I started on the hemp corded bodice for my lavender Tudor kirtle today. If you're not familiar with hemp cording, check out Jennifer Thompson's excellent page at Festive Attyre.
Because the thickness of the cording can cause the piece to "shrink", I traced the pattern onto my linen fashion fabric and added 2" all around. Then I pinned the fabric to the backing fabric, a cotton linen blend I've had in my stash forever.
I turned on an interesting audiobook and started to stitch, using the width of my sewing machine foot to make lovely parallel rows 1/4" apart.
I started from the center line of the front piece and worked my way outward. The first half went fast and looked great. I went back to the center and started working my way out in the other direction. My book was getting more interesting, and I zoned out and just stitched, till I was almost done.. and then I looked at it and saw what I'd done.
Apparently, i got a little bit wonky with one of my stitching lines. And then I followed that line for the next one, and so one, and so forth. With each repeat the line got a little more exaggerated, and by the time I noticed, my stitching looked like this:
So I had to take a seam ripper and rip out a dozen or so tightly stitched rows. And then, to add insult to injury, I realized I'd ripped on the wrong side, where the perfectly good, straight stitching was. That's when I decided to call it a day.
How to avoid doing what I did is simple: Watch what you're doing, and check your work once in a while. You'd think after almost 50 years of sewing I'd have figured that one out.