Saturday, October 1, 2011


I have been busting my butt almost Michael's every sleeping hour to try to get 16 dinosaur tails finished for my church's Fall Festival tomorrow. The tails were going to be sold at the "Country Store" to raise money for the church. I had dreams of seeing kids running around the festival with their tails on.

SIXTEEN tails.

It wasn't so hard. Very time consuming, but not that bad.

Not that bad until the other day. I have all the spikes and main tail pieces cut out and sewn together. The straps and velcro all sewn, turned and pressed. All that is left to do is top-stitch the straps, sew them on to the tails, base on the tails and stuff them. Easy. I'd say they are all 80% done. It was totally doable to get them done in time. But then...

My machine started being an ass. I was using clear nylon thread to keep from re-threading my machine so much since I'm working with a bunch of colors. So I switched to regular thread and everything seemed to be fine again. For awhile. I was top-stitching the straps with a zigzag and the stupid thing kept skipping stitches (though it did about 6 of them just fine). That can't happen with such a visible zigzag and it looked awful. So I ripped out stitches and decided to use a different decorative stitch. It went okay for about a strap and a half and then it started skipping stitches. Then I said enough. I decided just to use a straight stitch but then it started skipping those too.

I have been in denial, but it seems that my machine's timing is off.


I have worked so hard to get these tails done and spent so much time on them and now I will have nothing to show for it except bags under my eyes.

And I don't know what's happened. I've messed up the timing on a machine before, but I was a teenager and way too rough on the machine and I was using hand quilting thread and well... I pushed too hard. None of that happened this time. I'm totally baffled as to why my machine decided to let me down in such a big way.

This all really went down last night. No time to get it repaired. I started to email my neighbors to ask to borrow a machine but decided to try one last thing and switch out my needle for a new one and see if it could just keep it together with a straight stitch. It seemed to do the trick, so I discarded the email. And then this morning it continued to give out on me.

I've thought about asking a neighbor for a machine again but I'm so demoralized and wasted so much time troubleshooting this that there is so little time left now that I'd be missing all kinds of family time to finish... and I hate telling Michael I can't play with him because "Mommy's sewing." And I have a ton of baking to do for the festival... 2 pies, 2 cakes, 2 loaves of bread.



Check out my lovely zigzag.

So. done.

I'm so tired.


Michelle said...

Awww that really sucks. I had issues with my machine and it was the same problem. For mine, I was sewing through thick fabric for lined curtains and all of a sudden it snagged on something and jammed. So suddenly and forcefully that it snapped the needle. And with all that, the timing went out. It was so frustrating. I actually was so upset with it that I haven't done much at all in the year and half that the machine has been fixed....

Celia said...

I'm sorry that is sad. Wasted time is the worst when our time is so precious.

Jessica White said...

I feel your pain! There is not much worse than having everything go absolutely with a project that's on a time schedule!

Kate said...

So sorry! That's just awful to be sabotaged by the machine at the last minute. What does it mean that the timing went out? My machine is on the fritz too (jams up when I try to sew anything), so I think I'll be taking it in for repairs soon. I want to sew an advent calendar by Dec.

Rachel said...

I wish I was closer so I could have run over my machine. Can you finish these up when your machine is fixed and use them for the same fundraiser next year? They look adorable.

Amanda said...

@Rachel - Yeah, that's probably what I'll do. The only other thing I can think of is if my SIL's work has a fund raiser... she work's at a non-profit children's speech therapy clinic, so there might be an opportunity there.

Chelle said...

OH NO!!! That totally sucks. So much work... I'm sorry :(

stitchymeg said...

did you try changing your needle? it's usually the culprit for skipped stitches.... i was searching for a PCOS blog when i came across yours today, but i happen to own a sewing store! coincidence!!!

Amanda said...

@stitchymeg - Yes, I said that in the post, it did not help.