“It Ain’t Me, Babe” B5567

“This jacket just isn’t you,” commented my honest husband.

“Shut up and eat your damn cake,” said I.


Years ago while dining at a very nice restaurant, my husband and I observed a drunk man tell his nagging wife to shut up and eat her damn cake in front of a table full of guests.

 It’s been one of our little jokes ever since………

 It’s quite discouraging to spend three days sewing only to be disappointed with a mediocre result, but my husband is right – this jacket isn’t me. I believe the giant ric-rac just made it worse too.  

Would you believe I made a muslin and still made this jacket?

The expression you learn from your mistakes drives me crazy when applied to my mistakes, but it’s true. 

On the positive side, I learned to fit my back with a single pattern piece and can take something good away from the experience, but I must remember oversized apple- green jackets with ric-rac are not for me, e v e r .


“I just don’t know if any picture of this jacket is going to look good,” he continued.

“Is it really that bad?”

 “It’s just ………it’s just that your body deserves better.”


 “Just stop while you’re ahead, please.”

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98 Responses to “It Ain’t Me, Babe” B5567

  1. Pauline Droy says:

    what a shame when you have put the work in, but as you said you got one positive from the back fitting – we have all been there

  2. Cheryl in Carolina says:

    OK, hubby’s right…but I do like the color (I’m a green person!). One total “not working” out of nearly a year of sewing? Definitely still a huge win!

  3. Juliet says:

    It does look nicer on you than on the dress form! I was only thinking the other day how you ALWAYS make good choices and look so well “put together”. Your success rate is still above 90%….

  4. Andrea says:

    What a sweet husband. “Your body deserves better.” Excellent way to say it doesn’t work for you. Tell your hubby I plan to steal that line!

    On the jacket, it’s always good when you can walk away saying you learned something, right?!

    • Right! I really did learn about pinning fullness out of backs from a single pattern piece which is huge for me. I believe this may be one reason I kept sewing even though I wasn’t totally comfortable with the direction it was taking.
      My husband is quite sweet and he will appreciate your comment. Many thanks for writing :)

  5. Heather says:

    Good colour on you though! I think this is the first thing that you have made that hasn’t really suited you. That is a huge achievement in a years worth of sewing, I am always making things that don’t work or would work if I was a slim person……………………..

  6. Miriam says:

    I really think it does look good on you, at least it does in the picture. One thing is for sure that color looks fabulous on you.

    • Many thanks, Miriam! It looks OK……….. I love the color too and believe that is primarily the thing that kept me sewing the jacket, even though I wasn’t completely comfortable with it.

  7. Cissie Wellons says:

    You have made very few (as in nary a one) mistakes this year. I can understand your not LOVING this jacket, but the color is good on you. Like you, I’m no fan of that ginormous rickrack. Would a different trim make you like it more? Or is that just too much trouble for something you’re not going to wear often?
    But you absolutely cannot end your year on a less-than-perfect note. So keep on sewing and inspiring us!

    • Thank you, Cissie for this nice comment. I thought about not posting this jacket at all, but the blog is about my journey and so here it is. I’ve decided not to devote any more time to this garment but appreciate your ideas……. now I r e a l l y want to take Susan K’s jacket class!

      • Cissie Wellons says:

        Oh please do! I have taken 3 so far and plan to take as many as I can. Living in a tiny small town, I figure I can’t have too many Chanel jackets! But they are so much fun to make, and I incorporate many of the techniques into my regular sewing.

      • Mary Lynn says:

        Is that Susan Khalje? Where does she teach a jacket class? I keep finding new posts on your blog. I’m so envious of your fitting things so well!

  8. Elaine says:

    Color is wonderful on you so you’ve learned that. But hey, I thought you’d already given up on patterns that don’t have photos of garments and not just drawings. It probably makes your many followers feel better to know that even you who has made so many beautiful, flattering garments over the course of the past year can end up with a “wadder” — even after making a muslin. I wonder if “Shut up and eat you damn cake” and his wife are together…

    • Hi Elaine,
      I certainly made the statement about sewing from photographed patterns only. This pattern had been in my stash for a long time so I used it – mistake.
      I thought about not posting this garment but my blog is about my journey of sewing rather than making perfect clothes for a year, so here it is……
      And yes, the damn cake couple are still together in their 80s now ;)
      Many thanks for writing!

