Thanks for reading the Colette blog!  This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.


Sewing Blooper Of The Week: Kristen’s Holey Truffle


Hey there & thank you for reading the Colette blog!

This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

Go to Seamwork

I decided at the last possible minute that I should make a new dress to wear to my friends’ autumn wedding, as most of my more formal creations were more suited for summer soirees.

I settled on the Truffle dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook and got to work immediately. The fit was great. I had found the perfect fabric. The cutting and sewing was going really well.

I managed to get from basting my test muslin to lining the bodice of my final dress in just a matter of hours; all the while I was ignoring that I was quickly becoming hungry, very sleepy, and all around less attentive than I usually am.

I decided I would just do one more thing before I put my project down for the evening and go ahead and trim seam allowance from where the bodice lining was attached to the dress. I had already trimmed a few inches in when I flipped the fabric over… and then I saw it.

Oh no.


I had snipped a giant hole in the front of the bodice shell! It was directly above the side bust dart. There was no hiding it. There was no quick or easy fix. What followed were a few very undignified minutes full of expletives and foot stomping.


After I pulled myself together I reasoned that I still had enough fabric left over to recut the bodice. Yes, it was time consuming to rip out so much stitching and serging, but at least I wasn’t completely out of luck! I still managed to finish the dress in time for the wedding.


It could have been worse, right? So, in the spirit of commiseration, leave a comment about your most recent sewing screw up!

Kris Blackmore   —   Designer

Kris is the designer at Colette, and also writes and illustrates our sewing patterns. A graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), this Texas native worked for a variety of companies in the fashion industry before joining Colette in 2013. On our blog, Kris helps solve your wardrobe woes through the Wardrobe Architect series she writes.

Comments 56


I recently made a couple of dopp kits for a friend for Christmas gifts, both of which I intended to use a different fabric lining. I wasn’t paying attention and started sewing the pieces with one of each lining. It actually turned out okay and I was able to play it off as though I was intending to make a two-toned lining. The best part, it really looked good.


My most recent blooper was while making a shirred dress for my g-daughter. I’d completed a couple of rows of shirring when I realized that I’d been sewing with the wrong side up! So much unpicking and very tedious. It happens when making 5 of the same pattern for 5 little girls!
BTW your dress turned out beautifully and I do really enjoy your blog.


I was racing to finish a dress for a work party and was sewing the skirt to the bodice when I ran the machine right over the middle of one of the sleeves! The same sleeve I had sewn on inside out less than an hour before…
It was an easy fix but not in the 15 minutes sewing time I had left. I had to abandon it and wear an old dress (shock! horror!)


I feel like my sewing bloopers always occur when I’m racing against some self-imposed deadline or have been sewing for so long I’m exhausted/starving. Any time I think I’m saving myself by trying to power-through a project is always negated by all the seam ripping I have to do later!


Ugh! I did almost the exact same thing recently. I was serging my seam allowenxe when I was distracted by my “Flight of the Valkyries” ringtone. (I usually keep it silent when sewing) when I went to press it I realized the bottom layer of fabric had gotten bunched up & the blades cut a hole in the fabric, ironically also in the chest area and totally unfixable. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough fabric to cut out another piece and had to wait until I could go to the fabric store & prewash my fabric. Luckily the store still had the fabric in stock! Glad to hear you were able to fix yours easily & somewhat quickly.


That is one of my biggest fears! I am so afraid of that serger blade, but fortunately haven’t accidentally cut anything with it (yet…)


I made a dress this summer which I loved and wore to death, but decided to make another this fall. But, I wanted to add a little room in the waist. When I cut out the bodice, it fit lovely, with just the amount of extra room I was hoping for. However, I didn’t measure the pattern adjustment right because the skirt won’t match up to the bodice well at all. I’m stumped at the moment as to what to do exactly. I have enough fabric to either cut the skirt fronts out again, or perhaps put a half-circle skirt on the bottom.

I’m still in shock, and the dress is in purgatory until I finish the Christmas sewing/quilting.


I get so hyper focused on my sewing and refuse to pack it up for the night until I’m practically falling over from fatigue. You can imagine the number of snafu’s this causes! This year I decided to set an alarm to force myself to stop before that happens…
Recently I was sewing a skirt for a friend and caught the top layer in the serger blade, cutting a lovely 3″ long v-shaped notch. :-/ Luckily it was a loose “unfinished” style with exposed seams and some fraying so I was able to darn it and incorporate it into the design. It was a zero-waste design so there was NO extra fabric, and it was reversible so at least she can turn it to the other colour!
Another one was when I was sewing training pants for my daughter. They were perfect in every way, except that I sewed one leg on inside out. I was so bummed out that I set it aside and didn’t get around to it until she potty learned. Lol!


