If one were to go exploring my closets, one might find a speckled blue file box. In that box, there is a bag from Northwest Fabrics (as I recall, but the store is long gone anyway) with a receipt, and unopened pattern, and two pieces of darling, seersucker fabric. The pattern is for those cute toddler girl sun-suits with the matching bottoms.
This pattern and fabric was intended to clothe my first-born daughter who is now 21 years old.
In that same file box (most likely) is a blue, knit dress with a white kind of textured swirly print on it that is in pieces and partially sewn. This was intended for myself at about age 20 or 21, and was abandoned when I had too much difficulty sewing in the sleeves.
Funny, that I can remember that without even looking at it. And that was about 20 years ago.
About two or three years ago, I caught the Project Runway bug and bought a dress pattern and some fabric to make a dress. I didn't get to it right away and when I finally did I realized that I had made a drastic error in buying a way too small pattern. It was not my size, Barbie, so it got stuffed in a drawer as well.
Early this year, I picked up a pattern and some stretchy, plaid, black and white fabric to make a simple, drawstring skirt. My scissors were quite dull and the thick and slippery fabric was not cutting well. That was doomed pretty soon out of the gate.
I have quite a "pattern" of getting an itch to sew but never getting anything successfully sewn.
In September, I was planning an away from home, scrapbooking weekend with some girlfriends and lamenting that I had no new jammies. All my flannel pants were worn, and shrunk up short, and the elastic waists are all monked-up. I was going to sew myself some jammies!
One Saturday, about six days before I was going to leave, I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics (which is conveniently less than a mile from my house) and bought a pattern and some flannel for some new pajamas for me. I called my mom with the news, and she said, "Aren't you leaving on Thursday?", and then she just laughed hysterically.
But I was determined this time. I had learned my lesson about pattern sizing and had made sure I measured my hips etc. and had a large enough pattern. By Sunday afternoon I had a finished pair of pajama pants. I was sort of swimmin' in 'em.
My mom came over, said, "Oh, those'll fit me", and off went the pajama pants home with my mom.
I started over and by Thursday night I had a finished pair of pajamas that I was able to take on my scrapbooking weekend. Success! Yahoo! The top was a little on the large size too, but hey, it's pajamas. Too large is pretty okay.
I figured my small success with the pajamas meant that maybe I have a future in sewing clothing after all. I pulled the dress pattern and fabric out of the drawer and told myself and my husband that it would be good practice and a learning experience even if it was too small. I reasoned that I already had the fabric and the pattern, so why not sew it up? There's a zipper and darts, and what, the bodice gets lined? How did I miss that? I don't have any lining fabric. I just adopted some unbleached quilting cotton that I had laying in the drawer.
I cut out the bodice lining pieces and started marking and sewing the darts. I was doing pretty well with it for not really knowing what I was doing. I pinned the front to the back and thought I might be able to adjust the seams enough to make it fit okay. It might fit if I don't wear a bra with too much padding and if I didn't use such a large seam allowance. I really was thinking I could just make it work.
Once I had the shoulder seams and side seams sewn, I realized a couple of things. First thing was that the back was supposed to have been in two pieces instead of cut on the fold. This was okay as I would just need to cut the back down the middle. That's easy enough. Second thing was that the center back was actually about an inch and a half from the center of the back piece I had cut. It began to dawn on me that I was NOT going to be able to fit into this thing regardless of the bra or the seam allowance.
I started researching pattern resizing on line and, for a novice sewer, it looked like too much. Finally, I just decided to look for the pattern in the correct size on-line. It was out of print, but I found it on one site for $20.00. Luckily, I kept looking, and yesterday I found it on ebay for $7.25 including the shipping. I'll have another run at it after the pattern shows up. I realize now that even though sewing the too-small dress would be a good learning exercise, my free time is valuable and I don't want to squander it sewing a dress that nobody will every wear.