Sewing Disaster 03-01-24 01

Sewing Disaster

Impatience and lack of attention were two of my character defects that led to a short-lived sewing disaster this week.

Narrowly Averted Sewing Disaster

Firs of all, I have two sewing machines. I have a Singer Featherweight from my mom that works great. If all I want to do is a simple, straight stitch, it’s fantastic. I also have a cheap Simplicity Sewing Machine (made by Brother) when I need to do more advanced stitches (zig-zag and decorative stitches).

Two Sewing Machines Simplicity and Singer Featherweight 03-01-24 01

For my current project of making the One-Hour Tote Bags, I opted to use the Simplicity machine. The totes only require a simple, straight stitch, but I didn’t feel like emptying a Singer bobbin to load on the thread I wanted to use for the totes. And I already had empty bobbins for the Simplicity. Lazy, I know.

After the zipper fiasco, I dutifully ripped out all the mess I made, ironed all the fabric involved and started again.

While re-sewing the non-zipperless tote, somehow, my piece-of-shit sewing machine sucked some thread into the innards of the machine and wrapped the thread around a rotating joint.

Tangled Thread 03-01-24 01

I couldn’t get to the thread without removing the plastic, front plate, so I unscrewed the two screws holding it on. The thread was still difficult to get to. I start pulling gently while rotating the joint. Some of the thread came out, but some was definitely not coming out without removing the screw holding the joint in-place. So I removed the screw, and the thread came out. So far, so good.

Until…I couldn’t get the flat black screw back in place! WTF!?!? I mean it was a little awkward accessing that space, but not impossible. The screw just wouldn’t go in. And then, of course, I dropped the screw into the innards of the machine. Took a while to shake that one out. Until I did it again. I finally asked Thaddeus (the handy-person in our household) to take a look. Try as he might, he couldn’t get it in either. And he only dropped the screw into the middle of the machine once while trying.

I ended up removing the casing door and started to remove the screws for the entire back casing. Thinking I might get more access to the screw-hole. In doing so, I found a nut that seemed to belong to nothing just bouncing around inside my machine.

Crisis Averted

I kept telling myself the machine cost me $100. It wasn’t the end of the world if it was lost forever.

Thinking the random nut might somehow be a part of my screw problem, I checked to see if it fit on the screw. It didn’t. It was too loose. But I somehow got it jammed onto the screw and couldn’t get it off. <sigh>. But it was a fortunate mistake. I realized that it was jammed onto the screw because while trying to unscrew it, it was actually going on more! The stupid screw was reverse-threaded!

Suffice it to say, I got the nut off. I got the screw back in place. All of the random parts (including the nut) found a place back on the machine. My machine actually works a little better than it did before all of this chaos.

All’s well…

Current Sewing

I was able to finish the remaining four totes!

The tote does have a squared-off, flat bottom.

One-Hour Tote 03-01-24 08

The pattern calls for a rigid, fabric-covered insert for the bottom rectangle. Not sure I’m going to make those, but I might change my mind about that.

7 comments on “Sewing Disaster

    1. The other “war story” I have with sewing is seemingly never-ending…it’s where I start to sew a simple seam and get a glob of thread underneath the fabric. I rip it all out and try again to get another glob of thread underneath. I rip it all out and start again to get another glob of thread. Only then do I think to check and find out I missed one of the little guides or hooks whilst threading my machine. Easy fix, but not an easy education, as this repetitive glitch happens often.

  1. Craft store plastic mesh works nicely for the inserts. The bag being able to sit at attention next to you while you knit, etc. is valuable.

    My craft store prowling days are long over. Perhaps there’s another inexpensive product that would work for you.

  2. My mom had a Singer Featherlight sewing machine. She absolutely loved it and seeing that photo brought back many memories for me.

  3. I have a story about trying to fix a toaster…but it ended up being a lost cause….
    Mom’s old Singer hasn’t worked for years….but I will leave that for yet another day and to a professional.
    Great totes. As always, your use of color shines through.
    Best wishes for March.

  4. I don’t mean to laugh at your misfortunes, but reading your post was like watching an old comedy clip. You have a wonderful manner of writing and I could picture everything that was going on. Glad things worked out for you but it was a lovely humourous trip to that ending.

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