If it could go wrong…

it did.

Right before Thanksgiving, I made a couple backpacks–the kind with drawstrings that double as straps. It was an easy project and I got to try out the embroidery functions on my sewing machine.

I made two with embroidered butterflies and they came out really well. I was excited. My friends and I were going to try to sell books at a local craft fair and I thought the backpacks would go over well. (Or so I thought. I’m obviously not very good at predicting what people will like. The lady at the next table had very similar ones. She didn’t sell a one. So the rest of this story is a blessing in disguise.)

I picked the next fabrics and designs and started two more backpacks. Then things went wrong. The embroidery unit came loose from the machine. It would lose the spot in the design, so I had to guess which stitch it was on, then step it back and forth until I found the right spot. It would sew a few stitches, then the top thread would catch on something and form a nest under the embroidery hoop.

The thread nest

I saw a great many of these. Great fun to remove.

After I untangled this and tore out the messed up stitches, the needle would come unthreaded or break. It was a vicious cycle. I managed to stop the embroidery unit from coming loose by wedging a book against it, so I was able to skip that step in the cycle.

Two hours later (on a project that should have taken fifteen minutes, even with the help of six extra hands), the design was done, but I gave in and called the repair shop. Unfortunately, they said I had to bring it in, which meant I would be without it for two to three weeks. I wouldn’t be able to sew any backpacks for the craft sale.

The 2 hour bag

This was the design that caused me such fits. It really shouldn’t have been that bad.

Luckily, and something that doesn’t happen often for me, the repairs were under warranty. The machine is working much better now and I have been able to do a couple embroidery designs without stopping repeatedly. Having it in the repair shop saved me the stress of trying to include one more thing in the hectic days before Christmas.


This one I did after the machine was repaired. There are still some tension issues, but it is so much better.



  1. Hooray for warranties! I’m glad you got things working. And the backpacks are lovely – I can’t believe they didn’t go well at the craft fair, but as you said, it’s so hard to predict what people will buy. That’s why I stopped doing them. Have fun!


    1. I know. I’d like to find something easy and cute that I could sell in an etsy shop, but haven’t come up with anything yet.


  2. Amazing, as usual. I’ve seen those thread lumps before on my own work. 🙂 Still trying to get to those PJ pants on my end.


    1. Thanks, T!


  3. My kids really love there bags. They use them as a toy travel bag. They can quickly grab a few things for the car ride.


    1. Great! My kids keep their dance and soccer stuff in them. In theory, then everything is where they need it when it’s time to go. In theory.


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