Have you ever made something that you were extremely proud of, then had a stroke of bad luck that almost ruined your beautiful handiwork? Well, this very thing happened to me just last week. Christmas is my favorite holiday. So, naturally, I’ve been eager to work on some Christmas-y sewing projects.
My first project (and the one that almost didn’t make it) was this red, knit sweater:
This was originally an old, Christmas shirt of mine that had hardly been worn (let’s just say I don’t look good in red), but I thought it had the potential to be a super cute doll shirt.
I just love the little cats embroidered on the front!😻
So, I decided to recycle the shirt rather than leave it untouched in my closet for another year. After carefully cutting out the pieces, making sure not to damage the cat applique, I began sewing Tinker Bell a Christmas themed sweater. I did not feel good enough to sit at my sewing machine (I have Hypopituitarism and Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency), so this doll shirt ended up being one of my hand sewn projects. But that was okay because I like hand sewing. I took great pains to sew the stitches small and even and to keep the seams neatly lined up. Since I had high hopes for this garment, I really wanted it to turn out absolutely perfect.
I reused the binding that went around the original neckline of the shirt to make the collar:
I also used parts of the shirt that were already finished to make the sleeves. By doing this I was able to skip hemming the sleeves, but they still look like they are “professionally finished”. The sleeves are a tad too long, but this is easily fixed by rolling them back.
So far Tink’s Christmas Cat sweater was turning out pretty good. All it needed was a hem at the bottom and a nice closure in the back. No big deal!
Well, the bottom hem is where things started to go south. My plan had been to give the sweater a hem with two rows of stitching, similar to the sleeves. Since the sleeves are finished with a Serger (which I do not have), I couldn’t hem the bottom edge exactly like the sleeves, but I felt that I could mimic it and make it look like they were finished the same.
However, on that particular day I was struggling with symptoms of low Cortisol. Because of this, I kept having moments of total brain fog which caused me to slip up and cut too much fabric off the bottom of the sweater.
Over the next couple of hours I alternated between throwing the sweater away, then digging it back out of the trash–it was in my sewing can so the only “trash” it ever touched was a bunch of thread😉
Finally, I realized that those little cats on the front were more important to me than a perfect hem. Instead of finishing the bottom with two rows of stitches like I had intended, I made a small simple hem and accepted that this sweater wouldn’t be flawless.
Here is what the final product looks like:
In the end, I am glad I kept it…even with its imperfections.
Those cats on the front make me smile every time I see them, and that’s what matters most when you are crafting.
Creating a perfect garment doesn’t mean that every seam must be exactly aligned, that every stitch is in an even row, or that all the hems look identical. What makes the final product perfect is whether or not it makes you happy. If it does that then none of its flaws matter.
Who knew that sewing a hem could turn into such a saga!
Be sure to check back soon because I’ll have a post showing off all the Christmas outfits I’ve made for our dolls–and this sweater will definitely be part of the line-up.