I am absolutely the same way. I think it’s a leftover bad habit from when I was in fashion design school, but I can be starving, cranky, and practically falling asleep at my machine and will be muttering to myself “just one more step for the night…”


Oh, I’ve done the exact same thing! With the dress I made to be in my sister’s wedding. Luckily, the snip was on the back, and I was able to fix it with some iron-on fusible. (There was no extra fabric).


Last winter I got a bunch of old fabric from the 70s, it had been in my Mom’s stash at my childhood home. Included was this really sweet blue corduroy, but not very much. I had it for almost a year before I figured out exactly what I wanted to make with it. I had just enough to make a little jacket. Only after cutting out the sleeves did I realize I had placed them the wrong direction on the nap! I had to choose between making the whole jacket with the nap the wrong way or have the sleeves going the opposite direction from the rest of the jacket. I went with the latter and it worked fine. But there might have been some crying before I finished.


Ha, I totally did this with a pair of corduroy pants! I cut the back leg pieces with the nap going the wrong way. Luckily, it doesn’t look too terrible and you can only tell when you look at the pants from the side.


I recently did the very same thing to a reversable baby blanket I was making for my niece. But, because it was a busy, all-over print, and flannel; I was able to use fusable interfacing to mend it. Whew!


It’s really nice to hear I’m not the only one who’s had some serious doozies, but recently it’s zippers that have become my worst enemy. I mean, I literally cannot insert an invisible zipper to save my life right now. I could bang one off like a pro when I first started sewing, and it’s not like I don’t know HOW, but now it’s like that part of my brain has gone on holiday, and no matter how hard I try, my invisible zippers are always visible LOL, not to mention, they never line up either.

So I’m correcting that by doing a couple lovely silk Laurel tops – no zippers, and a little sewing gratification to rejuvenate my sewing mojo lost by the dreaded zip!! :)


I made a fairy costume for one of my daughter’s Halloween costumes. I was rushing on the zipper as well, and it was a total disaster.

I’ve actually gotten to liking using exposed metal zippers of late, Amanda – maybe a different zipper for a bit would help rejuvenate the zipper mojo?

Adri H.

I have to re-teach myself how to sew in a zipper *every* time I do one. It’s that bad. It’s gotten to the point where I just break down and hand-baste plus glue-stick the fabric roughly how it should end up so I don’t lose my way.


I’ve done this — a few times — I’ve done a variety of fixes. Sometimes patches. . .sometimes a design feature. . and if I have enough fabric a recut. It normally happens when I’m almost done. Normally done by my serger too:) Congratulations on a superb dress!


I have learned that keeping a high quality seam ripper (and a sharp scalpel) nearby is key. The easier it is for me to undo my hard work, the less profanity I emit. I honestly believe that unpicking stitches is just as much a part of sewing as putting them in the first time. Or the second time. Or the third.


Mine was yesterday! I am sewing a coat for my son and realized after I had finished the seam that I sewed the front yoke for the right side on the left front of the jacket and vice- versa yay! Late night sewing never works for me.


That sort of thing always happens to me, especially with pockets and side panels! I’m always sewing them on reversed.


Wow, I give you a ton of credit for unpicking and re-doing the bodice. I would have just slapped a piece of interfacing on the inside and called it a day! Not an elegant or permanent solution, but my patience for fixing things is pretty low. :)


I definitely thought about doing that! Had it not been in such an obvious spot I might have!


I cannot for the life of me figure out the button closing for the top of McCall’s 6755. I made a muslin (which is not something I usually do) and stared at the directions for days. The bottom of the flap is completely unfinished and just dangling around. I finally decided “I’ll figure it out” and started with my real fabric. Whelp, I never figured it out and now it’s sitting in the pile of “maybe I’ll try again later” projects. And I thought it was going to be a pattern I could finish in a weekend.

Alice Elliot

Too many to recall! At 69, I have, however, finally gotten to the place where I just take a very deep breath and pick it all out. Always check everything twice before cutting, now too. And when I’m tired, hungry, cranky, I just force myself to get up and walk away!!!!


I just blogged about sewing while sleepy mistakes. Although it was not recent, I once sewed the 2 sides of a bikini top to the same cup. So I had one cup instead of two and my friends and family started calling me Cyclops.


I did the same thing, down to the shape of the cut…on a dress for a sewing competition, the night before it was due. Yeah.


