abject failure

With the exception of Friday night’s fun, I had no plans for this long weekend – but I did have a goal; one I have now failed spectacularly thanks to some faulty machinery and a universe that totally hates me.

After I discovered last Saturday that making skirts is both fun and easy, I set a goal to make at least one new ridiculous skirt for myself over Labour Day. I was all set: I found some thoroughly ridiculous fabric on Thursday night (the one bright spot in an evening that also featured abject failure and no meatballs); actually followed sewing protocol by pre-washing and drying the fabric to get shrinking out of the way, then spent an entire evening on my hands and knees; pinning patterns and cutting out skirt pieces to the totally awesome sounds of Robert Downey Jr. being Iron Man 1 and 2. Productive, and I was all set for a laid-back Sunday of sewing to loud music while Ed was out with his boyfriend.


I sewed together the three skirts I had cut out, and things were going well. I had finally decided how some of the fabric was going to go together (metallics are hard to pair for some reason), and while waiting for Ed to return with pinking shears, I started the annoying process of binding the waistbands together with elastic.

Then everything started to SUCK.

My machine, as it turns out, is not capable of doing zig-zag stitches without royally fucking everything up. I fixed jam after jam and had to unclog the machine of threadballs that formed instead of a neat row of stitches. I rethreaded everything seven or eight times, because the cryhole would get all knotted up and the thread would break. I fiddled with tension and stitch styles and even tried to use a regular stitch on elastic (helpful tip: don’t ever do that), which lead to an extended bout of swearing and stitch ripping. I even took things a step backwards, and went super slowly on a piece of scrap fabric to see if I was the one causing the thread jams, all to no avail: my machine will not do anything other than a simple straight stitch without catastrophic results.

Instead of throwing things across the room like I wanted, I calmly packed up my sewing supplies and went into another room to play TWETY on my iPad until I fell asleep. Now I am awake (someone was cooking bacon) and researching new sewing machines, and sad because I both wasted a Sunday and failed my Labour Day goal. Tomorrow I will have to spend the day outside to make up for it, and have some extra fun because today was a total bust. I hate failing at things, and I want fun new skirts. BOO.

3 thoughts on “abject failure

    • Now that I’ve reread what was going wrong, I think you may have missed a step when threading the machine. Having a nest in the cryhole or on sewn into the underside of the fabric, for me, usually denotes that something is awry with the horn of condor or the flux capacitor. It could also be the fact you are sewing with metallics and the weight of the fabric makes the tension a bit different. I’m also wondering what needle you are using. (This won’t be the cause of your troubles above, but it’s something the think about for happier skirt sewing and wearing.)

  1. I had the exact same problem start happening part way through sewing the cuffs on my last project. Got 90% of the way through and then it started snagging and creating snag balls extraordinaire! (And this was just a straight stitch). I’m assuming it was a problem with threading and/or dust clogging things up, but honestly have no clue how to fix things!

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