Blood, toil, tears and sweat

One line of topstitching had me close to giving up sewing for good.
My daughter's preschool teacher seems to like neutrals, so I decided to make her this tote bag as part of her end of year gift. I figured that reusable bags are useful. I have lots. Most of mine seem to have a WIP (work in progress) stuffed in the bottom, which might be why someone like me believes them to be useful.
(That's the shadow of a plant on the right of the photo, by the way - not grime)
All was going well. I did manage to give myself a cut lip (there's the blood) while turning the handles, but we all know that sewing is fraught with danger. I flipped the bag through the opening and found no glaring errors. All that was left was the line of topstitching around the top.
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I had to rip that bloomin' topstitching out about 5 bloomin' times. Why the tension was suddenly off, I don't know, but I adjusted the top thread tension, then decided the screw on the bobbin thing was the problem. I didn't notice that I was about to run out of bobbin thread, of course. And then.... my needle stopped moving. And that's the point where I was blinking back the tears.
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That one line of topstitching took me over an hour. I think I have fixed the machine.
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Here's the lining. There's a tiny error in that line of topstitching, but hopefully she won't care. I can't bring myself to risk ripping it out and redoing it. I have visions of the machine just deciding to spontaneously combust or something if I go near that topstitching just one more time...
Lately, a lot of my limited computer time (my husband is a gamer) has been spent on my grandmother-in-law's 90th birthday celebration. I've been designing invites and reply cards, scanning hundreds of photos for a slideshow, downloading music and putting together playlists of of 30s and 40s music (it turns out that rather a lot of people have written songs about their 'honey', but I think that I did finally find the one that she remembered...). After seeing all the work that goes into organising flower arrangements and the like, I am so glad that I got married on a clifftop at sunset with just two witnesses present.
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The party went well, though. I was going to say that my blog should be a little less neglected now, but, considering that I'm ill at present, the end of the school year is fast approaching, my parents will be visiting etc. etc. that's probably a rash thing to say. Still, I'm trying to think up ideas for a giveaway for my upcoming 100th post, even if it might be months before I reach that milestone at the current rate...
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Translation of the day:
UK English: blooming (usually pronounced bloomin') = darned in US English. Often used as an intensifier or as an exclamation of surprise or anger. It's a minced oath used instead of 'bloody'. Using 'bloody' would have got me a clip around the ear as a kid, though. I think I would have just about got away with using 'blooming'.

23 comments:

  1. I had this same exact problem just yesterday! It turned out to be my bobbin. It was threaded horribly wrong... After about thirty minutes of yelling at my machine and wanting to throw it out the window, I finally figured it out! :)

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  2. It's always the simplest tasks that take a nasty turn at times...I think that just makes them that much more infuriating! My Grandmother-in-law is also turning 90 this year...maybe I'll suggest she spend it on a cliff at sunset with 2 of her favorite people (sounds perfect)!

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  3. At least it's done. I had such evil tension issues with my quilt, I've given up and am tying it instead.

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  4. Lucky teacher - the bag looks really nice. If there's anything that's going to get me swearing at my machine it's the tension going bonkers. SO frustrating. Hope you get it all fixed!

    PS love the peasant top you made for your daughter.

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  5. It is so frustrating when that happens - and it always seems to be out of nowhere when it's been sewing fine for half an hour then ....

    The bag turned out beautifully though. I'm willing to bet that you're the only person who would ever notice it wasn't perfect - I certainly can't see a problem!

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  6. Oh I feel your pain! I have had this happen to me so many times too. I/my machine are fairly frequently dogged by tension issues! Generally I find giving everything a good clean and dust in the bobbin case helps. After I've finished pulling my hair out that is...

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  7. You might have got away with bloming but you would not have got away with "gotten"!

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  8. Agh, I've been living here too long - I'm starting to talk like them...

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  9. I love the bag! That interior is like a splash of sunshine. My DH and son are both gamers, too. Hence the multiple computers in our house. And I, too, got married on a cliff top, with only 2 witnesses, and have NEVER regretted it.

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  10. Love that interior fabric. Works with the bag perfectly. Topstitching can be a real pain. When I switched to my old Singer, I'm finally not dreading it anymore. I need to make a couple of these for Augie's teachers, but I haven't even started. :(

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  11. The bag is lovely, and so worth the wait... much like your blog. Keep posting when you have the time!

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  12. Well the final product looks great! I feel your pain, this is usually how my sewing projects all go. They end up in tears and cursing sprees. And my sewing machine tension has been all screwed up and I knew there was something called a bobbin screw, but I have no idea where it is or what you do to adjust it??? You are busy, but I think my blog posting is going to go the way of your too - few and far between for a while.

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  13. I hate when something simple turns out to be a nightmare like that - least it's good to know we're not alone in experiencing that! It turned out really cute though (very cute interior fabric) and the funny thing is after all that frustration and time, the average non-sewer never notices those things!

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  14. I'm so glad you didn't give up on this project. Isn't it incredible how tension going off can make a person feel like a horrid seamstress? I'm glad you got it figured out though. The tote bag is really quite lovely.

    ;)

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  15. oh, it looks fantastic! i bet she will love it. i may have to make something like that for my son's teachers as well.
    i have had nights like that at the sewing machine. so frustrating!

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  16. Ha ha! It's good to see a sewing-machine rant. Ooh I go bonkers whenever the bobbin thread runs out. Which, of course it will by a process of logic always do...one day...soooo...but it really does always happen at a stupid time!
    x x x
    Catherine
    ps yes, bloody was a no-no in our house too - very strict my mother was on swearing!

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  17. Well done for not completely crying over it though - and as everyone else has said - it's a gorgeous (bloody) bag!
    Hmmmm, now I wonder what I can make for our little boy's Reception teacher and the teaching assistant? Mind you - I've only got 4 and a half weeks to actually get off the computer and go and do something (like shout at my sewing machine, who decided to blow the lightbulb last week, thus plunging my sewing into horrible darkness).
    Best wishes, I'm off to stir yoghurt and make a pizza for dinner xx

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  18. The bag is gorgeous though you have far more patients then me!! I would probably of slung it across the floor and used far more stronger words than bloomin'!! That word is so great because you can feel like your swearing, but your not - so a clip round the ear is always spared.

    take care and TTFN,

    Nina x

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  19. well, it turned out lovely, and I'm glad you haven't given up sewing. I'm sure she'll love it and find it very useful too.

    p.s. what's a fish paste? is that like a tuna fish sandwich?

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  20. "sewing is fraught with danger"

    OH WILL YOU PLEASE WRITE A BOOK??? you are so BLOOMIN funny. the bag is great, btw, and i often give things away that have a great deal more that one boo-boo, so i think that teacher is a lucky duck.

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  21. It looks gorgeous!!! She's goping to love it for sure...

    Take Care
    Jodie :)

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  22. the bag is lovely. I also love totes and also seem to have a WIP in the bottom of them all.

    Your translations are still my fav!

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  23. That's adorable, too. I wish I were one of your children's teachers!

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