Blogging · Sewing

When domestic sewing machines turn bad

Craft injuries may be a dime a dozen in the worlds of wood-turning, metal work and glass blowing. A bash here, scrape there, burn there. But sewing isn’t a game that usually leads to the Emergency Department. Or is it? Here’s a DP Writing Challenge: the story of how a domestic sewing machine had me all stitched up.

I was at Avondale Sewing shop a few weeks ago, talking to Matthew about a vintage Bernina he was restoring. He paused mid-conversation to ask what kind of machine I owned.

“Brother,” I replied. “Standard domestic, about eight years old”. He’d serviced my machine several times, most recently when it was completely out of alignment, but I knew he dealt with dozens of customers and machines every day. I didn’t expect him to remember mine.

Mathew’s eyes lit up in recognition. “That’s right! Stickers on it. You’re the one who took your sewing machine to hospital”.

Hmmmm … yes, that was me. That machine had lost its alignment because a needle had broken off in my thumb, sending me to the Emergency Department and the machine to Matthew’s workshop.

It was about a year ago that my friend Jude called around with some vintage fabric she wanted to make into a beach bag. We were sat across the dining table with the machine between us, chatting away as I sewed. I was running up the final seam, pedal to the metal, when I looked up at Jude and … THUNK.

My foot came off the pedal, but the machine had stopped anyway. I tried to pull my hand away from the machine, but it wasn’t going anywhere. I kept my eyes glued to Jude’s, too scared to peek at the cause of that sound.

“That was your thumb” she said. “So, first question: did it go right through?”

WARNING : This rest of this post may cause cringing and hand-wringing. If you’re up for it, click the next page to read more.


5 thoughts on “When domestic sewing machines turn bad

  1. Sorry Caroline…but I could help but laugh out loud as I read my way through your story. Love it…and great use of the page breaks…added to the suspense and drama while reading.

    1. Thank you Bridget. I am happy that you laughed … frankly, I thought it hilarious at the time too. And I really appreciate your feedback on the editing tools. I am glad that it worked!

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  3. ouch – what a page turner of a story, and I am so glad the adrenaline helped you keep your cool. I am not sure I would have been so composed (or been able to carry my heavy vintage bernina with one hand)!

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