Thursday, July 29, 2010

Share your sewing mishaps for a chance to win!

A few months ago I was testing an in-the-hoop design on my embroidery machine. In the interest of saving a bit of time, I ignored my own instructions and, instead of taping down fabric to my stabilizer, I held it in place with my fingers as my embroidery machine did the stitching. (Can you guess where I'm going with this story??) That's right...before I knew what was happening, my finger got caught under the presser foot and the needle stitched right through my finger! (If you have a weak stomach, stop reading now....) My finger was caught in there until the needle broke. The broken needle stayed in my finger and I even had a long length of thread in my finger, and it was still attached to the machine. Eek! I panicked and pulled it out by the needle point, not thinking to cut the thread first and pulled a couple of feet of thread through my finger before thinking to cut it off the spool. I still cringe thinking about that. I headed to the doctor for a tetanus shot and an x-ray which showed a piece of the needle stuck inside. Luckily they gave it a few days to work itself out before doing anything, and that did the trick. But ICK! As you can imagine, I'm much more careful these days (even though I still do take shortcuts sometimes...)

I'd love to hear your stories of sewing room mishaps and will give away a free design of your choice to the person with the best story! I also want to hear if anyone else has stitched through their finger to know I'm not the only one! Please post your stories here by Friday, August 6 for a chance to win!


KW said...

I have never sewn through my finger but my mother did when I was 5 or 6 and it was my fault! I distracted her while she was sewing - she looked up at me when I asked her something. She backed the needle out of her finger - it had gone all the way through. All she said was that she was glad that she didn't get any blood on the fabric. I can still, 55 years later, see the needle going into her finger then back out when I'm reminded of the incident. She never blamed me - she insisted it wasn't my fault. I was allowed to start using the sewing machine not long after that. I was very, very careful about where I put my hands - I'm still very careful.

--- Kayla

Granny B's said...

I did the SAME thing about a year ago! You are not the only one. I was sewing on my regular sewing machine which is a professional machine that sews super fast. The end of my finger kind of went numb and I thought, "I cant believe I just sewed my finger!" The needle didn't break but went ALL THE WAY through my finger, I had to turn the wheel to raise the needle and thread back through my finger. Then is when it hurt really bad and I thought I was going to faint. The funny part is I have been a nurse 24 years and never had a single needle stick!!

SandyGail said...

I have sewn my finger before when sewing clothes. However, the worse I have done is when embrodering a jumper for a craft show. I failed to remove the tag and plastic bag with extra button that was on the jumper. My design looked great, until I turned it over. There under the stablizer was the bag with the extra button and the paper tag! Luckily I did not mess up my machine or damage the needle.
It took a while to remove the tag and bag. I then attached them to the jumper. It was the first one to sale at the show!

VickiT said...

Ack. That just makes me hurt. I've never done anything like that or at least don't remember which is good.

My biggest mishap was right after buying my very first embroidery machine about 5 yrs ago now. I was SO excited and my best friend had just become a grandma so I decided I was going to make her some baby stuff. First was some bibs that I found a neat pattern for. I decided I was going to make them extra cool by embroidering the baby's name and a super cute Easter design and then cover the front with vinyl so it was easily cleaned and it would be something they could use and then save. Well I did the embroidery and name then cut the bib. It looked SO cute. I cut vinyl from the bib pattern and then stitched it all together. Once I was done I admired what a wonderful job I had done on my very first embroidery project. You guy know how that felt I KNOW you do. Well then, I flipped the bib around through the small hole in the side I'd remembered to do and it was that point which I realized that I had done it all wrong and the vinyl was not covering the front at all. Heck the adorable bib front wasn't even right. I had the vinyl on the back and the front of the bib since the snaps were set was now the back of the bib. :( UGH ALL that work and it was all wrong.

Since then I've paid extra special attention to where I am embroidering and where things are before placing snaps AND vinyl too. LOL

Jeri said...

Eww, that has always been my greatest fear! I was a machine operator for years and had my thumb stuck in a machine before.
I haven't really had a mishap yet,knock on wood, but when I got my embroidery machine a couple of years ago, I let it sit in the box for more than 6 months because I was so intimidated by it. But once I got it out, I haven't looked back. It gives me such joy to see the things that I can make.

