sewing fail & toddler fail

i’m in a bit of a mood because in all my (two) years of sewing, i finally produced a complete, irredeemable fail. i was trying my hand at butterick 6301, a pattern for a camisole & underpants, which i had the supplies stashed away for like a year. i just kept putting it off because the idea of trying to use lingerie sliders made me feel tired & anxious. but then i accidentally bought some silk jersey that is way too sheer to make into the t-shirt i had planned. i was like, “what about a camisole & tap pants? could be cute summer jammies,” & then i remembered that i already had  camisole pattern, so.

i decided to do them up in blue tricot first, because that is the fabric i purchased for this project last year. it’s weird. my favorite color is pink but i hardly ever sew with it because i’m like, “pink is SO on the nose for me, everything i own is pink.” but i’ve been thinking that way for so long that actually almost nothing i own is pink anymore. just my towels, my comforter, & the shoelaces in my running shoes. i went through a phase ten years ago where everything i owned really was pink. i exclusively wore pink. i dyed my hair pink & had pink-framed glasses. i used to have a photo of myself at a protest in boston, chatting with some black bloc-ers, where i am all decked out in a pink t-shirt, pink cardigan, pink corduroys, pink studded belt, pink striped socks, & pink sneakers.

anyway. i graded between sizes on the camisole, which is where the fail came in. i chose a way too small size for the top. i don’t know what the hell happened. i guess i was thinking about what size i would need as far as shoulders go, but duh, it’s a fucking camisole. it doesn’t have shoulders. i voiced my concerns last night & jared was like, “too small in the boobs like in a sexy way, or in an unwearable way?” turns out it’s just straight up unwearable. & it’s such a shame, because it’s sewn really well, & a lot of the sewing was kind of fiddly. you try sewing 1/8″ elastic to stretch lace & let me know how it goes.

the underpants were also kind of a bust. the pattern said to sew stretch lace all over the place, but it didn’t say whether it should be stretched to fit or not. the only other underpants pattern i’ve ever used did use stretched-to-fit lace, & i was worried that not stretching would make the finished product too big. so i took a chance on stretching & it was the wrong choice. technically they are wearable, but honestly, they’re too small. (& not in a sexy way.)

i also sewed the tap pants i drafted a week or two ago. they were a little sad trombone, but completely wearable (& actually quite comfortable). in a perfect world, i’d like a slightly higher rise, so i think i’m going to redraft before i make another pair. i also sewed everything with a microtex needle, per butterick’s instructions, even though my instinct was to use a stretch needle. the result was lots of ugly wavy seam allowances. it doesn’t really affect the way the garments look from the outside, but it bothers me. next time i’ll go with my gut & use a stretch needle.

so. i spent an awful lot of time yesterday & today sewing & didn’t get anything out of it. except maybe a little practice sewing lingerie elastics, which is kind of useful. i still feel aggravated though. i had hoped that these would be quick palate-cleansing projects, & instead they turned into a parade of disappointments.

& ramona has been a beast lately! she’s going through a very trying phase. i think it’s called “being two” or possibly “being a child”. jared’s birthday was on saturday & it was just the worst day ever–not because of ramona. she was fine. it was just a really shitty day. we got lost in olathe for like two hours & it was just all downhill from there. & then jared’s new soccer season started on sunday, so i had to look after ramona, when weekends are usually a child care breather for me. i tried to make jared a birthday pudding (which came out delicious), but you have to whisk pudding non-stop for like half an hour if you want it to set properly & you can’t stop even if there’s a godzilla attack. ramona waited until i was twenty seconds into this project to initiate an insane screaming tantrum.

on monday, i played with her all day, read her a million books, took her to the library & the playground, etc. she repaid me by waiting until i disappeared into the basement for 90 seconds to put the laundry in the dryer & proceeded to dump an entire bag of flour all over the kitchen floor.


on tuesday, she learned how to open jared’s desk drawers & emptied them of a ridiculous quantity of pencils, dry erase markers, chewing gum, thumbtacks, & sewing kits. sh scribbled all over herself & the walls with the dry erase markers. thank god for mr. clean magic eraser. it’s just shocking how quickly this child can make a mess.

yesterday i took her to toddler gym, thinking that she would play & i might get to read a little, or at least make a to-do list or something. the whole way to toddler gym, ramona was saying, “i’m excited! i’m going to toddler gym! i’m gonna ride the bicycles! i’m gonna put my feet on the pedals! i’m gonna play basketball!” these are all activities she can pursue at toddler gym. but when we arrived & paid our dollar, she looked around & proceeded to have a screaming meltdown for TWENTY MINUTES because there were no “horsies”. (she was thinking of this carousel thing at a nearby park.) no other parents would talk to me even after ramona calmed down & went to play. i saw a few of them looking at me like i was a monster, because i spent the entire tantrum holding ramona & singing to her while she went limp & tried to throw herself on the ground, so it probably looked like i was physically restraining/abusing her somehow. ugh.

to top it off, she has started being very inconsistent with her naps. she drags out nap preparation by claiming that she wants to use her potty, but it’s all just a scam so she can play her guitar & force me to read her stories. recently she accidentally knocked my glasses off while flailing around with her sippy, & she thought it was hilarious, so now she intentionally tries to knock my glasses off with her sippy, which i hate because a) i get covered in milk, b) she gets all riled up, & c) my glasses cost $600 & i don’t want her to break them.

i need her to nap because i need a break. she wrecks the house & demands constant snacks/attention/stories/outings while she’s awake. i can’t even brush my teeth in peace. I NEED HER TO NAP.

but hey, look how adorable she is with her new wooden toy sewing machine:

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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