Monday, September 12, 2011

When life hands you lemons, make a brand new shirt.

Are you one of those people who makes perfect projects every time? Like, all you have to do is just envision your project, carry it out, and it comes out perfect, just how you imagined? If you are, I am extremely envious of you. I am not one of those people.

Most of the time I come up with a project, tweak it. Tweak it again. Do the project. Realize something is off. Tweak it again. Finish it, then when analyze the crap out of it and see only the flaws.

If you're on Pinterest, you've probably already seen this picture, but it makes me laugh every time because I feel this way during a lot of projects:

I'm definitely harder on myself than anyone else, and a lot of the time it's just be being a perfectionist. Other times however, it seems the craft gods are against me.
This weekend, I got it in my head to make a cute football-themed shirt for my daughter to show her support for the Steelers. I found this adorable idea for a shirt on Pinterest for a shirt with a football helmet appliqued on it and a bow on the helmet - you know, show some support for your favorite team but with a girly twist. I was psyched. Since I had a lot of fabric leftover from making my son's Steeler's-themed bedding, I decided to use that fabric to make a shirt for my daughter.

I got all excited about making the shirt and was even going to do a tutorial, then everything started going wrong from the beginning. I couldn't get the Steelers logo to fit right into my helmet template and had to cut it 4 different times, then I was finally able to cut it out and iron it on my shirt.

I began using a satin stitch around the edges, and about 5 seconds in my machine caught the shirt fabric in the feed dogs. After prying the shirt mentally cursing out the innocent shirt (because that's a lot more sane than outright yelling at an article of clothing), I moved the applique and started again. Halfway through, my machine caught the shirt in the feed dogs again.

I don't know if you can see it well in the picture below, but it's the spot with the tangled mass of thread near the top of the mask.

When it happened, I cycled through the stages of grief.

Shock and denial: "Oh no!! Not again! I can't believe this happened a second time! Wait, it's Ok. It's barely noticeable. Except when I stick my entire finger through the hole..."

Anger: "Argh, stupid sewing machine, why did you have to eat my shirt! See if I ever oil you again...that'll show you..."

Depression: "Now I'm going to have to start all over. I might as well just throw the shirt away."

Dialogue and Bargaining: "Please just make this thing work, I don't want to have to start all over again! I've already lost 5 hours of my life!"

Acceptance: "...crap."

There was no way of ripping the original design out without making even MORE holes, so I decided to whip out my felt and cover the whole applique.

I still kept with the whole "girly football" theme, but with a football instead of a helmet. Not what I was originally shooting for, but I was about done with the shirt at this point. I was planning on doing a tutorial, but by the time I finished the shirt, I had run out of sanity.

So here it is. A football shirt for my daughter that took about 6 hours.

She will be wearing it until she's 16.

Check out my sidebar to see where I link up each week!


  1. Aww...too bad about the steelers logo (even though we are vikings fans ;) - I love the way it turned out. =)

  2. LOL!! It turned out wonderful! I have had many projects go wrong as and learn I guess! eeps!

  3. I totally understand your frustration! I have times when that happens and I get so upset! I usually leave it for a few days and then come back when I have motivation to try again with some adjustments. I actually like your new one much better! Very cute!

  4. Great job! You can't even tell there was a mishap! What a cute shirt for your little lady. I'd love for you to stop by and link up to my Share the Wealth Wednesday Link Party at I'm your newest follower.

  5. I can tell it's a Steeler shirt, even without the logo! Very cute! Fake Mom

  6. As a professional embroider I can tell you - it happens to everyone sometimes! I love how you fixed the shirt - and no one will ever know! It turned out very cute - a bow can fix anything! :)


  7. I can't stop laughing! Not AT you but because I swear I could have written this post! I saw chocolate covered football strawberries on Pinterest. How hard can that be, right? My hubby will love them. DISASTER! Too funny. Thanks for sharing, and I LOVED how the shirt turned out!

  8. I LOVE that shirt - you did a great job! And those cookies really made me laugh :)

  9. Bless your heart. I always hand stitch my shirt for that very reason. I'm not as brave as you. I love your cover up and the bow is perfect. Go Steelers!!!

  10. Don't see how it could have turned out any cuter! Thanks for the idea....and the laugh!

  11. Jen, I just started following you yesterday and I laughed out loud at so many of your stories. I feel like we would be good friends with our crazy stories! Keep on trucking!

  12. Oh I LOVE this! Being a huge Steelers fan too. Super cute. I would love for you to link up with us at our party going on right now. Hope to see you there!
    new follower,

  13. OMG! I have so been there...brilliant idea, hopes for a fabulous tutorial to link up everywhere...and then, crap...FAIL!!! Whereas I usually give up and result to tears, you are awesome and kept going with such a cute idea! Love the football...darling!!!

    I think (and I'm no expert by any means!) if you use an iron-on tear away stabilizer next time, it will keep the fabric from getting caught in the feed dogs??


  14. Aw, I so know the pain of projects not working! So frustrating!!! But, your end result is adorable! I wish a had a little girl to make one for!
    We're huge football fans around here and I just started a football related link party! Would love to have you come link this up! :)


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