My worst day of sewing ever!

Today was one rough day for Victorian shirt #2.  It hurts just to think of it.  Things actually started out well, but spiraled out of control.  

I drafted a pattern for the doubled back cuff based on an idea from David Coffin’s book.  The cuff flairs out a bit from where it attaches to the sleeve.  Things were moving along well.  The cuffs were cut, interfaced, attached and I was ready to edgestitch them.  While edgestitching I suddenly felt a lump in the cuff.  A piece of fabric that I had trimmed from the seam ended up inside the damn cuff.  I had to rip out a bit of the cuff seam and fish out the piece of fabric. Little things like this can really make me come unglued. I fixed the problem and regrouped.   
With everything edgestitched I moved on to the buttonholes.  13 of them.  I’m not superstitious but after today I may be.  Things were moving along when……8 buttonholes into the process my ancient Singer buttonholer stopped working.  Holy crap!  What do I do now!  
For those of you unfamiliar with these devices they “wiggle” the fabric back and forth while stitching.  Suddenly I wasn’t wiggling anymore.  I never dreamed I’d be taking this contraption apart, but that was my only alternative.  
So here are the guts of a Singer buttonholer.  I’m no mechanical engineer, so it took me awhile (more like forever)  to figure out what goes on here.  
This is the center of the action.  The part on the left that looks like a bird’s beak is attached to the shank of the machine.  As the shank moves up and down the ratchet behind it pushes the cogged gear.  This in turn produces the much needed wiggle. The problem was that the ratchet wasn’t quite connecting to the gear when the needle was at its lowest point.  It took me forever to figure this out, and I won’t go into all the gory details.  If you have one of these gizmos, be sure you have a 1/8″ allen wrench.  ‘Nuf said. 
I kept struggling to get a damn buttonhole made.  Here are some of my attempts.  Needless to say there was a lot of foul language.  After about 2 hours I finally got the damn thing to consistently make a buttonhole.  I made the final 5 buttonholes and was holding my breath the whole time.  
There was one bright spot to the day.  My baltic amber cufflinks arrived from Moscow this afternoon.  Thank you Etsy for restoring sanity to my life! 
Victorian shirt # 2 is now finished.  I hope to post some photos next week.  I hope you all have easier sewing than I did today.  

7 thoughts on “My worst day of sewing ever!

  1. good God, i felt sick just reading this blog entry…glad to hear you've got the buttonholer working again. I'm trying to get my first mens shirt muslin finished…i'll worry about fit once i have developed the confidence of a beautifully constructed muslin. I've had a few worrisome sewing days as i've abandoned 2 previous shirt muslin attempts; i hear you loud and clear re awful sewing days.


  2. Love the cufflinks. I really struggle with my crappy machine to get acceptable buttonholes too. I'm thinking of just doing them by hand, maybe it's easier!


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