Notebook of a Beginner Sewist 1: A Sewing Failure

Good evening. It’s been quiet around here because I’ve been sewing away! I told myself I would not start one of the new patterns I had bought online until I get the crew’s pajama pants done. Today I thought I would be in the clear but nope, I wasn’t that lucky as I had my first, sewing failure!

Pattern: Simplicity 3971

Fabric: Flannel

Size: S

In these two photos, is how my flannel, PJ pants came out. Can you tell what’s wrong?

The Ugly

  • long ways down to the crotch from the waistband
  • short legs
  • wide a** legs

The Bad

The finished, hip measurement for a small is 48″. My hips are 38.25″! Before I had finished up this pair of pants, I had cut off a little over six inches on each leg because they were way too long.

Part of me blames myself for not catching on how wide everything was when I first cut out the fabric because I had recently watched Crafty Gemini’s How to Read a Sewing Pattern Envelope. In that video, she shows how important it is to compare the finished measurements to what your body size numbers are before choosing a size to cut out.

The Good

  1. My hemming of the waistband and leg cuffs were spot on with my pants.
  2. Lesson Learned. Check the finished garment numbers before picking a size because the final outcome can end up way bigger or even smaller than the size I think I need.
  3. I have more of this llama flannel so tomorrow I’ll be starting over on this project.

Would I recommend this pattern?

No. While flannel pajamas are supposed to be roomy, the amount of ease in each size is ridiculous. I also didn’t like how the pattern pieces didn’t have reminders of where one could shorten. This is supposed to be for beginners. The pattern instructions weren’t as detailed as I would have liked and have seen in other patterns. It assumes you know certain things or steps.

Okay, off to see if the crew is hungry now as it’s 6:25 pm PST. Enjoy the rest of your Friday. TTYS.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Marsha Noce says:

    Love that llama material. Sorry to hear the pattern stunk.


  2. How annoying it did;t come out the way you expected. Will you be able to salvage the material? It is so sweet.


    1. Stefanie says:

      Thank you. I could probably use the material for something but not sure as there are four, long panels. I will keep it around in storage.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hopefully inspiration will strike 😊


  3. Well that is a bummer. The fabric is cute though.


  4. Becki says:

    Well, I’m sorry they didn’t turn out to fit you, but I’m glad you’ve got more of that adorable fabric to try again. It’s been so long since I’ve sewn from a pattern, I imagine I’d be like a beginner again.


  5. The pants look so cute and well sewn, it’s a shame they don’t fit. I suppose you could use the material to cut a smaller size out of it, but the undoing of the seams would be so much trouble. I recently started preferring leggings to pants for my PJ bottoms, I find them more comfy and flattering with a tunic on top.


  6. They’re cute! It’s too bad the pattern was missing details. Next time you’ll get it:)


    1. Stefanie says:

      Thank you for the vote of confidence!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Only way to look on something like this, is that it’s a learning experience.

    But not always easy to do, at first. :-))))

    Happy weekend!


  8. Patty Magyar says:

    Wow…this is why sewing scares me even more than knitting. The possibility of error is huge! But they look so cute! Sew cute!


  9. My daughter would love how roomy those are! She wears a mens large and she is a women’s small….go figure. I love your spirit and your learning curve and taking the good with the bad!


  10. There’s always a bit of a learning curve with sewing from a pattern. I admire your ability to take a “failure” as just another learning experience; that’s an attitude I’m still working on cultivating in myself. The fabric is darling, so I’m glad you’re going to try again. Meanwhile, what do you plan to do with the existing pair? There’s probably enough fabric in them to make some smaller projects — maybe sock knitting project bags?


  11. As you know I don’t sew though I am intrigued by it so I found this post really interesting. I enjoyed your analysis of just what had gone wrong and the warning signs you’ll look for next time. Those sizes sound ridiculous! I like roomy pajamas but 10 extra inches in the hips seems excessive!


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