Sewing Bloopers

Laughing Ladies 219x300 Sewing Bloopers

The “Last Laugh” column on the last page of each Sew News issue is always a reader favorite. I am the lucky editor that gets to sort through all the sewing bloopers and find the best ones for the magazine. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite bloopers and give you a chance to win a prize and have your blooper published.

I find that bloopers tend to fall into four categories: injuries, wardrobe malfunctions, whoopsies and savvy sewist woes. The injury category always hosts tales that make you wince or grimace. Despite the sometimes gross nature of these bloopers, they still warrant a chuckle from time to time. Recently, a reader wrote in with a terrible tale:

“I was sewing along and drinking a nice cup of tea when the needle on my machine broke. I spent several minutes looking all over for the needle tip and couldn’t find it. I decided to replace the needle and move on. As I finished the project I took my last sip of tea and got a sharp stab in the back of my throat. I realized too late the needle tip had flown into my tea. I spent several hours in the local emergency room to have the needle tip carefully pulled from my throat by a very nice doctor.” – Rachel D.

Something about this one just caught my attention. Perhaps it was because I often drink tea and sew at the same time, or maybe it was the high drama of the situation. Either way, that’s one harrowing tale and I was glad to hear that Rachel was back to full health in the end.

The second category of wardrobe malfunctions seem the funniest to me. Of course, these stories usually result in ripping a seam and showing off a little more skin than intended. One of my favorite ones came in about 6 months ago:

“When my sister was in high school, she proudly showed me a pair of shorts she made in home-ec class. She decided to wear them to a social gathering held at a health club. She was playing racquetball on the court next to mine with a blind date I had arranged for her. A few minutes into the game, I heard frantic knocking on the court door. I opened the door to discover, the center-back seam opened in her newly constructed shorts when she bent over. We snuck into the locker room and I loaned her an extra pair.” – Kelley D.

I love that Kelley came to the rescue, but I wonder how much she laughed when she opened the court door.

The third category of whoopsies is filled with simple mistakes. Things anyone might get wrong and the hilarious consequences. Here’s a great whoopsies story:

“I selected pretty red fabric to create a costume for a Jane Austen-themed dance. To make the gown more festive, I stitched white lace to the collar and sleeves, and found a pair of white gloves for a more authentic effect. Everything looked beautiful, but halfway through the event, I noticed my gloves were streaked with red from touching my gown while dancing. I’d forgotten to check the colorfastness of the red fabric! After washing the gown, it’s now accented with lovely pink lace.” – Mary S.

How delightful to attend a special event only to discover that your gown is leaking color! I can just imagine the surprise of discovering red handedness.

The final category of savvy sewist woes are always a little technical to read. Though for the sewing-minded the humor jumps out quickly. Here’s one from the archives that tickled my funny bone:

“As one of my first projects, I sewed pajama pants for my teenage daughter. I thought I’d followed the pattern perfectly, but for the some reason, the finished pants looked off. I figured that when my daughter wore them, the problem would fix itself. But when she tried them on, the seat of the pants looked like a sumo wrestler costume. We laughed the entire day. I asked a seamstress friend what I’d done wrong, and she pointed out that I’d forgotten to turn the legs to sew the side seams.” – Dorothy W.

Unless you’ve made pants you might not fully understand this hilarious blooper. I’ve made this mistake and it didn’t seem funny at the time, but now I think back and giggle at my error.

Of course, there are so many other bloopers out in the world. Respond below with your sewing bloopers for a chance to win a prize. Five responses will be chosen as winners and might get their blooper published in an upcoming issue of Sew News.

Enter to win before November 1 at 8:30 am. Winners will be notified via email. Good luck and happy sewing!

 Sewing Bloopers
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23 Responses to Sewing Bloopers

  1. Iza Sopia says:

    Measure twice cut once is the best way to describe my first huge sewing blooper. I’am filling very confident on sewing my Eid al-Fitr cloth, after measure it once I decide to cut my fabric. What a huge mistake I’ve make, I don’t leave any sewing allowance on the fabric. So for that year I have to wear my old Eid al-Fitr cloth, form that mistake I make sure to measure twice, mark the sewing allowance and cut once.