  9. I admire so much your resolve over the past year, and the results. What about taking off the rickrack and cutting off the sleeves?

    • Hi Candy and thank you for this nice email! I may take off the rickrack, cut off the sleeves and just throw the whole thing away!!!! Something tells me there is no hope for this jacket. ;)

  10. Lori says:

    The color is good on you, I agree rick-rack really isn’t you.

  11. So sorry but, I think your hubby is right…it just isn’t for you…
    I have been following your blog for some time now and everything I have seen on you is gorgeous!
    But not this…sorry
    I love your blog!

    • Hi Sandra,
      I wasn’t posting this jacket for compliments or sympathy, but I thought “hiding” it wasn’t the right thing to do since this is a blog about my journey through a year of sewing.
      My husband is sooooooo right on this one! :)

  12. AllisonF says:

    What a great comment from your husband – your body deserves better! I know what you mean by feeling disappointed from the sewing failures. I just recently tossed several failures from my “hope to be saved” pile in my sewing room. Sometimes you just need to cut your losses. Hopefully we learn something each time!

  13. Becky says:

    I agree with Candy. I think it might be better with the sleeves cut off, and maybe a closure on the front? The color is good for you. The sleeves are not. Maybe even a vest? It’s not really a fail, it’s just a “not my best look” situation.

    • Hi Becky,
      Thanks so much for writing. I’ve decided not to devote anymore time to this garment. The one review I read on PR was one the sleeveless version which actually looked cute. Oh well…..;)

  14. Art Attack says:

    Oh, please! I’ve made more bombs than I will ever admit. On the upside of that, my sister went through my give away pile yesterday and LOVED most of it…that makes it worth it. Find the apple green a new home…someone will love it.

  15. AmyG says:

    Color is great BUT….. that is the difference for us “Home Sewers” and shopping “Ready to Wear” – we don’t get to try on per say and put it back on the rack when it doesn’t suit us. We are at times at the mercy of the pattern drawing and description – which we have all experienced isn’t exactly on target. You did a great job with your construction and took away some points on fitting. Can it be recut into a garment that you would work? Your Hubs is really a keeper to let you know in such a sweet way that even after your hard work – it didn’t do you justice. Hope you gave him a big smooch for that one.

  16. Amy G. says:

    Great color on you BUT…… Hubs is right – not working for ya. That is the difference between us “sewers” and those who shop “ready to wear” we don’t have the luxury of trying on garments and hanging them on the rack when they just don’t work. We are at the mercy of an artist rendering, description of the garment and a line drawing. As we all know – so of them just miss the mark.
    You did a great job with your construction, you learning a few pointers along the way, so it’s not a total loss. Can the jacket be recut into another garment that would work or bless someone with it because even though it doesn’t work for you, it is custom made and made very well.

  17. prttynpnk says:

    I definitely believe that you are capable of whimsy- lovely Pulitzer/Spade whimsy…but perhaps not giant rickrack. It’s sort of Candyland spring formal. Your body does deserve better! I’ve gotten so into a make that regardless of what I can see coming, I just keep sewing- it happens. whats next for your perfectly fitted back?

  18. Sue says:

    He is obviously a keeper. Great save! Sorry the jacket didn’t work. I am sure the next one will be perfect.

  19. Clio says:

    Well, Valentino and ric-rack are not two ideas I’d ever put in the same dictionary… or blog. But it’s hard to hate this jacket on you since it is such a pretty color and really does fit nicely/as intended. I know at this point you are ready to toss it, but if you ever wanted to revisit it, I think the jacket would make a super cute bolero. Plus, if you are anything like me, the joy from hacking off the ric-racked parts would be worth it!

  20. Phil says:

    Hi again from England! I don’t know if you have evaluated what you don’t like about your new jacket on you, but I find I learn as much from my disappointments as my successes (born to be positive!). My feeling is it’s ‘boxier’ than the styles you usually favour, which often give you a more hourglass shape. It’s a small consolation, but at 42 I still become frustrated at my mistakes!

    • Thanks, Phil! I really don’t like anything about the jacket, HOWEVER, I’m pleased I have learned to fit my back. Patterns, especially with a single back piece have always been too big and I am thrilled I was able to work out that issue. Maybe it’s why I kept sewing even though I was a little uncomfortable with the garment.