Paula said...

I haven't sewed through my finger in at least 10 years now... my husband had to get my finger disengaged from a Bernina (set in needle down position) at 2 a.m., while I tried really hard not to pass out or throw up! I did pretty well until he pulled a couple feet of thread through it because he hadn't thought to cut it first:^).

But my worst mishap involved me trying to figure out just what was was going wrong with my hook and is almost too stupid to admit.
After a third attempt at trying to FEEL if the hook was moving properly (said attempt involving my right hand holding my left pointer finger up against the hook while I hit the foot pedal with my knee, since the first 2 tries of just holding it up to it kicked my finger out), I had a really nice "bite" out of my finger. The only smart thing was that I had removed the needle first.

My husband exclaimed "How did you do that to your finger?!" I smiled and quietly said, "It wasn't easy, it took 3 tries!" Luckily I came to my senses, realized there was nothing wrong with it, and thanked my lucky stars that I wasn't seriously injured. It all had seemed so logical when I started!!--Paula

Linda V in KY said...

I am afraid that I, too, have "sewn" throught my finger! I was embroidering with my PR600 which goes really fast. I tried to move a thread out of the way before the needle got to that spot--bad idea! The needle hit my fingernail, making a neat little hole, splitting my nail & breaking the needle. I was very fortunate that my machine sensed the resistance & stopped because I was too shocked to move!! Needless to say, I stop the machine before I get near the needles any more!

pennykitz said...

Sorry you were hurt. lolol My story begins with this last Easter.
I went shopping for my and Easter dress and with no luck I decided to make my own. So I started the night before and thought if I sewed all night I would have it finished by morning. I have done this before for my daughter. Well I cut out all the pieces and embroidered me a cute flower motif on the right showder and it turned out great. I sewed and sewed and sewed and when I got to the last piece I could not understand what the instuctions were saying, I thought I was doing it right. I had to take that dress apart 5 times and I am not kidding and it was morning so I went to put it on to see if I could figure it out. You talk about a big laugh there was one. That crazy dress wouldn't even fit after all that work. My daughter and husband got up and said were is your dress? I said "It didn't fit" they said that I should know what size dress I wore before I started sewing one. lolol It was awful I wanted that so bad and I hate when I work and spend that much time on something and it is useless. Thank you Penny

Anonymous said...

I have never sewn through my finger, but I have had some "bad" times during my sewing.
The worst that I can remember was a skirt that I made out of a really expensive piece of wool that my aunt had given me. We were going up to visit her, and so I sat down 3 nights before and cut out a skirt and vest from this fabric. The next morning I stitched the outfit together and hung it in my closet for the next day. The morning of the trip arrived and it was just starting to get misty out, but we packed up and went anyway, hoping that eventually the sun would come out. It didn't, but we enjoyed the two hour drive anyway.
When we got to my aunt's house it was steadily raining, but we made a run for it...we got really wet, and when we got inside I went into the bathroom to dry off a little. My aunt heard me crying and came in, and saw the skirt and vest,in pieces, on the floor. Apparently in my hurry to get the vest and skirt done I had completely forgotten that a couple of days before I had done a fringe design on the embroidery module. What I thought was nylon thread on the machine turned out to be water soluble thread, and the rain did me in.
I spent the rest of the visit laughing about it, and it has become the great all time "when I go to visit" story.

Pickle Pie Designs said...

Great stories, ladies! Until you reminded me, I completely forgot that faint feeling I had after stitching through my finger...

Trisha said...

SandyGail, your story reminds me of when I cooked a turkey not realizing I left the bag of "stuff" inside.

Anonymous, Your story is hilarious. It's what bad dreams are made of....

Yes, I too have sewn through my finger and had to turn the wheel with my left hand crossed over my right to raise the needle out from my index finger on my right hand. And all the time I am thinking...I should be fainting right about now. As tramatic as that was, It couldn't match when I was hot gluing tiny seashells onto something and dropped the shell, hot glue and all onto my finger (right hand again) and panicked. When I came to my senses the glue had already dried and I had to remove it. It took skin and all. I have a nice dime size scar on that finger as a momento.

