Thursday, July 15, 2010

$3 Top = $70 Repair (Almost)

Broke my machine refashioning a knit tank top.

I found a bunch of these tank tops in the sleepwear section of Forever 21 and broke my "oh my god, seriously, STOP buying stuff until you have a job" rule. I bought three of them. Its not my fault! They were calling to me and they were only $3!!

They were nice and slim in the body but the hem ended at my crotch. (Is it me or is every RTW top in the world ridiculously long right now?) When tucked in they were bunchy. When left out they accentuated my gut in a very bad way. They really needed to be shortened. Starting with the red one, I cut off about six inches and moved the lace band up. I used the straight/zig-zag/straight "fake serge" method I learned from Casey in her sweater tutorial. The top worked out fine and then I had to go all crazy and try and make the leftover fabric into a headband.

It was the last seam. It was super hot in the sewing room. I was getting impatient. I wasn't paying attention. I was going too fast. My pins weren't in perfectly straight... I made this.

Yep. A crooked pin got shoved into the needle space in the foot plate. The needle slammed into the pin, bent it in half and then slammed into the pin-head, stopping the machine cold. It made a really loud noise and I practically jumped out of my chair.

The needle was embedded in the head of the pin, and the pin was shoved down into the space inside the bobbin carrier. I managed to get the pin out and the sewing needle wasn't even bent but, boy howdy, the bobbin carrier sure was. When I rotated the wheel, the carrier spun drunkenly and the needle smacked into the edge rather than going through the hole to pick up the bobbin thread. NOT A GOOD DAY in the sewing room.

I took a deep breath, tried not to cry, and told my husband that I'd just created a ginormous repair that I couldn't afford. Then I wandered off to watch TV and calm down.

About half an hour later, the hubs popped in to tell me that he'd fixed my machine. FIXED IT! I love him. Readers, if you aren't mechanical yourself, its never a bad idea to have a SigO (or a best friend, or at least a housemate) who is. Especially if you're impetuous, impatient, and have a tendency to break things.

I must try to remember to slow down and pay attention. At least the finished top and headband came out super cute! Tra la la...


  1. I did the same thing with my Viking, and it still sits broken (the needle hits in the wrong place.) I need a husband like yours - mine took the needle assembly apart once, and lost the needle clamp!

  2. Yowza! My sister bought me an inexpensive machine about 4 years which I've just recently taken out of the box, because Petunia (my most faithful sewing machine) is in the shop with $165 in repairs. Unfortunately, she'll have to stay there a bit longer. Low on fundage, you know. Kudos to your husband. I agree having someone around who is handy is definitely cost effective. So can you clone yours? LOL.

  3. I've been being lazy and sewing over pins lately... I think I'll go back to being good now! Thank goodness for handy hubby!

    Your project came out very cute! :)

    (reposted due to really annoying typo)

  4. It really did come out very va-va-va-voom. You are lucky to have such a talented hub, and he's lucky to have such a creative and ooh-la-la missus,

  5. Well done!

    I've noticed that too -- a lot of RTW tops are really long (on me at least). They hit to just about my hip. I've also noticed that almost no one tucks in their shirts anymore -- into skirts, into trousers... is that the reason for longer tunic-length tops?

  6. LOL much as I love my best friend, who happens to be my boyfriend...I AM the mechanical one.

    Right now I have a machine I need to either sit down with and work on the feed dogs and tension to get it to sew right, or put it in the shop in about a month. Somehow I think the DIY is going to win.

    Depends on the garment and where I'm sewing if I use pins anyway. Right now I'm having trouble going from my treadle (where I sew as fast as I would on a professional machine) to a much slower electric.