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Can this project be saved?

Hansi | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi guys,

Here’s my sad story:

I was in the final stages of completing a lined taffeta camisole top for my daughter.  I was very pleased with the way it was fitting her and looking in general.  I spent two afternoons practicing making buttonholes on my 1957 Singer sewing machine.  I had learned many things in the course of the project, chiefly that I really really hate sewing on taffeta.  When I went to make the slit in the second button hole, I tore a 2″ hole in the project.

Before I throw the top in the kids’ dress up box, I’m wondering if I can cut out another back piece, lining and interfacing and try again.  When I lined the top I trimmed the seam allowances pretty close to the stitching.  I’ve got the fabric.  Is it worth the time to try?  And if it is, do you have any tips?








  1. SewingSue | | #1

    Hi Jay, does the whole go up the project between the buttonholes or across the body of the garment? If it goes up the garment between the buttonholes, I'd say you have two alternatives. One, make a placket to cover the entire buttonhole area and make the camisole have covered buttons. I would stitch the placket down the garment and fold the placket back over the stitching and then very neatly tack at the top and bottom. Two, cover the area with wide lace or trim fabric covering the tear. In either case mend the tear as neatly as possible first so the fabric does not fray away and weaken the entire garment.

    Personally, if I had to go to the trouble of cutting out entire new sections and then disassembling to resew them in, the project would go in the scrap bin. I don't think the fabric could handle that much handling and still have a good hand anyway.

    If you don't like the idea of lace or trim, you could make your own by sewing pintucks in some of the scraps and creating your own trim. Or possibly use some of the coordinating fabric. Best Wishes on this, you'll need it. Sue

    1. Hansi | | #2

      Thanks for the suggestion Sue.  I'm going to think about what you said because the pulling everything apart does seem a little involved.  Since I'm tired, I'm going to take a few days off from the project and see if I can deal with it better when I'm fresh.

      Again, I really appreciate your thoughts on my problem.


      1. SewingSue | | #3

        Jay, that sounds like a very smart decision. I find if I try to work on things when I am feeling tired or frustrated they normally don't come out well. But if you give it a little time and approach it fresh it will probably come together for you. Let us know what you do and how it comes out. Sometimes mistakes give you the permission to experiment in ways you normally wouldn't and your work grows because of it. Don't let this get you down it happens to all of us. Good luck. Sue

        1. Hansi | | #4

          Hi Sue,

          I just thought I'd let you know that I was able to rescue my project.  You really helped me.  Thank you very much!


          1. SewingSue | | #5

            Jay, what did you decide to do? Need details, don't leave me hanging off a cliff. Glad you were able to save your top. It's frustrating to spend your time and effort and have things go wrong. Sue

          2. Hansi | | #6

            Hi Sue,

            Well, I went with my original plan.  I

            1.  took out the section of back that was ruined

            2.  partially removed some of the stitches holding the lining in on the remainder of the garment.  I also took out the back part of the strap

            3.  Cut out new pieces and interfaced one of them

            4.  Attached those pieces  to the remaining side section.

            5.  Sewed the lining back up and realigned and sewed in the strap.

            6.  Turned it inside out.

            7.  I've decided to sew in snaps covered with decorative buttons and learn how to do a buttonhole on a more robust fabric.  :>)

            At this point you're probably wondering how you helped me, but you really did.  You said something to the effect that goofing up my garment gave me a license to be bold.  I t hought about your suggestion pretty seriously for a couple of days but as a novice sewer I don't know how to mend a rip without puckering the fabric.  I also couldn't picture how to construct the placket.  The child I'm sewing for is at the stage where she thinks being a tomboy is a great thing and likes clean lines in her clothing; I didn't think I could find or make a trim we would both like.  Anyway, something about your post made me feel really brave and I got out the seam ripper and went to town.  (It helped that the weather's been icy here for a couple of days and I had some time away from work.  The new joke here is if some kid spills a slurpee on the street we all take some time off.  :>)  )

            Again, Sue, many thanks for listenining, for your advice and for your interest.


          3. SewingSue | | #7

            Jay, I'm glad I could be of help. But as you say, it doesn't really seem like I did much for you. Sue

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