My DIY Disaster: What Went Wrong

Something crazy happened Tuesday. My DIY Disaster post from Monday was PUBLISHED ON THE HUFFINGTON POST.  (You can see it HERE.) I’m still in shock!

DIY Disaster: What Went Wrong

So, I thought today I’d explain a little bit about what happened to lead to my DIY disaster, a project that I am now calling the “Murphy’s Law Jacket”, because the I can’t say the “$#*%!!” jacket in mixed company. (The Measure Twice Cut Once shirt is from See Kate Sew can be purchased HERE.)

I used the McCartney Jacket from Pattern Anthology as a base for this jacket, and let me tell you NOTHING was the fault of the pattern.

I had good intentions and a solid plan. I was going to sew a reversible coat, one side neoprene and one side plaid. I had never worked with neoprene before this, so that should give you your first clue as to where this is headed.

DIY Disaster: What Went Wrong

 I decided I wanted to crop the jacket so I shortened the pattern by 2 inches.

This was my first mistake. The pockets are very close to the side seams so you really need for them to be as close to the hip as possible.


As I was pressing the welt pocket on one of the bodice pieces I melted a hole in the neoprene. 

I didn’t have enough neoprene to make a new panel, so I opted to cut the bodice piece in half and put a new piece in. The trouble was, I didn’t have quite enough for that either, so I shortened the jacket AGAIN. This step led to a weird seam right across my boob and a really awkward pocket placement.
My DIY Disaster: What Went Wrong
Ok, I thought, I’ll just wear it on the plaid side. Then I realized:

When shortening the plaid pieces to match up with the neoprene I did so unevenly. 

I blame this on the time. It was well after midnight, and I was tired. I should have stopped but I just needed to finish! And when I finished, I had this:

My DIY Disaster: What Went Wrong

The cheap ribbing I had in my stash was too flimsy for this coat. It was flopping around all over the place.

That’s really the cherry on top of the crap sundae. Fortunately, after this debacle, I bought new plaid and chose fleece for the lining this time (because neoprene is really expensive), and made a lovely coat. I’ll post about that another day, I don’t want to take the spotlight away from my Murphy’s Law Jacket.

Here’s what I learned:

  • Neoprene behaves really differently than other fabrics.
  • Neoprene can melt even if you have your iron set to ‘low’.
  • When sewing with a new fabric type choose a simple pattern.
  • If you make a mistake and don’t have the proper materials to fix it, don’t push through. You are not on Project Runway and you do not, in fact, have to make it work. Order fabric and wait.
  • All ribbed knits are not created equal. Use sturdy ribbing on this pattern only.

What are some valuable lessons you learned from fails? Comment below!

And as always, if you liked what you read here,!


6 thoughts on “My DIY Disaster: What Went Wrong

  1. This is why I curse myself every time I use a fabric that has to be matched. I get all excited and think I’m the bomb. And then I put it on and realized I epic failed on getting things to line up. Sigh. You’d think I’d learn.

  2. Hahaha love the faces you are making! I’ve made quite a few mistakes but usually my biggest ones to date start by thinking, “geeze, holding the scissors like this, I really hope I don’t cut through my sea—-shit.” And then suddenly everything fits tighter! GO FIGURE.

  3. Déjà vu! I have a whole garbage bag of sewing projects gone wrong. I take them out sometimes to see if I can salvage anything for another project and generally end up stuffing them all back in the bag. My most recent addition to the collection is a neoprene jacket. So yeah, not as easy as it looks.

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