The Night I became a Sewing Machine Surgeon

PRE-WARNING!  This post is REALLY LONG!  Sorry in advance =/

This night was possibly the worst sewing night I’ve ever had.  Mainly because I never actually got to SEW!  I was working like a dog on Kirk’s (aka…KP) Magic Messenger Bag and had already had as many mishaps as I could bare.  Which is true, because I couldn’t bare this one and by the end of the night I was curled up under my covers, in the fetal position with tears in my eyes!  I’d already had a Coffee Disaster a couple of days before and was still cleaning up the mess from that.

But come to find out the clean up wasn’t over yet.

I was in the final stages of KP’s bag where I just had to sew the outside pieces together and top stitch the edges.  A moment I had waited for for months and I couldn’t believe I was finally there.  So I began to sew and everything seemed to be running smoothly, even though minor coffee had stains speckled the machine.

Then it JAMS!  Competely stops and won’t sew another inch.

Thread has gotten jammed before and although frusterating, it’s fixable.

So I did my usual diagnosis and took my seam ripper to cut the thread and dig out whatever was stuck.  I pulled out some of the knotted bobbin underneath the needle, re-threaded, and started to sew again.

This time it didn’t even make it 1 inch…

UGH I already started getting frusterated.  So I went through the process again… 8 minutes later I try to sew again…

1 inch…JAMMED!

8 minutes later…

1 inch…JAMMED!

I swear it did this about 5 times before I got really serious.  By now it’d been close to an hour and I decided that maybe it was due to some coffee getting inside and drying and it was sticking to something.  So I pulled out some paper towels, Q-tips and water and begin fine cleaning the entire machine, taking pieces off and everything.

Then I decide to clean underneath the needle where the bobbin is (Which is what you see in the pictures above.)  So I referred to my manual to figure out how to take this thing apart without disintegrating  it.  I opened it with the screw driver and I imagine my face looked like someone just asked me to operate on someones brain…What the heck is all this stuff!

So naturally I just start picking at all the things in there, cleaning it, taking it apart and being naively reckless.  I ended up pulling out so much thread I could have wound an entire spool with what was under there and I thought FOR SURE that was why the machine kept Jamming, there was so much junk (including the stickyness of the coffee) down in there.

I did a really good job cleaning and remember even thinking about how my boyfriend would be proud of my focus, resourcefulness, and diligence.  Which made me smile inside.

That smile soon faded when I put it back together, re-threaded it…

1 inch…JAMMED!


SO I took everything apart again and busted out my computer, in hopes that Google would come to the rescue.  I read every thread on fixing jammed machines, tried every SINGLE piece of advice in every column.  I even spent $11 to buy some new bobbin’s because someone mentioned that that might be the problem (let me tell you that I could’ve gotten those same bobbins back in California at my local fabric store for $3 but I’m in Martha’s Vineyard and had to get them shipped.  BOO!)

So that took me forever and a day and I was real excited!  Because now I’d really done everything and followed the rules so it had to work!

1 inch…JAMMED!!


Now I’m seething with anger and frusteration as I go BACK on the internet to find anything I couldn’t find before.

I take everything apart AGAIN and redo everything I just did.

By the time I finish that round it was almost 3 hours from when I started and I was so emotionally exhausted by my self inflicted inner tantrums that I was too nervous to even try to see if it worked.  I really couldn’t handle sewing another inch and having it be jammed again after all that work.

Instead I sat on the edge of my bed to stare at my mess and I tell myself I’d feel better if I just cried.  So I called KP and left him the saddest voicemail I could possibly muster and whine about how my sewing machine is broken and I have nobody to fix it out here *sniff*sniff* call me.  Bye.

I curl up in my fetal position tell God he must not care about me very much if he’s just gonna let my sewing machine break, and sulk myself to sleep…

(I can be very melodramatic at times…)

The next day I knew I had to brave it once again.  So I try my last remaining prescription and change the needle…

Thread the machine…



Then I thanked God for Loving me enough to fix my machine while I was sleeping and made a mental note to pat my angels on the back when I get to heaven.

Anyhow.  It was a very…difficult night for me.  But somehow I made it out on the other side!


Now the bag is finally done and I can’t wait to tell you if he likes it or not!

(And wow if you made it this far into the post, I thank you!  This was a VERY long winded description of what happened. You must be a TRUE punKyj fan =)

*****Each product is handmade from second hand clothing and fabrics and is completely one of a kind, I couldn’t duplicate any of these bags even if I wanted too! It’s my way of going green and staying in style.

As always you can e-mail me at or leave a comment.

And if you’d like to view my complete collection become a fan of punKy*j on facebook. Or you can follow @pjpunky on twitter.

To purchase visit my (still under construction) website or etsy store.

Thank you for stopping by and please enjoy these designs by punKyj!

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One response to “The Night I became a Sewing Machine Surgeon

  1. Pingback: Hiring the Shoe Store | By kimB

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