Do Not Try This At Home
The deadline was approaching. The annual Costume College was the next weekend, and I was desperately trying to finish my costume for the Gala. You know the panic.
I had a narrow ¼” seam allowance with several fat layers of fabric under my presser foot to stitch on the bias for finishing. Go! Go! Go!
Then, in the living room, my husband hears: “Oh my gosh! I hope I don’t pass out.” (Yeah, I actually said that.) He throws his book down and comes running into the sewing room. “What?! What is it?”
He sees me sitting on the floor in front of my desk where my machine is and I have my right hand elevated. “What happened? Do you need to go to the emergency room?”
“I don’t know. I just sewed my needle into my finger. And it went all the way through!”
Because I was sewing quickly and using a tiny seam allowance, AND my fingers were just TOO close to the foot, my hand slipped into the needle’s path as I was trying to push the fabric under the foot. I’ve done the process lots but this time my finger got in the way.
I released the foot pedal as soon as the needle went in. But of course the machine wasn’t powerful enough to keep stitching my finger – Thank God!
I had to stop and assess the situation.
My right ring finger was stuck in my machine with the needle in it so I couldn’t very easily move. So I stretched across with my left hand to turn the fly wheel to release the needle. I had indeed put the needle clear through my finger. Yeah. Fortunately it missed all the blood capillaries and the bone as it was sore but not bleeding or stinging.
What an experience!
You wouldn’t think that sewing can be that dangerous, but don’t underestimate working with sharp objects! Pins, scissors, rotary blades, buttonhole cutters, needles, seam rippers, tin snips, etc., etc. The sewing room is filled with pointed items just waiting to take revenge out on you.
I’ve also nearly lost an eye by hitting a metal bone in a bodice when the needle broke and the end flew up to my face. The second time it happened, the needle was a large size and I only managed to bend it into a fish hook.
The sewing room is a wild place. Caution must be exercised!
- Keep cutting implements in the center of tables and not teetering on the edge.
- Have a magnet handy when you spill pins on the floor
- Clean up your main work area after a sewing session (you don’t have to put it all away (who does anyways?) but at least put your tools up)
- Store your hand needles in a case or corkboard
- Leave machine needles in their packaging until needed
- Pay attention when machine sewing with a tiny seam allowance
- Be extra careful when sewing around metal bones
- Above all: slow down!
Do you have a cautionary tale of a sewing room medical disaster or injury?