Fail February · Finished projects

Fail February and the Paxson Grandpa Sweater That Should Not Have Been

In the spirit of Fail February, I have a project that probably should not have been. For an explanation of Fail February, check out my last post. Now, let’s revel in some poor decisions I’ve made!

I wanted to make DD a little something for our upcoming [cold] trip to Japan. The Paxson sweatshirt by Seamwork Magazine seemed perfect! It’s stylish AND fast to make. Plus, who wants to spend tons of hours on sewing for someone else? I admit I’m a selfish sewist. Not sorry!

I went shopping at Joann’s to pick out some fabric since most of what I had in my stash was considered girly. I came across this grey heather sweatshirt fleece stuff and it felt sooo soft… but it was polyester! I know polyester isn’t very comfortable to wear, but the fabric felt so great in the store, I figured it would work. Below is a shot of the inside. See how fuzzy and cozy it is?

IMG_6949I measured DD and determined medium would be the perfect size. He’s a tall, lanky guy so I was worried the sleeves and hem would be too short. I held the pattern pieces up to him and eyeballed the length. It looked as though it would work!

Well, it didn’t work. When I finished it, DD put it on and lifted his arms. The bottom came up to his chest! And the sleeves stopped above his wrists.


But the good news is the length fit me just fine. So now it’s MY sweatshirt.

20160118_134836Sorry, DD! He claims I planned it that way, but I swear I didn’t!

I feel bad because I thought this would look so nice on him. We even chose the elbow patches together to make it a little more special.


20160118_134846The patches are made from a fake leather upholstery material that I bought from a local home fabrics store that was going out of business. I like the texture… it looks like it’s supposed to be ostrich leather, I think?

IMG_6948To me, this is the epitome of what a “grandpa sweater” looks like. Gray with elbow patches. I think DD could have pulled it off better than me. I feel like a boy wearing this, especially with my short hair.

20160118_134642So other than it being meant for DD and not for me, there are two more fails about this sweater. The fit is one. It’s kind of tight around the shoulders, causing the neckline to rise up.

IMG_6946See that weirdness poking out from the back of my neck? It’s a bit thick, so it bulks out everywhere. I have to keep pulling the sweater down so I don’t have a weird neckline around my chin.

20160118_134646The fit is also not very flattering. It poofs me out as it’s just not made for a curvy womanly body. I even took in the side seams a smidgen just to give it some shape.

The other fail is the fabric. After washing and drying the polyester sweater fleece, it just didn’t feel as good. Polyester fabric tends to have a plastic-y feel to me and it doesn’t breathe well. This sweater is super warm, but since it doesn’t breathe, I get sweaty. I get sweaty even if I’m wearing gauzy cotton fabric… I’m just a sweaty kind of gal (TMI?).

Oh, and while we were taking these photos, my DSLR camera died! The battery went out and the other battery wasn’t charged, so we had to take the majority from my cell phone. I think it did pretty well, though. After the photo shoot, I went in search of my camera charger. It couldn’t be found! I looked all over the house and even asked my parents to check their houses in New Orleans to see if I left it there from our Thanksgiving visit. Nope.

But after a couple of weeks and being on the verge of buying a replacement charger on Amazon, I took one last look through the luggage we brought to New Orleans, and there it was!!! Thank goodness!

Anyway, I’m tempted just to make this an “around the house” sweatshirt. The weather is warm now, so I won’t be wearing this again any time soon. Maybe I’ll give it another chance next winter and see if it makes the cut. If not, then maybe it will be a better sweatshirt for someone else.

So it looks like some other bloggers are getting into the spirit of Fail February! Check out Jamie’s posts on Mac’s Crafts… she shares a shirt that just didn’t work out and a dress that actually ended up turning into a win after she turned it into a skirt! Thanks for sharing, Jamie!

I’m also part of a Sewing Bloggers Facebook group and threw the idea of Fail February around there and some others are on board! Let’s celebrate our fails this month in unity! ๐Ÿ˜€

On that note, I’ll leave you with an awkward photo…

IMG_6943HAHA, FAIL!!!!

Have you had any sewing or crafting fails recently? Share them in the comments!


