We recently asked some of our blogger friends the question, “What was your worst crafting disaster?” We had some great responses sharing the crafty pain and even some pictures too!! Here are the answers:
Linda of Linda Walsh Originals
Linda sent over such a long and touching story, that I decided to post her answer as its own blog post here at FaveCrafts. She writes,
I am happy to participate, but have to tell you that I’m answering with both tears of joy and tears of sorrow at a sweet remembrance of a mother teaching her daughter to sew. You see, my answer has to do with sewing which is something my beloved Mother taught me to do and she passed away this past Sunday, January 17, 2010.
We are so sorry for your loss Linda. Thank you so much for your heartfelt response.
Vanessa of Maxx Silly
Vanessa also sent over a very nice response with three crafting disasters and the lessons learned from each. I’ve also posted this as its own blog post here at FaveCrafts.
Meg of Megan Nielsen
I think my worst crafting disaster occurred when I was a teenager, and was mostly a failure of taste over execution. I found some old farmyard print sheets in my parents linen closet and decided to make myself a pair of highwaisted, bell bottoms out of them… I know… the visual is frightening. Needless to say the result was tragically hideous!! Thankfully I had a very stylish and conscientious mother who in no-uncertain terms banned me from ever wearing them out of the house… Every time I make a pair of pants I remember that pair, and am so very grateful that I had my wonderful mom to save me from eternal embarrassment!!
Alicia of Alicia Kachmar
Oh, I have a great answer! I made some fabric “hand warmers” from Martha Stewart. Well, the short of it is that they blew up in the microwave. Many people had the same experience, see here: http://sassypriscilla.typepad.com/sassy_priscillas_craft/2007/12/martha-stewart.html. Basically you sew little rectangle pockets and you fill them with pie weights. Then she says to put them in the microwave for 5 minutes…after about 3 minutes it started a fire! Nothing less but charred fabric and the pie weights. They removed the how-to from the website…
Terri of Terri Sproul
My disaster happened just the other day. I put out a project to dry and my neighbors chicken came and ate it!
Ellen of Go Crochet
My worst crafting disaster was failing to do a gauge swatch on a cardigan sweater. I don’t know why I didn’t bother to measure while I stitched happily along. It wasn’t until the sweater was complete, with buttons on, and I tried it on, that I realized the sweater was at least 4 sizes bigger than I am. I couldn’t give the sweater away. I ended up cutting off the buttons and unraveling the whole thing. Lesson learned.
Cynthia of The Sewing Dork
Several years ago my husband needed a pioneer costume for a historic project and I said, “Heck, I could sew that up in a heartbeat.” Apparently I over-estimated my ability to read a pattern. The shirt practically had three sleeves, and we are still laughing about the pants all these years later. The fly of the pants ended up being about four inches wide (as opposed to the one inch fly on real pants). I’d been up all night before the big event sewing, so I didn’t say anything about the fly until my unsuspecting husband got to the project site and went to work. All the spectators were eyeing his pelvis and laughing.
Elise of Betani’s Bureau
A couple years ago, I decided I wanted to jazz up our boring little kitchen table. For almost 3 months, the table sat in the garage as I sanded, primed, painted, repainted, resanded, ad nauseum, and we ate our meals off of TV trays in the meantime. Finally, one early autumn evening, everything was perfect, and it was time to move it from the detached garage back into our upstairs apartment. As I tried to manuever it down the sidewalk and into the front door, I DROPPED THE TABLE. Now it sports a large gouge that won’t settle back down no matter what I try!
Erin of Schlossers Unscripted
Thinking of DIY disasters, Erin just had to share a baking disaster with the accompanying, horrifying photo. The photo below was supposed to be orange rolls. You can read all about her baking disaster here.
Tina of T Stitches and Crafts
I spent the extra money and purchased two quality t-shirts. I washed and dried them before starting my project. I spent hours using fabric paint to create my special t-shirts. My boyfriend and I wore them on the first day of our vacation. When I washed them for the first time I did all the things you should do to wash delicate items. When I took them out of the wash all the fabric paint had come off the tshirts! I wanted to scream… I wanted to cry! I had worked with fabric paint hundreds of times before and had no problems. I did everything right I thought to myself. What went wrong? I used a different brand of fabric paint! The pretty colors tempted me to stray from my regular brand! Needless to say I have never bought anything other than my Polymark Fabric Paint since that day. I was heartbroken that all my hard work literally went down the drain! Thank You For Listening… Tina 🙂
Helen of Http Design
I had an idea for a minibook for a magazine commission – it was to use a rolodex and cover it then make the pages out of the cards. I had thought about this for months, it was a total go! I spent about a half hour at the office supply store deciding on the ‘just right’ rolodex container to use.
Bought it home, chose some great papers and started to decoupage it. As I worked, it kept looking worse and worse. I’m used to things looking worse before they look better so I soldiered on. This piece, however, had other ideas. It kept getting worse. There’s this little nagging thing that goes on in my head when I am working that says “is this really as bad as it looks?” and usually I can shut it up because I know it will look wonderful in the end. It kept niggling at me and eventually it started shouting, hands waving and demanding I listen, Yep, it was pretty damned awful. It took a lot of effort to finally admit that there was only one place for this piece and that was the bin – but it was a huge relief to dump it and start afresh with a new idea.
Now, in my studio, it’s the litmus test for a project – it is as bad as the Rolodex Fiasco? Yes – it hits the bin, No – there’s still hope for it.
