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August 11, 2009



Your sister and I have something in common - ran the sewing machine through my thumbnail and dad had to pull it out with pliers - the feeling of the thread through my entire thumb (and pulling it to get it out) was yukky too. I still quiver thinking about it 35 years later!!


Let's see, nothing more bloody then catching myself with a rotary cutter. I sewed my nephew some cute pjs, only to discover when they were done, the pattern was upside down. I have sewn pockets that only open from inside the garment (not part of the pattern!). I made a maternity dress that made me look like I was having triplets. So far, pretty lucky in the sewing area.


well, since i've only been sewing for a year, i don't have any horror stories. i just get SO annoyed when the thread flies out of the needle... (almost) EVERY time i start. so annoying when you're doing a bunch (72) of little drawstring bags....

oh - and the tension. fine one second, totally off the next. when i haven't changed anything, not even the fabric.... ??????


Horror Story??? How about finding a whole in the seam of a quilter AFTER you get it back from the quilter?? YIKES!! I am still trying to figure out how to fix it...


Well, my sewing disaster didn't involve flames or blood. In college, as a bargain with my mother, I traded a queen size quilted bedspread for a set of tires (yup - poor college kid). With no machine at school, I borrowed a friend's grandmother's portable machine (catch that? mistake # one). I'm pretty sure I didn't have all of the pieces to the machine and the stitching was not great, but I set out and made approximately half of the blocks I needed for the quilt pattern. Then while home on break I finished the other half on my grandmother's machine. Much to my alarm and dismay, the blocks I did on the portable machine had a 1/2" inseam instead of a 1/4"!! Nothing was fitting together. Desperate b/c I only purchased just enough fabric, I carefully took apart each incorrect piece, pressed, re-pinned, and re-sewed with 1/4" seems. Thankfully the mistake is not noticeable and my mom was very understanding!!


Oh, I've gone over my finger with the machine too! I had to pull the thread out myself though. Ick. That was a sharp needle!

I've also severed my palm with the rotary cutter, gushing blood all over my cutting mat and fabrics. I was so angry with myself ('How did I do that, anyway?!') that my fabric was ruined, I didn't have the patients to go to the hospital and get stitches. I now have a lovely scar. War wounds are the best kind!


I'm not sure if this is a sewing disaster or triumph. Last year for halloween I made a 1950s prom dress. I repurposed a form dress from Goodwill into a strapless gown. I wanted a poofy sash around my middle -- and poofy is what I got! Now, I'm a bigger girl. Size 14. And let's just say... that big poofy sash did not do my hourglass figure any justice! I cringe whenever I look at photos from that night! Its just... not good. So, while I'm proud of my repurposed dress, I wish I had done something different around the waist! I would feel about 20 pounds lighter in the photos!

Grandma G

When sewing our new Christmas stockings a couple of Christmases ago (yes, AT Christmas time... not early, as I should've done), I was sewing on the appliques that Jess had cut out. It was going so smoothly... until I realized as I was finishing up one applique that I had the other half of the stocking underneath the piece I was sewing on, and I'd stitched the 2 halves together. That was a LOT of stitches to rip out!

I'm pretty good at sewing 2 things together like that. Things that aren't supposed to be together. ;-)


My worst sewing mistake was a tie I made for my dad - the tie came out pretty good, but I decided to embroider flowers on it, in wool threads - and my dad, bless his soul, wore it - often! I keep it hanging in my sewing room as a reminder of him and that less is often more!


OH, I've got one with blood. I caught my finger in the machine while it was in embroidery mode (I was smoothing out the fabric) - and the needle basically cut through my thumb and I had a jagged cuticle for a while. I get shivers thinking about it.

Loralee Latham

I'm so bummed-I wrote my story, then realized it didn't post! Just last night I had my overcast foot on, then changed to do a straight stitch without changing the foot. Shards of needle flew everywhere-thankfully not hitting the eyeballs of all my friends who were there to witness. And I had my pinned fabric on my lap and one friend said something funny and I slapped my thigh, pushing one of the pins into my thigh. I felt it as I pulled it out, but weirdly--no blood.


Cat threw up a huge mess of something on my quilt top that was 2/3 of the way quilted. what do you do, then?? I remember staring at it for an hour, with my mind completely blank. Then I scraped off what I could, spot-treated it, and soldiered on, since I couldn't really wash it in that state. It all came out in the end wash, but there's nothing like quilting with that smell in your nose. I have more mistakes that I have made, myself, but this one is the one i consider a disaster.


About eighteen years ago when I was in my mid-twenties and not married yet. I was making Halloween costumes for all my friends kids. I made a couple of Crayons, a very detailed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and three pumpkins. Well as I was halfway through the pumpkins my sewing machine blew up. There was smoke and a little fire. I unplugged it and threw it outside. No damage was done other that the machine it self. Needless to say I stopped making costumes for all the kids I know.

I was in luck though, the friend who the pumpkins were for had a brand new never been used sewing machine at her house that she gave me. Her dad won in in a bingo or bowling tournament. It weighed a ton but it never caught on fire.


Worst sewing disaster? There has been more than one. But I think the worst was wanting a new matching skirt and top to wear the last day of school and I didn't try on the pattern to check fit before I cut it out and sewed it together. Didn't fit when I put it on the next day! Hmmm the pattern must have gotten smaller???? Not enough seam allowance to let it out, but I could hold my breath lots? Never wore it.

Renee H

I'm still pretty new to the sewing world and don't really have any bad disaster stories, just your usual cutting wrong, cutting too small and I can't sew a straight line to save my life!


yikes that was always my biggest fear! even in 7th grade home ec class the teacher would start the sewing lessons with how you had to really pay attention because a previous student had sewn her finger!!
the worse thing i've ever done was not pay attention and was using a rotary cutter and slicing away and next thing you knew i had sliced up my finger- fingernail and all! so not cool!

Betsy Pratt

Well I've never sewn thru my finger- thank goodness. My biggest sewing disaster was trying to sew a cute top to wear to my baby shower. I was at the point where every top was really really snug so I decided to sew one. The day before the shower. And it came. out. HORRIBLE. So I had nothing decent to wear, and no time or money to shop!


This was years, years ago when I was learning how to sew. First off, I'm a clumsy idiot. The reason why I was learning to sew was because I borrowed one of my sister's VERY expensive dresses and accidentally ripped part of the back at the bottom. It was quite noticeable. I remember having time to fix it, I forgot where she was though. Anywho, I didn't just want to fix it, I wanted to actually learn how to sew. It seemed fun. :) I had seen my mother sew tons of times so I thought it wouldn't be too hard. Yeah..it didn't work out. I ended up completely ruining the dress. I had sewed back part of it but made it look like something on Frankenstin's monster's face. It was awful and I felt SO bad for having ruined her dress. I ended up getting in trouble with my parents and had to replace it :( After that I practiced more and got much better at sewing though :)


Sewing accidents - makes me cringe! My worst physical injury was via rotary cutter. Sliced the right side of my pointer finger knuckle off when the cutter skipped the ruler. OUCH! I have also made a few apparel disasters in the past, but no need to bring up those dirty secrets, right?!


I think the worst thing I ever did was when I made a beautiful tailored shirt. I had all the buttonholes made, I just had to slit them with the seam ripper. I'm sure you've already guessed. I was slitting the last one, at the neck and didn't put a pin in to stop the ripper and ripped the whole neck band open. It got thrown in a corner, I was so mad, and I don't think I ever fixed that shirt.

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