  2. Cassie Zemer says:

    So, when I first started quilting, I didn’t take to heart the whole bit about measuring and cutting accurately, by the time my quilt was done, I ended up with some seams that were “off” by about a half inch (I wont admit to more…). I think it really would have helped to have a mom that quilted regularly and could teach me these things!

  3. Laura Miller says:

    I bought a wonderful Rowenta iron after realizing the one I’d been using was beyond repair. When I took the shiny new iron out of the box I saw a warning on the plastic safety plate cover to remove before ironing. I thought “what moron wouldn’t remove this plastic item before ironing?” I didn’t get to use the iron until a week or so later. I plugged it in and soon smelt a strange, burning smell. It turns out I was the moron who didn’t remove the plastic before ironing (the plate was facing the wall and I’d forgotten all about the plastic cover). I spent some time removing the cooked on plastic and getting the iron to usable condition. Didn’t dare buy another one in case I repeated my gaffe…

  4. Jan Hvizdos says:

    I was embroidering a throw for a wedding shower gift on my embroidery/sewing machine and I had to remove the stitches three times. Not on a small portion but on most of the embroidery. I thought it was my machine and took it to have it repaired. It turns out that it was a bad floppy disc. Not only did I have a disappointed bride but it cost me $159 to have it “checked out”… I not only had this expense but also the expense of buying another gift. Lesson learned -check the disc first because the old saying that “if at first you don’t succeed – try, try again” does’t work in this instance!!!

  5. Christine S says:

    I have just started sewing after many years of my machine boxed in my closet. I decided to sew my Halloween costume using shower curtain valances and pillow shams. When I cut the 2 front body pieces, I cut them with both right sides up instead of WS & RS. Thank goodness there was still enough valance left to cut another front panel. Costume turned out very well, all things considered.

  6. Sara Neal says:

    I was once sewing when I found my machine would not stop! I could not slow it down or stop it, all I could do was turn it off. I spent the afternoon trying to troubleshoot the issue to no avail. A few days later while vacuuming I noticed the foot pedal stuck under the radiator!

  7. Patricia Hersl says:

    I measured and trimmed. Remeasured and trimmed some more and that darn quilt would not lay flat. Submitted it for judging anyway because it was so cute. Judge said “It should be even.” The rest of the feedback was very positive, but she caught me!

  8. Carol K E says:

    A large friend tells the story of making a pair of canary yellow shorts in Home Ec. When she fussed about how large her behind looked when wearing them, the teacher replied,” Well, _____, There is a reason God made elephants gray! I always try to make sure color blocking does not accentuate faults!

  9. Leanna Chideste says:

    My oldest daughter was using my embroidery machine when she was a teenager..the needle went all the way through(from top of nail to bottom of flesh) her thumb! She held in her scream, didn’t make a sound…she was afraid I would be

  10. Kathy Rowell says:

    I hate to cut out a piece backwards and find out upon pinning that it just won’t fit. Then I go and cut it again only to find in the pinning that I repaeated the mistake. At that point it is time to quit for the evening. UGH!

  11. Theresa Brooks says:

    The very first thing I sewed was a shorts outfit. My stepmother showed me how to sew and then left me to it. Neither of us realized that the machine was set in reverse and I was totally clueless! I thought it was funny that I had to keep pulling at the fabric to get it to go the correct direction. Those were the most sturdy seams in the history of sewing! It has been almost 50 years and I still start laughing when I think about that shorts outfit. Lucky for me it fit, because there is no way I could have ripped out those seams!