Sigh. Totally my weekend. I decided that my old wallet was getting worn out and gross (I’d made that one too). I pulled out the old pattern and started working away. It’s a wide-trifold design with lots of card pockets and a zippered pocket in the back. I thought I’d been measuring correctly and following the directions (which were my notes from last time when I combined two different tutorials). I ended up having to rip out several seams when I sewed things together in the wrong order. I got everything finished…and it didn’t fold up properly. :-( Everything was almost 1/4″ larger than expected. Grrr. I set it aside for a few hours. Finally, I decided that it really didn’t take all that long to make so I’d try again with a new set of fabric. Tedious cutting later (and at least one miscut), I pulled up the original tutorial and just used my notes for the zippered pocket. I started putting on the snaps and realized that not only had I added a snap I meant to leave off, but that it was off-center by 1/4″. Oh well, I won’t use it anyway. Got the second snap in (properly centered!) and finished everything up. Sigh. It still isn’t great, although not as bad as the first go-round. The card pockets are almost too tight, the zippered pouch is about 1/2″ too high (but still useable), the print is upside down…Screw it. I’m using it anyway.


I had a very similar sewing blooper! I was almost done my boyfriend’s Negroni for Christmas last year with just having the sew the sleeve plackets/cuffs left. Low and behold, I saw a giant hole in the back! Needless to say, I did not have enough fabric to redo the back so I hurried to the nearest fabric store and opted to make the short sleeve version. I ended up finishing a few days before Christmas!


I have often feared doing something like this, the scariest bit of a project is the cutting, as there is no going back.

I have sewn things the wrong way round and made silly mistakes, but luckily sewing errors are usually reversible!


I did something similar a while ago. I was serging the seam allowances of an already-assembled dress before I had to leave for my recital. Apparently I wasn’t paying enough attention and my serger ate a big chunk out of the front neckline. So I had to rip out the bodice and quickly sewed an elastic waistband on in order to have an outfit for recital! I guess it was a good thing though, as the bodice was rather ill-fitting.

Kristin H

I recently was cutting out a pair of boxers for my husband with fabric I’d gotten at a great fabric store while traveling. I generally cut out several pairs at once, so by the time I got to this fabric, I was a bit out of it. I went to start sewing them together and realized I’d cut out two left legs. And no, I didn’t have enough fabric left over to fix my mistake. I ended up getting some coordinating fabric and cutting out two right legs to make up for my mistake.

Adri H.

A weak spot of mine is sleeves. I should know by now after sewing most of my life, right? Check your markings, right?! Nope.
Almost half of my projects involving sleeves have also involved me very methodically and gingerly easing the first sleeve into the wrong armhole. :(


Not a recent blooper, but I did almost this exact same thing when sewing a bridesmaid dress for my sister’s wedding. Luckily it was a smaller snip and was over the seam allowance, so if I pressed it the right direction, I could salvage the piece. Good thing, too, since we didn’t have enough fabric for another.


I’m actually sewing The Cooper and for some odd reason, the contrast fabric for the back was cut all wonky. I didn’t even notice until I attached it, so will now have to rip it out and re-cut.

I also cut the fabric for my husband’s Star Trek shorts upside down in the front, but I was so far into it I didn’t care to fix it, haha.


Oh, been there SO many times! My latest blooper was a pair of summer pants made out of a beeeautiful floral rayon. I had a abrupt lesson in pattern placement when the two red flowers (yes, I managed on red flower on BOTH sides) ended up right at my crotch. Nice look.


Ok, this made me laugh. It’s always one of my fears when it comes to prints.


I’m sorry that happened to you, but it made me laugh so hard!

Hep Kara

I am finishing up some pants with welt pockets in the back. One of the pockets is about an inch higher than the other, and of course I didn’t notice it was off until I finished the welts and got the pants mostly sewn. Gah. I still need to finish the fastenings and do the hem, but I think it will be okay. I usually have a long sweater on (I’m always cold), so I don’t think it will be noticeable. If I find it is, I may try to add a flap to one or both of the pockets.
They are otherwise pretty much perfect, wonderful pants!


This week I wore the first skirt I made, and I noticed my shadow as I was walking….it showed I had a rip in the seam. I was walking too vigorously and it ripped. Luckily, it was at the bottom of the skirt and looked like a slit that was still attached at the bottom, like I had just bought it at a store.


I was making pair of trousers that I’d drafted the pattern for as part of my final collection for my exams. It was out of a lovely crepe. I was merrily overlocking (serging) the inside leg when I found that the fabric had moved and I’d cut and serged a great big hole at the top of the thigh. I can tell you, it sent me running to the hills as it was not easily rescuable. I didn’t have enough fabric to redo the leg so ended up changing that part of my exam pieces completely. I found the said trousers recently (some 10 years later) languishing in a plastic bag at the very bottom of my sewing cupboard!!!


Oh knickers!! I did a similar thing recently. I was finishing the seams on a dress and accidently sliced into the lining with the blade on my overlocker. Luckily it was only the lining, and I was able to patch it.