Cara Beth & Kate Too! said...

Wow! You guys have had some serious mishaps. I guess my worst would be when I got my first embroidery machine. I was making a twirl top for my baby. I embroidered her name and then put the peices together. When I was all done, I held it up to admire my work only to find that I had put the peices together wrong and her name was on the inside. Fortunately, the lining was made from the same fabric so the top was still usable. Now, my newest baby has a top with her big sister's name inside.

Lisa said...

Sew sorry that you got stitched, but as we all see, it happens way too often! I have 2 stories. The first is my personal story and it happened about 3 years ago, when I was pregnant with my second baby. I was upstairs "cleaning" in the sewing room while my hubby and at the time only son (he was about 2) were playing outside. It was in Sept and I had the windows open so I could get the fresh air and hear them playing. I was cutting some tear away stablilizer into 4 x 4 sheets and using a rotary cutter. I had everything lined up and started my cut and for some reason, lost my concentration and glanced out the window at my son. Now this is the dumb part. I realized that my cutter was dragging, not going as smoothly as it had been, so pushed down harder on it and that is when the pain hit. I had somehow managed to position my right hand directly in the way of the cutter, and was cutting off the tip of my pointer finger!!! It cut from the first joint of my finger at an angle and came out at the middle of my finger nail. There was a small flap of skin which held the tip on, and it bleed like crazy. The blood shot out and hit the wall and the window trim. My first thought for some crazy reason was the unfinished project that I had sitting there and I checked it to see if it had gotten blood on it. Then, I leaned over onto the window and asked my hubby (who had been in the military for 8 years) if he had any training in first aid for bleeding. He grabbed our son and ran into the house and up to where I was. I was feeling a bit faint, but the pain was gone, just a burning sensation. He wanted me to go to the ER, but I refused (insisting that I was going to the Dr. the next morning for a baby check)and just washed it out and bandaged it. I did go to the Dr. and he was mad that I had not gotten stitches...but they said after so many hours, they can't stitch it up because of possible infection. It took a long time, and boy was it SORE, but it has healed up just fine and doesn't bother me. There is a slight scar, but you really have to hunt to find it. When my hands get really cold that tip turns whiter than the rest. Now, I am very careful when I cut anything with a rotary blade!!!

My second story is a funny one(now it is funny, but I bet is wasn't then). This girl I used to work with was engaged and was hemming her own wedding gown. She worked on it in the evenings while watching TV with her parents. One night when she was putting it away, she somehow dropped the needle and did not know. The next evening her fiance came over to have dinner with her family and hang out. They went in to watch TV and he had his shoes off. He stepped on the needle and it poked up into his foot, then broke off. They had to take him to the ER where he ended up having surgery to remove the needle. To make a long story short, the next weekend when they got married, he came down the aisle on crutches! She almost ruined her own wedding. She was so upset and cried, but he was really cool about it and eventually could laugh about it!

Hope your finger is better soon, and we all need to be careful.


Lisa Atwell said...

My dd was pregnant with her first child and HUGE. Nothing fit her, mind you it was winter, and freezing cold in the midwest. I had found a long sleeve longer length nightshirt in a size 3x only one they had and I bought it.
Found this great design on Sewforum... Always kiss me goodnight, and underneath I was going to put Justin (son in laws name) Finally got the thing hooped and started sewing and it jammed in the middle of the design. I had to cut it loose to get it out of the machine. Now I have the only 3X nightshirt with a hole right in the middle. I spent hours with a scapel trying to pick out the stitches, but the hole remains. I got mad, and then put on my thinking cap. I had some felt squares, put some stabilizer on the hoop and used basting stitches and stitched out the design. I cut the felt square into the shape of a heart. I sewed the heart over the area with the hole. I don't know that I would use the felt again,it pills, but it worked long enough to make it through the pregnancy. Hope this helps someone else to learn you can salvage machine disasters.