  12. Kim M Harrington says:

    I have done almost everything in the book in terms of bloopers. My seam ripper and I have a love hate relationship. I have sewn sleeves in on the wrong sides. I have sewn parts on wrong side out. Perhaps one of the worst was cutting a hole in a silk dupioni Christening gown I had nearly finished when I was trimming away the fabric from behind the shaped French lace!!! Fortunately for me the hole was small and was near a large bit of embroidery. I was able to fix the hole and nobody even can tell that there was a hole there. It is right on the front of the skirt :)

  13. Maria Rosa Gonzalez Hernandez says:

    I had more time trying to sew. First I have no time, then not enough money and finally I found a place to learn, this was two years ago. Now I continue learning buying fabrics and go arround the world with my computer to have experience with other people. I‘m only starting but I‘ll never end.

  14. Abby says:

    I am still a fairly new sewist (after two decades of on-again, off-again sewing) but lately I’ve been really dedicated to sewing almost daily. I’m hooked. But being new-ish and largely self taught, I make at least one big mistake per project (and many small ones). I don’t think anything I’ve made lately hasn’t needed seam ripping at some point. Most recently I made a knit cardigan and it was my firs time attaching sleeves. I was feeling good, things were humming along nicely. Zip, zip! both sleeves on and… OH NO! Yep. I had sewn one of the sleeves on with the seam on the outside of the cardigan. I laughed and showed it off to my friend and sat down with my friend the seam ripper.

  15. Donna B says:

    I was putting together my first strip quilt top (sewing all 2 1/2 inch strips into one long continuous strip) and realized at the END that sewed them on backwards! had to out the trusty seam ripper to good use! so a quilt top that should have taken about an hour turned into 2

  16. Dawn Dickson says:

    I was making a pair of pants and sewed the fronts together and the backs together. Tore them completely apart and started all over to find out I had done the same thing all over again.

  17. Carrie C. says:

    For my very 1st attempt at machine embroidery I decided to embroider a red butterfly on the arm of a long sleeve shirt that I’d planned on wearing that day. I’m sure you can guess what happened – I stitched right through the sleeve! I frantically picked out all the stitches and properly hooped the sleeve and began again. I left the room for a few minutes and as I was returning, I heard a strange noise. The machine had run out of bobbin thread and was chewing a hole in my shirt! Needless to say – I did not wear that shirt, but I kept it as a reminder of both mistakes!

  18. Kathleen says:

    As a young bride many years ago, I wanted to surprised my new husband with a flannel shirt to wear to work. Since he was over 6’2″, I had to add to length. No problem there. But the next challenge was his neck was 19 1/2. The biggest pattern was for an 18 1/2. I thought well I just need to add to the chest measurement and everything would be fine. In my attempt to add to the chest I added to much to the neckline. He laughed and said it fit over his truck. I was embarrassed but learned how to enlarge the pattern for the next shirt correctly. Thank heavens they started marketing larger shirt patterns!

  19. Robin Huss says:

    I’m fairly new to sewing. My blooper is sewing my quilt blocks backwards. So, my blocks don’t always look like what they were supposed to look like….lol

  20. Ruth Shelton says:

    My biggest blopper was starting to put a binding on a quilt and I finally noticed that I had sewed a piece in the middle of course, wrong side up. Never noticed it before. Not setting the seams, or quilting. The colors were so similar on toprside of the fabric and the underside. So, I missed it. My husband tore it out for me and I started over. :)

  21. Michelle Shamp says:

    During the first couple times I was embroidering and I kept sewing and something didn’t feel right but I kept on going! After 10 minutes I checked my stitches and I embroidered about 20 stitches were embroidered on the bottom of what I was sewing sew I had to let all the stitches out! So I keep checking my stitches all the time! I learned my lesson!

  22. Michelle Shamp says:

    I was embroidering and I kept sewing and something didn’t feel right but I kept on going! After 10 minutes I checked my stitches and I embroidered about 20 stitches were embroidered on the bottom of what I was sewing sew I had to let all the stitches out! So I keep checking my stitches all the time! I learned my lesson!

  23. Judith Marsh says:

    In preparation of embroidering 50 tshirts I decided to iron on all of the fusible dtsbilizer in one sitting. Little did I realize that I had ironed them all on the upper right instead of the upper left side. I had to warm each one up with the iron again, carefully remove it and then iron a new piece in the correct position. Boy was I msd at myself!