FAIL February! (Feat. M7591)


Hey, everybody!

I have been working on the subject(s) of my next post for a couple of weeks now, but thought this might be a fun feature to hold you all over (LOLOL as if you’re eagerly waiting for the next post–I know better!) until I get that done. Behold: my just-in-time contribution to FAIL February 2018!

Dress (1 of 13)

It’s a dress! An ugly, ugly dress.

Dress (1 of 1)

From the back

Dress (2 of 13)

Too Cool to Care I’m Being Photographed: A Blogger’s Story

Dress (4 of 13)

My feels about how low-cut this thing is!

Dress (11 of 13)

Look Ma, no nip-slip!

I literally started writing a post about this dress almost A YEAR AGO. But I never really liked the dress once it was done, and lost any motivation to blog about it. Until Sew RED-y mentioned “Fail February” and a lightbulb went off, anyway. πŸ˜‰ For my purposes, this dress is an absolute FAIL.

The pattern is M7591. I initially planned to make View C, but decided to live dangerously (and bra-lessly) and go for the other bodice. It looks kinda like the envelope…if the envelope illustration was a lot sloppier, frumpier, and day-drunk-er. 😦 I usually have pretty good luck with McCall’s patterns, but this one is a lesson in not assuming “fitted” means “fitted on MY body.”

I’d seen other, more accomplished sewers make this pattern and look smokin’ hot in it, so I wasn’t worried about it. But between the ease, the extra length I added to the skirt, and the fabric, it is BAD. So bad. This pattern is not a number-sizes one, it’s one of the “XS, S, M, etc.” ones. I suspect the ease is a little bit fudgier to account for the limited number of sizes, but that’s just one idiot’s hunch. This could have been avoided, of course, by measuring the pieces to see how big the dress really was. Which I totally didn’t do, because how big could an XS really be? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Joke’s on me.

I added extra bodice length–2″, per my notes–which was definitely needed. I also gambled by adding 1″ to the skirt hem, and using that as my hem allowance. So the skirt is only longer by whatever the original hem allowance was, which escapes me. (I recycled this pattern–clearly it isn’t for me.) The finished length is AWFUL on me. It hits me at about the most awkward place possible on my legs, and the split in the skirt is not dramatic enough to counteract the dumpy illusion created by the hem length. Another mistake? I only cut the elastic to 2″ shorter than my waist measurement; I probably needed more negative ease there to help gather up the volume of the dress.

My original mistake, though, was picking this fabric. It’s a super cute splatter print on rayon challis, but the colors are just not good on me at all. (Kicking myself for not saving it for summer pajamas…) I really need high contrast prints and bold colors, and I have also realized that small-scale prints are not something I enjoy wearing in practice. (Gillian has written a really helpful post about analyzing your own print preferences and needs–definitely check it out! It will almost certainly make you think twice about a print you’ve bought!)Β The colors and print scale compound the dumpy and deeply unflattering effect of the shape of the dress. Double bonus FAIL points! πŸ˜‰

Dress (2 of 3)

Literally the most flattering photo of this dress.


Dress (5 of 13)

Supa-low neckline

Socks and Dress 7.16.17 (14 of 14)

I mean, it’s practically a standing invitation to Look At My T*ts


Socks and Dress 7.16.17 (10 of 14)

The rare–and less dumpy–Side View

Socks and Dress 7.16.17 (11 of 14)



Believe it or not, I tried really hard to like this dress. I wore it to work one day (with a cardigan over it–I’m not a complete idiot) and out to a friend’s gig one night. I even made Tom take 2 sessions worth of photos of it, convinced that we just needed to find the right angle to make the dress look more flattering. But ultimately, I knew it wasn’t right for me and I have since recycled it. RIP, M7591.

While this wasn’t a fun post to write because sewing fails are bummers, it WAS a lot of fun to use it to participate in something tongue-in-cheek like Fail February. Thanks to Sew RED-y for making it a “Thing,” although hopefully I won’t be able to participate next year, LOL. πŸ˜€

As a palate cleanser, here’s a photo of World’s Best Dog for the road (because he is not a FAIL and is very good-looking, unlike this dress):

Dress (3 of 3)

He’s definitely sitting on my foot.

Do you share your “meh” sewing results on your blog or social media? Why or why not? What happens to your sewing disappointments: do you wear them anyway, or banish them from your sight immediately?


14 thoughts on “FAIL February! (Feat. M7591)

  1. I didn’t know about Fail February. I can only remember a couple of makes that were total fails. At the beginning of the year I did a Hits and Misses post but there was only one real miss which, I guess, is also a fail. I will try to remember Fail February for next year and maybe participate.

  2. Yaaaaay! (and um booo?) Thanks for your FF participation! Although at first glance it doesn’t look bad, I see where the problems are for sure. Too bad it couldn’t shrink up like 5 sizes in the dryer like my rayon did… then it would be really cute! But I agree with your color palette… you definitely need more bold designs/colors to really WOW!

    I love the back straps of the dress and actually had a vintage pattern that had the same back neckline that turned out to be a fail… mostly because I was a sewing n00b and the fabric was awful. Womp womp.

    Anyhoo, I do wish you better luck this year and hope you won’t have [too many] things to contribute next year, although I say the more the merrier. πŸ˜‰

    • Yeah, the neckline was so cool–I wanted it to work! (If the colors hadn’t done the OPPOSITE of grow on me, I might try your dryer tip, LOL!) Thanks for coming up with the idea to share and revel in our Fails together: it’s way more fun than pouting about them silently. πŸ˜‰

  3. Fail February–what a wonderful idea! Yes, of course, I have written about sewing flops. My early ’90s Calvin Klein anorak pattern was ridiculously big on me–of course; the amount of designer ease that decade was huge. It helped that the anorak looked so ludicrous on me that it made for a very fun photo session in Cynthia’s studio. See . I recently came across a quotation from Max Beerbohm that I want to put on my home page: “There is much to be said for failure. It is more interesting than success.” But some failure are more interesting–and educational–than other failures. I think you learned a lot from this one!

    • Oh goodness, I remember that jacket–so much 90’s ease! O_o I dislike failure, but you are right that it often presents a learning opportunity; it’s a matter of re-framing my mind to see things from that perspective, haha!

  4. Ha, your photos make it a success if you ask me. I sleep in my ‘fails’, just so you know:) Most of them are sizing issues, which seems to be what yours is – – a summer nightgown perhaps? I didn’t know fail February was a thing – great idea!

  5. Pingback: Fail February 2018: Your Fails! – Sew RED-y

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