great, but clearly fail a wearability test. Such is life.
    And thank you for solidarity on the nipple front. I reckon it's either ALL nipples or no nipples! ;-)

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  21. Ok; living bravely now. Love the leopard trousers, Change the shirt! Love the blue yellow pink thingy, it did make me laugh out loud too, just wear it. Somewhere neutral, like ?? An airport?i think the lace front shirt needed a plain straight hem..
    How did Alexander McQueen make his flirtations with the unwearable work?

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  22. Love the linen coveralls! Hope you can rescue them. I have made many, many misses - mainly through poor fabric choices. So frustrating when a well-made garment is let down by too cheap or just wrong fabric!

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  23. oh no! but I LOVE the blue linen overalls on you!

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  24. I love this post.....thanks so much for sharing.

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  25. I just made my first shirt, well my first anything.
    My lovely wife makes all kinds of clothing, quilts and bags etc
    She said you should try something so I did and it work out well.

    Jason in the UK

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  26. I'm sorry Peter, but the pleated white and gold culottes made me hoot!

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    1. October 8th, 2015...
      .
      .
      .
      ...(in a Madonna sing-song voice) I'm waiting!

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  27. Replies
    1. Quando, quando, quando, quando????

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  28. Oh God! Peter, this had me in stitches! I agree with everyone o of your misses; although great makes, all the elements you highlighted were spot-on. Coincidentally, I bagged up my own misses last weekend (and there were lots of them), and chucked them in the bin! Once you know your style, you know what does/doesn't work.
    Lee.

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  29. I'd say that all my "misses" have been the result of BAD fabric choices. Let's see....a "wool" pea coat that is probably 98% polyester (why, oh why can't I throw it out?!), a safari jacket made with a stretch poplin (stretch is the devil), an acrylic Finlayson sweater that pills just by looking at it (stored under a bed somewhere), a cotton / silk suit that becomes a wrinkled mess in 5 minutes (sometimes polyester is your friend). In the end they're all valuable lessons.

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  30. I agree, and strongly object to EVERY item you’ve put here... EXCEPT the linen coveralls. Distress them, roll up one leg, wear combat boots or Doc Maartens, unbutton to lower chest, wear a leather necklace and tilted leather hat or skullcap, salt and pepper stubble, an earring, one fingerless leather glove, and it works for me.

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  31. 1. My "I'll never wear this again because it is not flattering, but I spent so much time on it and it is so comfortable that I am unwilling to toss it" shirts and pants get recycled as sleepwear.

    2. File under Nipply = F.U.N.

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  32. Thanks for the morning laugh.

    Perhaps you could overdye the leopard pants with dark blue or black?

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  33. I've made my own mistakes, and must admire your willingness to keep on sewing. After a couple of Oops garments ina row, I stop sewing for a bit. Some of the fabrics that resulted in "nipply" clothing would have worked 2 sizes larger than you normally wear. I actually like the Fifties shirt you disdain, and remember having altered the pattern that resulted in a stiff denim. Capes work in low contrast patterns. The high contrast check and the size of the checks worked against you, but it was a grand experiment.

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  34. Well, first off, how marvelous to have you back here in Bloglandia. I've not yet turned into an InstaBaby, and you've been missed...

    And I really rather adore the cape.

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  35. This was honestly one of my favourite blog posts I've ever read, I laughed a LOT. Also I really appreciate seeing that accomplished sewists such as yourself also occasionally have hard fought attempts come out rubbish.

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  36. Thank you Peter! This is my favorite of all the year-end wrap-ups. It is both refreshing and encouraging to see that even the sewists I most admire end up with unhappy results from time to time. Even your misses are exquisitely made, though.

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  37. i actually rather like that McCalls shirt especially if it was in a bold pattern without the pocket think it would look so cute en ankara with bold buttons

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  38. You are so brave to show photos of your misses!!! I would never even take a photo, much less wear in public, the misses I've created. Just put in the giveaway bag.
    I could surely use that pattern for the old time men's underwear if you no longer need it!

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  39. The linen overalls, as we would say in the UK are fab, otherwise we'll sewn but er, interesting!

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  40. Please rethink the cherry red pants....if too bright, try a soak in a basin of strong tea to knock down the color a bit. Myself, I rather like them as is... different shirt?

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  41. I like the red leopard, just not with those shoes and belt! Maybe sneakers?

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  42. Hi Peter.

    Delightful post. Thank you.

    Shirt no. 1. suggestion :
    How about lining the front with acetate (or similar), black or a contrasting colour, and adding longer slimmer sleeves with a lined lace cuff?

    Susan from Dorset.

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  43. Meet the Misses! Great word play Peter! I absolutely love the haute black denim jacket and may I say, you look HOT wearing it! Love the jeans too, especially the color, guess it's just a matter of taste.

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  44. You make me laugh Peter! some fantastic misses here, particulary like the culottes! Congratulations od your wedding! I actually think that Michael looks great in that tshirt that you made him, the outline of nipples through a tshirt is sexy to me. Funny that you didn't like that shirt with the button detail at the neck; I have this exact pattern favourited on etsy as I write. My partner made me a shirt not dissimilar to this some time ago but it had four buttons and an opening that went from shoulder seam to shoulder seam, I thought it looked pretty cool. perhaps the fabric you chose was a bit too heavy? That sloppy joe made out of that funky material is pretty funny, very b52s! thanks for sharing

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  45. I'm reading this, wearing a McCalls 3087.....

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  46. Well, I like the red leopard pants. I made a shirt out of quilting cotton with with rough looking red and cream colored stripes, Christmas design. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Just remember to unfold the sleeve pleats at the cuff line before tracing and cutting out the sleeves. Oops.

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