  21. Gail says:

    It is not as bad as your story suggests. But then again nobody over the age of five should wear bric a brac!

  22. Carolyn says:

    As you continue to sew you will learn which patterns work for you and which ones don’t…and you will still make a mistake every now and then, McCalls 6559 any one! LOL! At least you did learn something new from this experience.

  23. I like the color but I am not crazy about the pattern. You are still my favorite sewing blogger!

  24. Amanda S. says:

    Funny post! I love the color. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.

  25. CherryPix says:

    Hmmm, sorry this turned out to be sub-lime rather than sublime…I had a similar event with a grass-green cotton drill jacket which required others to wear sun glasses it was so bright…It’s currently been hung out of sight…until I figure out whether dyeing it helps or just magnifies it’s awfulness…

    • Such clever comments I receive!…… and another great name for a post
      Sub-lime or Sublime :) I’m done with this jacket – no dyeing – no removing rid-rac – no cutting off sleeves. Goodbye, Au Revoir, Auf Wiedersehen and 再见 zài jiàn !!

  26. Joyce Love says:

    I don’t think it looks bad, but it’s definitely not as flattering on you as most of your other garments. I agree with Phil, the cut of the jacket is too boxy for your petite frame. The more fitted clothes suit you much better. What a sweet thing for your husband to say, “Your body deserves better!” :)

  27. Karen says:

    Bless your dear husband for his honesty and tact! I actually like it better on the dress form than on you, but that’s not a lot of consolation, I know. Remember – even big-name designers make flops, and I firmly believe we are all allowed to make one (or more) without beating ourselves up!!! Thanks for sharing this – you’ve made me and probably a lot of our fellow sewers feel better about our own mistakes…

    • Thanks for writing, Karen! Good point – I’m sure designers make several variations of a garment before reaching the final version. What’s so bad about making mistakes like this is the waste of time, but it’s over and done with now. :)

  28. Janet Wheeler says:

    I recently found your blog and have enjoyed reading all the back posts. I hope you will continue once the year is over. Your journey has been very encouraging and I’m glad you decided to post this. The jacket may not work for your body type, but I’m sure there are others who would look great in it. Find it a new home and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well-done.

  29. Tia Dia says:

    We’ve all been there! Worked hard on a project and then realized it wasn’t for us – even with muslins! The worst one in my sewing history is a lovely silk tweed jacket: underlined, interfaced and basically sewn by hand and it looked h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e on. Someone else in the world is enjoying it now. Thanks for posting this!

  30. Rachel says:

    At least he told you rather than keeping quiet and letting you go out in something he thought looked terrible!

  31. Jay says:

    Well your wadder is still much better than any of my creations. The jacket looks very nicely fitted and the colour does suit you as well. Hopefully someone somewhere though will love it and wear it – it always seems a pity to trash these things.

  32. Myra says:

    Although I agree the jacket may not suit your body style…you make ANYTHING look good.
    I don’t like the jacket at all on the dressform. However, the photo of you in the jacket is truly not that bad! (although I HATE ric rac period!). I think people get so use to seeing you in one style, it’s hard for them to adjust to something totally different.(that includes ourselves too) Kudos to the hubby though for telling you what he truly feels!

  33. Lexley- Brisbane AU says:

    Photos speak louder than words???? On you, this looks just fab-mind you, do keep in mind that you could wear a potato sack and still look exquisite! cheers Lexley

  34. sewellen says:

    Feeling your pain about your potential wadder, I’ve made many of those myself. Ah well…sorry it didn’t work out.

  35. Sue K says:

    There’s nothing more frustrating than working on something, having a vision in your head, and they don’t match. I completely understand you wanting to toss it in the donation bin, but recommend you wait. Take off the rick-rack (too happy hands at home) and set it aside in the magic closet. If you could find a print you love, with the same apple green, a band at the bottom of the sleeves and around the front might just do the trick. The color is fabulous on you. The sleeves need to be a little shorter or a little longer.

