Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sewcation fail: defeated by a baby beanie and a broken sewing machine

I was almost defeated today by a baby beanie with a single pattern piece. But after hours of unpicking and making scale model mini beanies and finally reading other people's blog posts, I realized it wasn't my fault. I'm sure the baby in this Ottobre maga

Generally speaking, a hat pattern should allow for the insertion of a head, right? Not so this Ottobre reversible baby beanie (at least not as written).

I started off my two-day sewcation yesterday morning in high spirits, dressed in me-made maternity clothes with a mocktail in hand:

All set for my 2-day #sewcation w/ mocktail in hand & a #memade #maternity outfit (Burdastyle top I maternitized in 2010 + self-drafted half circle skirt). #sewing

I began with what I imagined would be the easiest project possible, to ease myself back into things: a gender-neutral baby jacket and hat gift set made from a repurposed cashmere sweater. I planned to appliqué a little blue felt bicycle on the jacket and line the baby hat with soft blue bamboo knit.

First #sewcation project: appliquéd cashmere baby jackets from repurposed adult-size sweaters. #sewingforbabies #sewing

I cut out both but I figured I'd start actual sewing with the baby hat, the cute little bear-eared knit "Ernie" beanie with just ONE pattern piece from the 1/2013 issue of Ottobre. WHAT COULD BE EASIER, RIGHT? I mean, I've made lined dresses and overalls and trousers and things with buttons and collars and plackets... A KNIT BABY HAT SHOULD TAKE FIVE MINUTES RIGHT?

Sorry if I am shouting. But I really can't help it.

Because TWELVE HOURS LATER I found myself unpicking THOUSANDS of tiny white zig-zag stitches out of fuzzy white cashmere sweater knit BECAUSE if you follow the Ottobre instructions in the order as written THERE IS NO OPENING FOR AN ACTUAL BABY HEAD.

Oops. My #sewcation is half over and so far my biggest accomplishment is sewing an Ottobre cashmere baby beanie together backwards. Now to unpick tiny white zigzag stitches from fuzzy white sweater knit. #sewingforbabies #sewing

I thought maybe I had just done something wrong, but I made some tiny little hat mockups (see photo at top of post) just to confirm I wasn't totally out of it... and then I searched online and found every single person who had attempted the hat had the same problem and had had to drastically alter the pattern to actually work. (Really, who'd think you'd need to read pattern reviews for a BABY BEANIE?). So I cut some head openings and resewed it together my way, and now all I have to show for my sewcation is one cute (if way too labor-intensive) little cashmere hat. I could have KNITTED it faster from scratch.

And that's probably all I'll have to show for my sewcation, since this morning the screw threads wore out in my needle clamp and now every needle I attempt to insert just falls right out with a maddening "Ping!" sound. The shop says it will take at least 10 days to repair as they are backed up.

In the meantime a friend is going to loan me her Featherweight, but renting a Zipcar and traveling way out to Queens with a broken sewing machine wasn't exactly the sewcation I had in mind. I might defer that for another day and spend today cutting out a few projects and knitting.

I think I need another mocktail.


  1. Oh I'm so sorry! That SUCKS! I hope you're able to salvage the break in some small way -- maybe do the cutting/prep for one or two projects that you're the most excited about? End it with a small win? Glad that you have a finished project at least....there are so many days that I definitely done even have a small baby hat to show for my trouble... ;)

  2. Oh man. What bum luck!! I hope you can get some groundwork - cutting, pattern altering, prepping - done for some of your projects so that it will be at least a day when you can get yourself organized and set for future projects.

    1. I did end up doing a half-fix with a little masking tape and getting out my serger... so I made a matching baby jacket too. Oh well!

  3. That is such a bummer! What poo! Hope you are able to get a bunch of stuff cut out and feel like you accomplished something...

  4. Oh my gosh. That sounds maddening. But it turned out super cute! Bet it will be even cuter on a real baby head.

  5. Oh, fudge. I hate that for you.

    Baby heads are a whole lot bigger than people who've never had a baby might believe -- a lot of them are almost adult-sized. Better luck with your next attempt. Time to take up your needles and knit, until your own machine can be repaired.

    1. Oh, it's fine. I mean the original pattern as written DID NOT have an opening at all, not that it was too small. I just cut the opening and now it is plenty big enough for a baby head.

  6. No...opening.... at all? I mean, I've had baby brain....but. aHEM.

    Confession time: I never sewed much for my babies, except for sacklike stuff made out of fleece, and a kickass diaper bag I still use as a backpack.

    I have made up for it since then.

  7. Aw... I'm sorry to hear about this! I'm impressed with your determination to get something useable, I think I would have thrown it in a drawer in tears. I hope you can do some sort of making, but even if the rest of this time is just relaxing with tasty drinks it's time well spent :)


I'd love to hear from you! But no ads please--I'll just have to delete them.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...