Your dress is gorgeous, I’m glad you had enough to re-cut the bodice.


Love the dress! Is that silk? What did you line it with?


It’s an Anna Sui poly-metallic blend that I picked up from Mill End here in Portland. It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but it’s got some gold shimmer. Lined with a polyester lining fabric.

elizabeth rehmer

The dress turned out lovely!!! i am besties with my seam ripper… lately i have been working on a quilt for a present and I sewed one of the pinwheel blocks on wrong simply from somehow shifting from ironing board walking to sewing machine… and last night I was embroidering something (i hate hand sewing–it stresses me) and I had to rip an hours worth out… alas in the end we barely remember and are proud of the item–much prouder than say showing off a patch or some goof!!

Melissa S.

Seems like a lot of problems stem from refusing to stop when your body is telling you to stop, when you’re hungry, tired or frustrated. I have messed up a Christmas skirt twice in the last few weeks by being stubborn and refusing to stop because I’m on a roll. And I’m on a deadline! After the second time unpicking the stupid waistband, I’m resigned to the fact that I won’t be wearing it to the party this weekend. I need to slow down my sewing, take regular breaks, and stop BEFORE I get to the angry tears/cussing stage!


This is absolutely true. I’ve been better about taking breaks recently, and my sewing has improved greatly because of it!

petite josette

I’ve done the exact same thing on a sleeve, cutting the armhole allowances, fortunately, with the fabric pattern, Iwas able to conceal it with interfacing and fabric glue on the inside (not enough fabric to recut a sleeve).
Another stupid mistake I made was when putting a jacket sleeve together. I found for some reason one of the sleeves to be too long, so I recut it. well obvisouly, it wasn’ttoo long, there was a reason it was that way, which I realized after putting the sleeve and and wrist zipper and everything in…fortunately this time I had enough fabric to recut, but i was so mad at myself!

Nisha Williams

Wow – what a beautiful dress. I have been wanting to purchase this book, and I’ve wondered about the patterns included. Based on your picture above, I’ll be purchasing it!!

I love that sewing zone when I’m on a role and everthing seems to be going well. I was feeling under the weather last week and I was pushing through finishing a tunic. Luckily it was a muslin and not my real fabric. When I looked at the stitching the next morning it was a hot mess! A real hot mess! Lesson learned, when I don’t feel well … just go to bed!


What a relief to see so many other crazy ladies out there also sew until all hours while hungry/tired/thirsty. I’m always thirsty as it seems I refuse to leave my sewing room for something so trivial as water. Unless I need it for ironing. Then I’d have to.

I haven’t been sewing garments lately, but have been doing a lot of batch sewing of new products/patterns. Most recently had to take apart a dozen finished bags to insert forgotten labels. Not hyper dramatic, but so irritating! Decided to share my forgetfulness with the world here:

Love reading a personal story here – good fun.


I just finished a lovely jacket in shot velvet, lined with silk a friend brought from Asia, beautiful stand collar and a glorious plum color…nap running upwards. Crikey.


I’ve done exactly the same thing. I snipped a hole right in the middle of a piece that was meant to be a drapey cowl neck. I had no fabric left whatsoever, so I just made that cowl much narrower. It looks just ok, but it never feels right!


The worst sewing blooper? Late at night after law school final exams, racing to finish costumes for an opera dress rehearsal. Exhausted, hungry…sewed right across a finger. Fortunately neither bone nor needle broke (needle would have been a disaster. It was my very last one.) Was able to grab the shears and snip out the stitches, and carry on.


Oh my, I have also after a hectic work day worked on a garment. My eyes were crosses and some how managed to wack my finger nail with the shank of the machine. I saw tweety birds. The nail was cracked, however it did heal. I learn my lesson, only do handwork when very tired.


My latest blooper was sewing the zipper to the wrong side of the fabric I used for a small project bag that included lining. Honestly, I really laughed when I realized it because I couldn’t figure out how I actually did it. After picking a lot of stitches, it was corrected and all came out fine.


I used to try to be very thrifty with my sewing, aiming for zero waste and only buying just enough fabric to get it done. Not any more! I’ve had too many near misses and all out ruined pieces (and why does it always seem to happen minutes after the fabric store has closed?) These days I round up to the next quarter or half yard of what the pattern calls for. It’s not that much more expensive and it’s so nice to know I have back-up material on hand! Getting older does have it perks!


Luckily, my worst problems have been sewing a sleeve in inside out, or not having enough length to make a proper hem. Once when I was having fits making a skirt for my sister….everything had to be adjusted for her figure…the skirt ended up being too short. I found a contrasting fabric and sewed it on the bottom of a paneled skirt. She actually loved it that way.

We’re sorry, comments for this post have been closed.