Tuesday, October 18, 2011

31 days of sewing: misadventures in the sewing room

Okey dokey, so we've all made sewing mistakes! Yep, even me!! Today's journal entry takes you on a few misadventures in my sewing room that all happened today. This journal entry is kinda long, but I hope it brings just a bit of humor to you and you chuckle and say "Oh, I've done that too!!" :)
My day began like most any other day that I have to myself. I got up, showered, made the bed, got a cup of coffee, sat down to watch the early morning news, then some GMA and check e-mail, facebook, word with friends, etc. Wait, in the midst of that, Bailey, my chocolate lab 50lb puppy, interrupted me at least twice...or was it three times? to go out - she acts like it's a 911 emergency, jumping all over the place, nudging me and doing the potty-dance. I have her all figured out tho....what she really wants to do is play frisbee - I pretend tho that she really-really has to go! Usually the third, or was it the fourth? interruption buys her a free ticket to the backyard outdoor kennel, which she actually really likes!
{she melts my heart} 
So back to my computer and GMA, and now I am finishing up digitized designs that I load to my USB stick and I'm ready to head to the sewing room for the entire day - WHOOP!
I eagerly begin sewing a monogrammed and appliqued reversible jon-jon for my grandson that I cut out the day before. I thread my serger with brown thread and right sides together I sew the first seam.......then I realize, OOPS! Instead of sewing the center seam, I sewed...no, I didn't "sew", I SERGED the outer sides together! Stupid mistake #1! Let me just say, there is nothing worse than picking out serged seams!
Tip: When you need to take out a serged seam, use really-really sharp embroidery scissors and run the blade thru the looped threads at the top of the serged seam, cutting the loops the entire length of the seam. This makes it much quicker and easier to pick out the seam. 
So, got the seam taken out and restitched, then rethreaded my serger with another color and moved on to the other fabric I was using. Both fronts and backs were now seamed together and I was ready to start the monogramming and applique work. YAY!
Got this monogrammed without a hitch!
I finished the plaid side, now it was time to work on the applique for the reverse. I digitized the applique while GMA was on and I really didn't want to take the time to test-stitch, so held my breath that it would stitch ok! Usually this spells D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R, but, I was "lucky"......well, for a few minutes....another sewing mishap was about to happen.
I decided to abandon my own tutorial of machine applique...not sure if this was a good idea or not. My friend, Sara, told me that she uses Heat 'n Bond Lite when she does machine applique, so I thot I would give it a go today. I thought for a minute that I might combine that with my way of doing machine applique, but then I got in a hurry decided not to. I started the machine applique, then ironed the Heat 'n Bond onto the first piece of applique fabric, then plopped it down on the jon-jon and let the machine do it's magic. OOPS!!! Stupid mistake #2: forgot to remove the paper from the back! Luckily I noticed this before the satin stitching started, so I removed the hoop, got my trusty really-really sharp embroidery scissors and proceeded to take out stitches. again.
Tip: Remove paper backing before placing applique fabric down - LOL! If you have to remove embroidery stitches, use really-really sharp embroidery scissors and carefully cut stitches from behind - trying to cut just the bobbin stitches and pull it out, then other stitches will fall off easily!
The rest of the applique went off without a hitch - whew! By-the-way, I love using Heat 'n Bond Lite and Sara told me that one time she mistakenly left the paper on too (so glad other people make stupid mistakes too) and didn't realize it till the entire applique was complete. After several washings it came out and she was told it was the best applique she'd ever done! Hmm, makes me wonder if maybe leaving the paper there is a good idea...
In the midst of sewing the appliques, I realized that I had a monogramming job for a customer that I was suppose to have done by today - OOPS! I put my jon-jon project aside until tomorrow and began my monogramming job. I got to use my very nifty new Bernina free-arm embroidery gadget!
This nifty gadget makes it soooo much easier to monogram t-shirts!! If you are a Bernina owner, you can learn more about "this nifty gadget" HERE! In the midst of this project was "Stupid mistake #3"....we've all had it happen....the dreaded t-shirt gobble....it happens when the feed dogs get hungry and suddenly without warning, they gobble up the t-shirt, pulling it deep down into their throat with their teeth clenched! I HATE it when that happens! It inevitably will leave you with stitches that must be removed and almost always a hole! Take a deep breath....do not over-react...impatience will cause you to get out those really-really sharp embroidery scissors and cut it out, rendering the shirt useless! This is not the solution I took...instead I chose to deal with it the best I could.
Tip: Hand crank the needle to the highest position. Remove the bobbin. Using your fingers carefully, and I mean carefully start inching the fabric out of the clench of the feed-dogs teeth. Don't pull hard or you will stretch your fabric. Once it's out, carefully remove stitches. Once stitches are out, press and asses the damage. If there is damage and it can be stitched over, then that is great! Add a little more stabilizer to that area and stitch again. If there is a tiny hole, which often, more than not, happens, then get a needle and thread that perfectly matches the fabric and stomp your foot and say DARN!!! start darning the area with itty-bitty-tiny stitches. 
I can't even begin to tell you how valuable the darning stitch is! I have used it countless times, not only for embroidery mishaps, but for puppy teeth mishaps that make holes in my grandson's t-shirts. I usually can darn a hole up so that it's pretty well covered up to the naked eye!
Misadventures in the sewing room happen to everyone and I've had my share of them. I try not to let it discourage me, instead I choose to learn from those mistakes and see how I can solve the problem - sometimes it even leads me to a better way of doing something! What made me chuckle even more today was that Sara and I were emailing each other back and forth, like we usually do on a daily basis, and she was also dealing with her own misadventures in her sewing room! It feels so good to know that we all make mistakes, but it never discourages us from keeping on doing what we love to do; SEW!

I hope you enjoyed today's feature - be sure to 
check out all the other 31'ers HERE!

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Sara said...

great post!!!

Sewconsult said...

The jon-jon is going to be so cute. Sorry that your day has been filled with oops. In the 16 yrs that I have been doing machine embroidery, I have had many oops. The most recent was on a purchased hot pink corduroy overalls. It just screamed for an embroidery design. 90% completed and the machine hit a glitch. Timing was all off and I could never get the machine reset for a "close-enough finish". Very disappointing.

Did you get any of the big hail this afternoon? It missed us. But daughter in DC said it was on the news there.

Ginny said...

Some days you have to wonder why you even stepped foot in the sewing room! I have what I think is an easier way to remove serger stitches. Locate the needle thread(s) and pull them out. The rest of the stitches will just fall off. (This isn't an original idea.) Sometimes it's difficult to isolate the needle thread, but with a bit of patience, you can.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh! sorry about your "oops!" but with with them, you have helped in sharing with us, how to fix those.

I am again behind in blog visits, but wanted to stop and say hello!

and what an adorable little jon-jon!

Blessings & Aloha!


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