Like last night, for instance. I was up until 2:00 in the morning making the monstrosity you see below. Behold! Marvel in my utter failure!
Now before you stop me and tell me I must be joking and that this...thing...is actually kind of...um, pretty (what is it again?) let me first tell you that this was supposed to be a pleated drawstring bag. Obviously I didn't get to the drawstring part and that is because of one of the mistakes I made.
The thing about mistakes, as we all know, is that they are nothing if not learning opportunities. Here are some of the particular lessons I learned last night:
1. Barkcloth is amazingly beautiful stuff. Its tight weave makes it durable as all hell, and also allows really beautiful designs to be printed on it. It's rough and scratchy; not right for a dress. But it's just perfect for a bag. So why did this bag fail so very hard? Because...
2. Barkcloth does not hold a pleat. Those tiny wrinkles at the bottom there are actually the result of a complicated mixed-pleat concept I spent more than an hour figuring out. As I folded and pinned (and folded and pinned and folded and pinned ad nauseum), it rippled in such a lovely way that I was vocally (out loud) praising myself for coming up with such a masterful idea. However, as soon as I sewed down the pleats, and subsequently sewed the edges of the bag together, I watched all that hard work and self-congratulation fade into oblivion. Turns out barkcloth is just sturdy enough to tease me ruthlessly, then laugh in the face of my delicate and finger-aching pleating efforts. What an asshole.
What else didn't work? Well...
3. Barkcloth is too sturdy to be persuaded by the gentle tug of a drawstring...especially when the top has been folded over twice. I'm telling you. All I have to do is graze my fingers over that top edge and I know damn well that thing isn't wrinkling up like a little bitch for ANYTHING! A person who had, for example, an interest in using this delightful little pouch as an ultra-feminine dice bag (ahem, someone like me perhaps) would find themselves engaged in an epic battle for closure as he or she struggled to tighten the strings.
In short, it's rubbish. But hey, it's a Thing I Made, so I posted it.
And I learned some stuff, which ain't bad at all. I was finally able to sleep, despite my depressing lack of success, only after designing two more Things I Want to Make, so at least I have something to look forward to.
As for the barkcloth (which is really so beautiful), it has defeated me this time. But perhaps next time we can come to some sort of compromise, and the next time you see it, it will be something really special.