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A case of hubris

2011 June 19
by elizabeth_admin

Have you ever gone ahead cut out a project, maybe even multiples of it, without digging out the instructions because you “knew” how to make it in your sleep?  And then have you ever thought to yourself, that you have figured out a “better” way to do it than the people who wrote the instructions, cutting out a couple of steps and “saving” yourself some valuable time?

That’s what I did recently.  It’s been a while since I made some bibs.  A friend of mine had requested two bibs for a baby boy.  So I grabbed my template and started cutting away.  I put the main fabric on top of the terry cloth, pinned the template on and cut all around.  I was feeling right smart with my self for cutting the main fabric and terry cloth together.  For not “wasting” my time tracing the template and then cutting.  Yes, I was feeling really proud of myself for coming up with great idea all on my own.

That is, until I started to sew the bib together.  At that point I couldn’t remember what the seam allowance was.  It was only then that I thought it a prudent time to check the instructions.  No seam allowance was mentioned.  That’s funny.  How could they not mention the seam allowance.  How are people supposed to know where to sew?  So I just went with a 1/4 inch SA and sewed away.

It was not until I tried to turn the bib right side out did I notice my error(s).  That template I used?  Yeah, that one.  It didn’t include seam allowances.  I had cut out my bibs on the stitching line, not the cutting line.  The template should have been used to trace the stitching line and I should have cut outside it.  Did I mention I had cut out about 15-20 of these bibs thinking I would have them ready to go as I needed them?  I have a huge scrap pile now!

Long story long, I recut my bibs and proceeded to make some very cute boy bibs using the correct cutting and stitching lines and following the directions to a “t”.  I gave them to my friend last night and I think she liked them!


The moral of the story:  Always check out the instructions before beginning any project, no matter how good a sewist you are or how many times you have made it before.  Learn from my stupidity.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. June 19, 2011

    Such adorable bibs and have done the same thing, cut and sewed a garment without referring to the instructions. Thinking why bother I have made it several times and learned the hard way.

  2. June 19, 2011

    We’ve all done similar! Without seam allowances, you can use binding to finish off those 15-20 that are in your scrap pile. Round the corners at the bottom and on the closure tabs and it will be one long “go” of binding.

  3. Darci permalink
    June 19, 2011

    You could always just sew the wadder bib pieces right sides together and finish off the raw seams with bias. All isn’t lost! (You’re super thoughtful thinking ahead like that, btw.)

    Oh, and I’ve totally done that ‘know it al’ thing before. Fortunately, the wadder became some really cute pairs of bikinis!

  4. June 19, 2011

    Those bibs are adorable! If the “wadder” bibs are as cute I hope you can find a way to salvage them.

    However, “boy bibs”?

  5. June 20, 2011

    Oh no! I’ve learnt the hard way to always write the seam allowance on the pattern. I always think it’ll be obvious but when I come back to a pattern it’s not. Cute bibs in the end, anyway 🙂

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