Pinterest Challenge Failure

WARNING: This post contains pictures of dismal and catastrophic craft and sewing failures. Optimistic beginners may be permanently scarred.

John and Sherry are hosting a Pinterest Challenge. For those few of you who don’t already follow their blog, Young House Love, let me just explain that they are just the cutest, sweetest, perkiest, funniest couple, and they have an adorable dog and an even more adorable baby. They do all these cool DIY things to their house, and they share their successes and failures with their readers. I’m totally addicted.

Anywho, they issued a challenge to all of us pinning things like crazy on Pinterest to pick something we’ve pinned and actually DO it. Honestly, I’ve done about a dozen of the hundred or so things I’ve pinned, but they were mostly recipes and frugal tips. So, since it is a challenge, after all, I chose to tackle a project I’d pinned several options for – re-covering my office chair. Here’s my sad, tattered office chair before:

front view - see the problem?
back view - look closely

I bought two yards of beautiful deep gold upholstery fabric with a small, subtle pattern (and it was 30% off – WOO HOO) and washed and ironed it before I even started. I know the rules! Then I made a pattern of sorts with newspaper. I didn’t want to just take it apart and re-cover the back and seat.  I wanted to make a cute slipcover.  Easy-peasy, right?  I made three pattern pieces: the chair back, the chair front, and the chair seat. I figured the pleated skirt would be simple enough without a pattern. I carefully cut the fabric, taking care to match the direction of the fabric (thank you, Junior High Home Ec teacher) and once I sewed the three major pieces together things really didn’t look too bad. Well, with one exception. I’d forgotten all about the big knob on the back of the chair, which is comparable to sewing a dress for a woman and forgetting she has a butt. Bummer. I cut and added a triangular piece that I thought might disguise my mistake, and was fairly pleased with myself. I got a little cocky and went all Project Runway, hoisting the chair onto the kitchen island to properly fit the pleated skirt around the bottom. Looking pretty cute, right?

That’s when something went wrong – terribly, horribly wrong. The pleats didn’t pleat – they poofed like an eighties prom dress. Or eighties hair. Or eighties anything, really. I trimmed and pressed seams, I pulled and tugged, but as an ex-co-worker of mine used to say, “It’s toast.  You can scrape and scrape, but it’s never going to be bread again.” I did finish it just for the sake of saying I had finished the challenge, but for the hemming I used stitch-witchery. This project was simply not deserving of hand- or machine-hemming. If you’re brave enough to look, here are the final results:

Lesson learned. Just because you can pin it doesn’t mean you can do it. From now on I’m sticking to recipes and frugal tips. Oh, and I did successfully do that “hide a spare house key in a medicine bottle with a rock hot-glued to the top and bury it” thing. That worked great.

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15 thoughts on “Pinterest Challenge Failure”

  1. Hmmm. I’m trying to think of something wonderfully motivating to say here… Love the fabric! And good job on hiding a key 🙂

  2. Angie, you get an “E” for “Effort”! I admire your can-do spirit! I, personally, am just a beginning sewer and I will not attempt sewing anything (besides pajama pants) without supervision! LOL!

    I’m always terrified of failing, so rarely start projects unless I am sure I can do them. Sometimes, I guess it’s good to come out of our comfort zone and maybe we might surprise ourselves! Huh?

    I’ll see what else you come up with on Pinterest!

  3. This fabric and this chair were obviously not destined for each other. It wasn’t your fault. Those pictures did make me smile, though, and reminded me of the way some of my 4-H projects turned out….

    1. Think of it more like a search engine, only more visual. I use it to search for frugal tips, inspiring quotes, and recipes. Also GREAT for kids’ crafts and homeschooling resources!

  4. I did this project also but I separated the two sections, rather than trying to slipcover the entire thing. On the chair back I put elastic on the bottom so it fits snug and then the seat piece has a skirt like yours. If you don’t look too closely, it looks like it is all one piece. Maybe you can take a break from it and re-do it someday. I usually can’t go back to a failure right away because we are on the outs!! But I calm down after a month or so and then can rework it. Good luck!

    1. That sounds like a great idea. You’re right, it’s going to take a little more time before I’m willing to tackle it again – but tackle it I will!

    1. I got LOTS of hits on this post, but not many comments – I think people were afraid to say anything! I like seeing a few failures now and then – keeps it real 😉

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