Louise of LuluLolly Legs
Goodness there’s probably been a few crafting disasters in my crafting history. The first one that springs to mind occurred in secondary school when I was about 16 years old. We did a weekly textiles class which was my favourite subject! I was making a dress with a large and detailed embroidery on the front that took me quite some time to complete. Once done I jumped up and ran over to the iron to press it and somehow scalded the fabric right down the side of the embroidery. I was completely devastated!! The teacher helped me repair the damage but I have always been slightly apprehensive when it comes to ironing things!
My mother would probably tell you that my biggest crafting disaster was during the ’80’s when I sat at her lovely dining room table and covered a photo album with fabric. Unfortunately I didn’t put anything on the table to protect it and put glue everywhere!!!
And I guess there’s a pile of unfinished disasters along the way – sewing with velvet was never successful, roman blinds were definitely beyond me and I’ve cut holes in a few places that I shouldn’t!!
Jessica of Oh So Happy Together
I would have to say one of my craft disasters I remember is trying to sew my daughter one of those pettitcoat skirts (you know, the real fluffy poofy ones?). Well, I was new to sewing and figured I could use some chiffon I found at the store, which was not the recommended nylon chiffon. I tried to sew that stuff and it frayed everywhere so bad!! I was also having a hard time ruffling it. It was a mess and such a waste of fabric. I think I cried because I was trying to make it for my daughter’s first birthday and didn’t have much time. I didn’t sew anything for a bit after that. I was totally intimidated. I have since learned and become wiser and plan to try it again one of these days. This time, I will use nylon chiffon 🙂
Erin of Patchwork Underground
YAY failure! I don’t have one big epic story to share today because crafting disaster, for me, is constant. Some time back I discovered that in order to make things consistently – in order to practice crafting – I must to be open to making really ugly, imperfect, wretched stuff. Failures.
Why? Well, when I edit my creative flow at the spout it is the kiss of death for the entire process. I suspect it works this way for a lot of people. When you reject one idea, the rest cower in the corner, resentful and scared. Identify yourself as a “non-creative person” and you unwittingly commit creative genocide! Whole worlds of unborn ideas just up and die inside you.
Instead of sharing a story with ya’ll, I’d just like to encourage you to invite total failure into your creative time. Try it and watch your productivity skyrocket!!
Ok then. Onwards towards certain failure…and maybe some accidental success!
Chica and Jo of Chica and Jo
When we think of crafting disasters, one thing comes to mind immediately, and that’s the afternoon we spent last Spring, trying to come up with fun new ways to decorate Easter eggs. We had so many ideas in mind and were sure that at least some of them would work brilliantly. Not sure exactly what happened that day, but every single one of them failed!
We tried wrapping rubber bands to mask areas of the egg from dye, but it leaked underneath. Then we tried using stickers as masks but they fell off when soaking. We melted broken crayons and we sure it would look pretty when drizzled on the eggs, but it just made a brown, gooey mess! We thought we could use aluminum foil and a little paint to create a marbled look, but the result was just mottled and ugly. We thought maybe glass paint and vinyl leading strips would make a glorious stained glass effect, but it looked horrible. No matter what we tried, nothing worked.
Fortunately it was a fun afternoon anyway, even if it was frustrating. We did end up with some good egg decorating ideas the next week, though. Sometimes when you’re having a bad day, you just have to stop and come back another time 🙂
Tania of Myrtle and Eunice
Tania had a disaster with creating a square for a large community quilt involving fusible webbing and scorched canvas. Read about the horror here.
Beckie of Infarrantly Creative
Seven years ago when papermaking was the rage I decided to purchase all of the supplies to try my hand at it. I spent about $20 for all of the necessary components. Before I started my husband asked, “Ummm…why are you making paper, I mean how much does paper cost?” Clearly my husband did not understand a creative person’s brain. I continued on my crafting adventure. I collected scraps of paper and started the process. Not only did I make about 30 sheets of a yucky grey colored paper but I clogged up our drain after the stupid mistake of emptying the remains down it. My husband will never let me live this mishap down and loves to tell the papermaking story to anyone who admires my creations knocking me right off my pedestal.
Nikki of Whimsy Girl
One crafty disaster I recall happened in my late teen years. My mom & I had borrowed some books from the library about making soaps, lotions, perfumes, etc. I chose to try the homemade shampoo recipe. I mixed the ingredients together & decided to try it on my hair. After applying & lathering I took a peek in the mirror. It seemed I had forgotten one important step: the herbs I used to infuse the shampoo should have been placed in a mesh bag instead of just tossed into the mixture. My long hair was covered in bits of chamomile & lavender. It was a tangled mess & NOT easy to get out!! (My mom & I had a good laugh. I let her sample the face cream though.)
Freda of Creative Chics
My first experience with sewing was when I entered High School at the young age of thirteen. My Home Education teacher, Josephine Murphy was a wonderful teacher who taught me with a true love for her craft. Her influence helped me fall in love with sewing also. As a young mother of five children I made most of their clothing until they reached the age where they refused to wear the “homemade” items. I also made my own suits, shoulder pads, linings and all that a suit entailed.So you would think I should be rated close to expert after 53 years of sewing but I want to encourage those of you who think you can’t do it. You can, and mistakes are just a part of the process like everything else in life.
Here is a photo of the Michael Miller fabric I am was using to make Holiday aprons. This photo was taken of the fabric folded over. Do you see anything strange about this photo? Look close.
I cut all of them with the lady upside down!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a stubborn old lady who refuses to let my mistakes get the better of me so……….I needed a plan to turn that lady right side up on that apron!
Well here was the end result of my fix, of course it took me much longer because I had to go buy ribbon, carefully place and sew it on.
I had enough fabric left I had not cut to work up two aprons the way they were designed to be so you can see there is a major difference…
Thanks so much everyone who responded. You guys are the best!!
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