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a Sewing Nightmare

August 14, 2012

I’ve not been having the best of luck with my sewing machine as of late. In fact, I’m ready to throw thing out the damn window, but luckily the windows in our dining room don’t really open well so I’m stuck with it until something better comes along.

I’m not a seamstress. I don’t know how to sew. I’ve essentially taught myself how to use this machine. My MIL taught me the basics (thread a needle, load a bobbin) but from there it’s just been me. And up until now, I’ve been doing just fine on my own. I don’t sew a lot. Nothing too complicated. I’m not solving world hunger here- just trying to make a CLUTCH!

In the past I’ve always just walked away from the machine, let it breathe, let me breathe, and when I come back it always seems to work out. No, not this time. No amount of walking away is solving this problem, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why WHY WHY WHY?!?!

Everything sews just FINE (seams, zippers, what have you) until I get to the point where I need to sew right next to the zipper to keep the fabric from being eaten up by the zipper when it opens and closes. Every other time the things works JUST FINE! But no, not on this step, and this step is CRUCIAL! And difficult because my leather is so thick it doesn’t want to flatten out to let the needle through. So, my zippers sewn in clutches have been pressing under bricks for a week to make the process easier, and it has been, EXCEPT FOR THE DAMNED SEWING MACHINE!!!

Tonight, I changed the needle, rethreaded, re-wound a NEW bobbin, cleaned out the bobbin case, changed the tension and still NOTHING! How the hell did I manage to get through those first five clutches without so much as a blink, and now that I actually have them a decent size I can’t do anything!? And now I have a show in less than two weeks and Renegade the second week in September and I guess I’m not taking any new clutches because MY SEWING MACHINE HATES ME!

So, tonight – instead of working like I SHOULD be doing, I’ll sit back and watch the two episodes of True Blood I’ve missed in all the chaos that is our every day life. UGH!

I mean, this has gotta help right?!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2012 12:03 am

    I wish I could offer you some sewing advice. Al I can say is I totally sympathize, especially with equipment failure before a big show! Do you know any veteran sewers you can ask for help?

    Enjoy your True Blood and cocktails! I’m right there with you. It’s a good night for booze and Netflix!

  2. August 15, 2012 7:40 am

    Do you know this lady? She might be able to offer you some advice. She is really nice.

    Do you think it just hates the thick layers? You said you changed the needle, but did you give it a thicker needle to sew that leather? I don’t know if that would make a difference, I’ve actually personally never used a needle other than the standard ones my machine came with.

  3. Sandy permalink
    August 15, 2012 8:05 am

    There are so many things that can go wrong with a machine. Sometimes they are easily fixable by a person – you tried all the right things – and sometimes they aren’t. It could be almost anything, though most commonly tension issues are the hardest for home-sewers to fix. You may just need a heavier needle to sew where you’re sewing, or a different type of needle – combinations of different types and weights of fabrics can be tricky to find the right needle for. You could have a bent bobbin or a warped faceplace, you could need a new bobbin case. Leather is particularly tricky if you don’t have a walking foot – a gizmo that feeds the leather from the top as the feed dogs feed it from the bottom so there’s no slipping. That can make a big difference with tension.

    And sometimes you just have to admit when you need help. A professional may not be able to help – My beloved Pfaff is still waiting to go to Indy to the special “doctor”. After a six week saga I finally bought a cheap singer and have been using that for four months, while I wait to find the money and time to take the old one up to the repairman. – But they can probably tell you what’s going on, and fix it if it’s fixable or they can get they right parts. And this is why almost every seamstress I’ve ever known has a back up machine. Just in case.

    • admin permalink*
      August 15, 2012 9:27 am

      i’m going to try again this morning and see what I can manage. i tightened some things where some things were loose. i’m not going to lie, i’ve no idea what i’m doing. like i said, it sews everything else just fine, it’s just..yeah.

      i’m also looking into getting a better machine..though i’m not sure how much good that will do when i still don’t know what i’m doing;) but i’ve heard about that whole walking foot thing before so i should look into that. i used to have a back-up machine, but it sat unused for over a year so i gave it back to the friend i was borrowing it from.

      luckily i bind books by hand – maybe this is just karma’s way of telling me to stay with what i know;)

  4. August 27, 2012 6:49 pm

    I hate when my machine freaks out on me. I am fortunate enough to have a few different machines but it could be a simple case of needing to have your machine serviced back to factory settings. I don’t know what machine you have but maybe your fabric is too heavy for the machines motor. That happens a lot when your feed dogs can’t guide the fabric through. I hope it gets straightened out for you if it hasn’t already.

    Good luck.


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