  36. Denise Perry says:

    I love your blog, but I especially love reading all the comments. I have a feeling if you posted differently and said how much you love this jacket, how special the rick rack makes it, that you want to wear it every day of your life, that your sweet husband thinks you are SO hot in this, that your adoring followers would have fallen right into line :)
    It is perfectly sewn, as usual, and yes I love the green (my favorite) and yes I hate the rick rack. It looks like something that I (60 and overweight) would wear with pride–without the rick rack. Therefore, donate it to Goodwill immediately! I agree–no more time on it. Someone else will love it for what it is, even if they unpick the rick rack.


    • Thank you so much for the comment, Dee. What I have loved about the comments from this post is learning this happens to everyone from time to time and/or encouraging me to move on! Thank heavens for such great support :) :) :)

  37. Coco says:

    Great journey! Time for a bonfire and chanting…

  38. sewbusylizzy says:

    Better not wear it on your next date then LOL

  39. gingermakes says:

    Ooh, I do love this color! It’s so disappointing when something just isn’t the most flattering thing ever. Sometimes it can really blindside you! Ugh! I’m glad that this was a learning experience for you, fit-wise, and I’m glad you’re able to walk away from this with such a positive spin on the whole thing!

    • Hi Ginger! Thank you for this comment. I wouldn’t say I was extremely positive….. however it’s just a jacket that didn’t require much monetary investment. I’m hoping the three days I spent on it weren’t lost though :)

  40. Sheree says:

    I agree with everyone else. It is so disheartening to put a lot of work into something and be disappointed. Whenever this has happened to me ( and that’s a lot ) I can normally re-look at the pattern with fresh eyes and wonder why I didn’t foresee what would not suit me. In this case, although the pattern company have made the line drawing look nice I suspect very few women would look good in this jacket. The neck-line is not very flattering and the sleeves too wide. Great that your husband is so honest with you and as he is used to seeing you look so good why bother wearing something that doesn’t suit you. It seems to me that this is the only garment in a whole year that hasn’t worked out – well that’s a result !! My advise would be give it away ( best not be reminded ) and get on with the next thing. PS I do hope you will carry on into a further year as I do love to read your blog.

    • Hi Sheree – Thank you for such a thoughtful comment! I can usually look at a pattern and imagine the completed garment on me…… but not this time! I don’t know what I was thinking and will just have to remember what I learned from the experience. :) Many thanks for writing!

  41. erinnb says:

    I also like the colour, and the honesty of the husband. Donate it. Someone will be thrilled at their find.

  42. Heather says:

    I love how your husband phrased his opinion – very sweet. And I agree with most everyone above; great color, not great fit, maybe better if the sleeves were changed but I don’t fault you for just saying enough is enough.

    I think I’m batting 50% for my wearable projects this summer, and I’ve blogged about none of them. If this is your single miss of the year, you are doing fantastic!

  43. Sandra says:

    Gorgeous phrase from your husband. Thanks for sharing the downs as well as the ups.

    • Hi Sandra! ……. I thought about not finishing the jacket, then I thought about not writing a post. I promised myself I would finish everything I started and since the jacket was part of my sewing journey I felt it was important to write about it. Plus….. the responses and comments are generally very helpful :)

  44. Shae says:

    You say it isn’t you, but it looks great! And I love the color! If I were your size I would snap it up immediately!

  45. I tried this same type of jacket full length no less and yes, with a muslin first. I kept telling myself that once I made it in better fabric (hot pink gingham), and lined it (in hot pink floral), it would somehow transform. My mother was the one who gave me the bad news via facetime. My family wouldn’t say a thing when I pranced all over the house wearing it the night before. lol
    I put it on my blog and no one said a word about the “lovely” matching dress and jacket in the comments. You could hear crickets chirping!


    You win some and you lose some!

  46. Anonymous says:

    I will add this blog to my favorites, it is great

  47. Amy G. says:

    Hmmm….. yes and no is what I say. I love the color on you. It’s cute with jeans as a knock around jacket maybe. My suggestion is maybe but in fisheye darts in the back to take in some of the fullness, maybe being more fitted would make it salvageable. But – we’ve all been there since sewing isn’t like taking a pile of clothes into the fitting room and editing what’s good or not.

  48. Pingback: Dare to Wear | Goodbye Valentino

  49. AJW says:

    I love your candor — it really legitimizes this whole endeavor. It takes a truly confident person to own up to an occasional mistake and with your record of high-quality technique and output, you have little to fear. That said, I just want to share something from a home-ec teacher from way back in my day — rick rack is NEVER a good idea.

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