So, work on the pants came to an untimely halt the other night. I needed to take them in quite a bit. The top of the pattern ended up coming out nice in the initial construction, but the legs were far too big for my frame. I took the pants over to the church the other day, planning to lay them down on one of the long tables in the fellowship hall. I frequently go over to the church to do my fabric cutting, as it’s really the only place big enough for me to do most of it. Here at the house I have only a small square table.

I neglected to bring along my measure tape and decided to use a pre-existing pair of pants in order to figure out the fit for my steampunk pants. I also decided not to try them on again to check the fit of the hips and waist (which, for the most part, were okay). I just got right to chalking what I thought I needed to take off.

Long story short, it was a bad idea. I failed to do a lot of things I usually do when fitting my pants and it definitely came back to bite me on the ass. Or the hips, I should say, as that’s the part of the pants that essentially ended up missing when I resewed the pants last night. I went to try them on and — pfhhhht….there, went all my hopes for a single pair of mistake-less pants.

I tried a couple of things to fix them, but none of them were working. At one point I just sat there, staring at the pants and thinking “well, that was a waste of fabric!” I actually threw them on the couch and walked away from them.

A couple minutes later, after I had calmed down, I decided to take another look. I had enough fabric to add in some patch-like sections. I drafted little inserts that incorporated the curve that I had somehow taken out of the hips of the jeans and started sewing them on. I got one side finished last night. The other side should be done tonight or early tomorrow morning. I’m cautiously optimistic that this will solve most of the problem. It may even wind up being an interesting addition (alteration) to the original pattern. We shall see.

The point of this entry is mainly to state the obvious: mistakes are going to be made in the course of costuming. I’ve been sewing shirts with sleeves for a number of years, yet I frequently sew them on the wrong way (with the raw edges of the seam on the outside, rather than the inside). In fact, I recently sewed the cuff of the sleeve for my steampunk shirt on the wrong way around – I swear, this costume has given me more problems than any other. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my first (oh, let’s say 50) zippers were horribly crooked. However, I would argue that some of the best touches to many of my costumes have come out of the mistakes I have made during construction.

I think one of the most important things to remember when something like this happens is that, honestly, most things can be fixed to a certain point. They will never be completely the same, of course, but most people, looking at pieces that you have put together, will have no idea that the finished product is not what you were originally planning to do. And, since most things can be adapted and “fixed” there is very little point in getting upset. Honestly, I’m a little surprised at myself for yelling at the pants (and yelling at myself for good measure — or bad measure, if you like). I mean, I once had a sewing machine needle break and fly off to lodge itself in my lower lip. All I did in that situation was say “Ow” quietly and head off to excavate the broken needle from my mouth. The pants really shouldn’t have annoyed me as much as they did.

So who knows. Perhaps these pants will end up being the most awesome thing I have ever managed to make. Or maybe it’ll just be an object lesson in remembering to measure twice, cut once.

Either way, I will try to come to terms with my massive mistake.

As my aunt once told me “Only the Creator makes perfect things.”

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