Bev said...

My daughter recently had a baby and when she was trying on clothes on her return to work, they were tight and uncomfortable so I offered to make her several skirts. I measured her, cut, serged and sewed the skirt. Then I had her come for a fitting. The skirt was so tight it was unwearable. I felt really bad for her as I knew she was struggling with her weight. I thought I would have to make a bigger size. When I went to my sewing room, I found two extra pattern pieces waiting for me. It was an 8 gore skirt and I had made it a 6 gore skirt. I laughed so hard that when I called her to tell her my mistake, she couldn't understand a thing I was saying. Needless to say, she didn't think it was as funny as I did.

Liz said...

My stomach is flipping around after reading about your mishap. I always used to make fun of my sister for sewing through her finger in home-ec class until I did the same thing a few months ago. I just got my new embroidery machine and was stitching out an applique design. While it was stitching out I tried to smooth out the fabric and the needle got the very edge of my pinky finger. I had a big "hole" in my finger but luckily it did not require a trip to the ER.

Hopefully I won't do that again.

hlf said...

Let me preface by saying that I ADORE my husband... but while he was deployed, I purchased my Brother Duetta for my birthday from the kids and him... I spent a LOT of time (Ok, it seemed like a lot for a mother with two under 3!) tinkering and fiddling in my sewing room teaching myself to use it. The machine was rather affectionately and tongue-in-cheek dubbed my "second husband." ... As in: "I'm going to spend some time with my second husband...." LOL! Ok, so it was funny to ME! Then one day, my husband, who had the flu... "needed" something out of my sewing room (fabric scissors for cutting paper, perhaps! LOL!) I was downstairs and hear this CRASH.... BUMPA BUMP BUMP! I dashed up the stairs only to find my husband looking rather sheepishly at me... and my Duetta (aka Husband #2) on the floor... in PIECES! Yep! I KID YOU NOT - it was just like that episode with the leg lamp from that Christmas movie!!! Husband number 1 said he tripped while walking into the room and reached out to brace himself inadvertently knocking "husband #2" on the floor! My Duetta spent some time getting fixed in the shop... The story was so funny, the lovely gals at the shop didn't even charge me! But the story became pretty famous (or infamous!) a couple of counties across Colorado! I was even introduced as the
"Gal whose machine got the lamp treatment!" LOL! While it really was an accident, the circumstances and the parallels to the movie make for a GREAT story!!!

JennyLyn said...

Okay this is horrific but you asked...I was doing some embroidery on a pillowcase but the J messed up. I took the case hoop and all off the machine and flipped it over. I took my seam ripper and started to take out the stitching It was really easy since it was a satin stitch so easy in fact as I curved the corner of the J the seam reaper kept going right into my Thumb! 7 stitches later I now have a 1 long scar down my thumb. uggg!

Three Prince Designs said...

Well- my story is similar to yours . It was 1 1/2 years ago and I was one of the lucky 50 individuals in the Thifty under $50 challenge on . I had not been sewing awhole lot at this point but was determined I would make as many of the gifts as I could under the $50 quidelines.

I had scrapbooked, photoshopped, decropaged my way thru many gifts already. I had sewn many items and was doing pretty good. But enough was just not enough- I had to keep making more. With the deadline of the contest coming soon- I decided I was going to make a patchwork quilt.

I was home alone with my 1 1/2 year old and was sewing away when I sewed right thru my finger. The needle broke in my finger and I had the darn thread hanging out. My first reaction was to get away from the fabric so no blood would spill on it. However - the break of the needle had acted like a catarize I guess and it was not bleeding yet.

However - I did not know what to do. The sight of this needle broken in my finger was enough to make me pass out however what would happen to the little one if I was crashed out on the floor?? Who would pick up the other kids from school- no one would know I was passed out on the floor from sewing thru my finger. I was not about to call an ambulance and there were not any neighbors home so I pulled up my "big girl panties" and yanked it out. Of course then- blood then starts pouring out and now I really feel woozy! But I got thru it and now can say I have had my tetanut shot recent.

And as far as that quilt- I kept that darn thing!