24 thoughts on “Fail February and the Paxson Grandpa Sweater That Should Not Have Been

  1. Thank you for sharing your fails!! I think it is important to recognize them ๐Ÿ™‚ I was actually looking at that pattern for my BF, but I was worried about the fit, specifically in the shoulders. It seemed small! Thanks for the review.
    I did have my own fail last weekend. My binding for a knit top I made turned out too small and made the neckline and armholes look all gathered. Sigh! Live and learn ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw that sounds like a bummer with your knit top… but maybe it will work out the next time you try the pattern. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing your fail!

      I’m going to try to make DD another Paxson with a drapier fabric but the shoulders thing does worry me since his are wider than mine (I would hope so!). We’ll see… maybe that will be a post for next year’s Fail February, LOL!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just made a Marigold blouse hack as an example for a sew along I’m doing in March. It’s supposed to be a loose fitting top, but it is a wee bit snug over the hip. I’m going to see if I can save it by adding side slits at the hem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a crack up!! (I’m with you on the sweat thing FYI, you are not alone! ๐Ÿ˜‰) I think it looks really cute and if not for the polyester thing, would be the ultimate boyfriend style garment. Maybe you need to tag and release into the wild in the hope a person who doesn’t sweat finds it and gives it a forever home…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, sweaty sewists unite! Although I do sweat less since I’ve moved to the desert, but I still get the embarrassing pools of armpit sweat… especially at work. Haha!

      I’m sure someone out there will like it. It IS warm, at least! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Abigail! I was wrestling with it during the photo shoot for it to look decent… but garments aren’t made for wrestling with! (Unless it’s a unitard for wrestling… LOL)


  4. It’s another one of those things that looks good at first but when you really start to look at it, it’s a no-go. You can chalk it up to a “it’s the thought that counts” moment though so at least you have that! I’m unfortunately a sweaty Betty too. That’s why you very rarely see me in white shirts. Major icky. Sometimes layers are just not our friend. It does look very well constructed if that makes you feel better about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hah! All my white shirts have the dreaded pit stain. I recently made the Grainline Hemlock (free!) Tee and I’m starting to dig the over-sized shirt feel, mostly because the pit area is so flowy and airy!

      Thanks for the construction compliment! I definitely think I’ll try to make DD another one… I think my fabric choice will be better and not as bulky next time. I also bought the Thread Theory Jedediah Pants for him and he keeps asking me when he’s getting pants. Baby steps, dude! I need fabric first! (And I need to make myself those Gingers to learn how to actually make pants before trying on someone else!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I need to make some more flowy tops for all those hot days out here. Good luck on the jeans. Getting a good crotch fit with pants is the hardest part. It also starts to become a little ridiculous how much you start analyzing the crotch fit on all your pants.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I need to bust out more flowy tops for summer, too. It’s all I can stand in the heat! Plus I can eat all I want and they hide my food belly well ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I’m a little scared with the crotch part since that’s what I’ve been hearing. I’m biting the bullet and going full-on-Ginger, no tweaks, no muslins! Living on the wild side!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Doesn’t seem like a fail cos it looks cute on you! Really like the detail on the elbow patches too weird as that sounds. I want to see your review on Ginger jeans! I am fiddling with learning to fit pants now and all the Gingers seem to come out nice ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the compliment! I guess I should have really started “Fail February” with my first makes because there’s a lot of unblogged trash there. Unfortunately, they have already been donated! I guess since I’ve been sewing for a while, whatever I make should be wearable enough, but the perfectionist in me (and I’m sure there’s one in all sewists) cringes at some of the flaws. But again, that’s all part of the beauty of hand made things! Nothing’s going to be really perfect.

      I still have the leg pieces to cut out for the Ginger Jeans and I probably won’t have time to really start putting them together until April due to vacation and work commitments. By the time I finish them, it’ll be too hot in AZ to wear them, but I will definitely post about it! I’m curious as to how they’ll turn out, too…


  6. I made Paxton.. For myself.. And had the neckline thing too. I have pretty square shoulders so I thought it might just be a “me” thing. Seriously, when I tried it on the first time the neckline was halfway to my ears and I could not pull it down any lower.. I tweaked it enough to make it kinda wearable.. Except I still have to pull it down constantly ;(


    1. Ahhh how aggravating! Well I’m slightly relieved I’m not the only one with this problem. It’s weird because it’s a pattern targeted for guys and they have wider shoulders than us. Oh well, at least it was inexpensive! ^_^;


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