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Friday, 20 June 2014

The Popper Problem

Today, I realised something I was sewing had gone so wrong that I threw it in the bin.

Now you're all wondering what was I making, and what had gone so badly wrong that it wasn't worth doing what we'd all normally do, which is to make a cup of tea, have a few biscuits, and come back to it later, right?

I'd been making a second romper suit for Charlotte. I cut it out straight after finishing making her first romper. That one felt like such a success, that I was motivated about making another for her. Actually, a few. You know me, full of optimism about how much time I have to do these things!

With these dresses fresh off the sewing machine, I let myself be persuaded (by the owners of the dresses, of course) to make a matching romper with the leftover scraps. I just about wangled it, and felt very clever.

And then the pieces sat cut out and not sewn for a couple of months. Plenty of other things got made. Other more exciting things, I guess. For some reason, my motivation to make that particular romper had vanished.

It all boiled down to The Popper Problem. Having found how fiddly and annoying poppers are to apply (they took longer to get right than the entire romper did to sew), I was reluctant to revisit them. And worse than that - one day, one of the poppers on the fabulous green scooter romper tore through the jersey, leaving a hole. Oh, bother and drat to that. (I still dress Charlotte in the romper, by the way - I think life is too short to worry about little imperfections with clothing.)

So, I did what a lot of us do, and went on the internet for supplies. I bought some sew in popper tape, in the hope this would be a good solution to The Popper Problem. 

Still, my heart wasn't really in the project. Unsure whether it was a lack of confidence over how good the popper tape would work out, or whether it was just that I wasn't feeling the romper love any more, I decided to force myself to make the project that I'd cut out. It had, after all, been bothering me that I had left something unfinished for so long, and had been merrily moving onto new shiny sewing projects to satisfy my urge to sew. I felt guilty.

Well, dear friends, let me tell you, the lesson of this failed project is that guilt is no reason to sew. If your heart isn't in it, it is usually for a good reason. In this case, I didn't want the striped fabric I had cut or the popper tape to go to waste. This clouded my judgement about the project generally. 

In my desire to just sew the romper so that I could move on and make something I would enjoy more, I just ended up wasting a few hours of time (as well as the materials). 

I'd had my doubts about the popper tape because I thought it was a bit stiff and scratchy. But I plodded on anyway. It was only when I had reached the penultimate step in making the romper - attaching the poppers that go in between the legs - that I realised how unsatisfied I was with the whole thing. I'd been right in my doubts about the popper tape - there was no way I was ever putting Charlotte in the romper if I finished it, because it just wasn't going to be comfortable for her to wear. There is no point in making a thing to wear - especially for a baby - if it is stiff and scratchy. There was no point in doing the hems. 

And with that, I threw the whole thing in the bin and felt much better. 

I made a large tea, ate a few biscuits, and came back to The Popper Problem. 

I think I have found a solution. Which, given that the shiny new printed jersey I have been itching to make some rompers with is still there waiting for when I am ready, is just as well.

But for now, I am going to enjoy sewing something else. Four words to bring a smile to my face after this failure: Megan Dress Sewing Tonight! 


  1. I did this recently with a dress I was making, I had the fabric but I didn't love the fabric, cut it without measuring and have since hidden the pieces in a drawer so I don't have to think about it!

  2. Why not make your own popper tape on some nice soft cotton tape. It wont stretch like the jersey which l think is why the poppers pop out.