DIYsewing 101

sewing in a straight line: book giveaway winners + DIY video

by Kate Pruitt

We have two exciting treats today: Another awesome DIY video from Brett’s new book, Sewing in a Straight Line, and the list of winners from last week’s book giveaway!Kate

Congratulations to everyone who entered on having some truly disastrous disasters!! I have never heard of so many fingers being sewn through, so many needles breaking off and flying into eyes/faces/necks and so many fingertips sliced off by rotary cutters! (Yikes! I can honestly say I was never physically afraid to sew before, but I might be now!) Aside from entries involving bodily harm, my favorites were those that resulted in nudity, fire or smashed machines. Kudos to all for your valiant efforts, and congratulations to the tortured souls who won. A mere book seems like a flimsy reward for your suffering, but nonetheless, I hope you enjoy. Carry on, dear brave crafty people of the world, and remember: SEW SAFELY! — Brett

Read on to find out who won the giveaway and read their horrific sewing disasters after the jump!

If you are one of the lucky winners, please send us an email here with your full name and address to claim your prize!

Sewing in a Straight Line Book Giveaway Winners:

1. Jessica
On my 30th birthday, I was hemming some curtains I’d gotten at IKEA. They came with iron-on hemming strips, but I thought that stitching would look nicer. I was on my very last panel, maybe tired & definitely impatient to move on to hanging them & then going out to a nice dinner. Suddenly, the machine stopped. I had stitched right through my index finger nail. Half of the broken needle was sticking out of my finger. My husband pulled the needle out with some pliers, which is when the blood started gushing. I was so scared that I made him take me to the emergency room, which was happily empty. A doctor washed the wound & put on a superglue-type bandage (which turned out to cost $200). Most expensive bandage, most lamely eventful birthday. But the curtains still look good.

2. Rebecca
To understand my sewing disaster, you have to understand that I have a knack for winding up in situations where I’m subject to public humiliation. In a sewing class I took at a local sewing studio, we were making basic a-line skirts with elastic hems. In the process of taking my measurements, I must’ve overshot the diameter of my waist. Fast forward to completion, I was so excited to try on my skirt. I ran to a closet in the sewing room, noticing the waistline was a little baggy, but not paying attention. My classmates asked me to model the skirt for them. I did a little walk, in typical Leo-like fashion. As I strutted around the sewing tables, the skirt started to fall lower, just enough for me to step on the bottom hem. As I did this, the entire skirt came down below my hips, revealing a yellow, cotton thong. My class was comprised of all females, so this wouldn’t have been so terrible, if one of the other classmates wasn’t one of my middle school English students. I have since learned to be a bit more careful when taking my measurements. :/

3. Erin
Oh wow, biggest sewing disaster? That’s an easy one. My first day of seventh grade home-ec class, I started sewing our required standard pillow shame. The first pass through that I made on our dated school machines, I sewed through not only my pillow case, but the big bell sleeve on my sweater as well. The fabric from my sleeve got yanked into the machine and so entangled that the teacher had to call the janitor to take the poor Singer apart and extricate me from it. It would be close to 10 years before I’d get up the nerve to try to sew again. but to this day, even in the dead of winter, I only sew while wearing tank tops (better safe than sorry ;)

4. Vicki Anderholt
I was moving across the country from LA to NY in my bright orange, 10 year old vw station wagon. I packed everything I owned into the back and the only things I couldn’t fit in were my sewing machine and all the afghans I had crocheted. I finally figured out I could fit them into the very small trunk over the engine in the front part of the car . I drove from LA to Flagstaff and then was headed towards Gallup, New Mexico…It was Memorial Day weekend, and no one was on the roads out there……but this one car pulled up along side me and was waving…..I looked at them, and they were yelling. I wanted to ignore them but I opened my window…they were yelling “your car is on fire!” I thought they were joking, but they kept yelling …..so I pulled over, and stepped out of my car…and looked back…..sure enough, there were flames spitting out the back of my car. I was terrified. They had stopped and they helped me get everything out of my trunk. We called the fire department but because of the holiday weekend , they couldn’t get there for an hour……In the meantime my car burned in bigger and bigger flames till it moved from the back to the middle to the front…We watched as the tires and seats all melted……then the fire reached the front and I guess that’s where the gas tank was, because all of a sudden the whole car went BOOOM, and exploded. We were far enough back to not get hurt…but as it exploded, I remembered…….my sewing machine and all my afghans were in the front trunk. It was years before I got another sewing machine!

5. Nico
My sewing disaster wasn’t during the act of sewing but involved my equipment, I finally decided it was time to rent an art studio to give my various machines a home and packed everything up in one of those granny grocery shopping carts with my sewing machine crammed inside of a loom for support on top. As the birds were singing and the sun was shining, 2 blocks from the studio my cart hit a granny-wheel-sized crag in the sidewalk and inertia sent my machine flying like a rocket through the air as I screamed bloody murder. People literally came out of their homes with concern. The old girl broke into a million pieces, but gave me an excuse to get a new toy!

If you are a winner, please send us an email here with your full name and address to claim your prize!

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  • Oh my goodness those stories are awesome! I was dying of laughter by the end – Nico’s story had me in stitches! I’ve had my share of sewing disasters, but thankfully none of them have come even close to the winners’ sewing calamities. Of course, there’s still time! ;)

  • Haha. Oh my. I’m sorry for everyone’s sewing disasters, but so thankful they shared them.
    “… and inertia sent my machine flying like a rocket through the air as I screamed bloody murder.”
    So great.

  • What a great tutorial! I just ordered the book and “Design Sponge at Home” as well. I can’t wait to start some new projects! Thanks guys.

  • Oh it’s nice to know I’m not the only klutz out there! Congrats to the winners…and safe sewing/transit to all!

  • Thanks Grace and Brett! I have spent the last week of l a t e nights sewing two pillow cases and some napkins and I am HOOKED! I am definitely going to get the book. And thanks for adding great style and design to the book Brett. Very refreshing!

  • Thanks for tutorial, it is really timely! I have fabric and zippers sitting here waiting to be turned into pillows and I was feeling a little bit intimidated (I’ve never sewn a zipper before). It is also interesting about not adding additional fabric to the pillow form. Now I just need to get around to sewing!

  • Wow. Zippers are so EASY! Excellent tutorial…I will be ordering the book since I don’t have any stories to earn one ;)

  • Definitely want to get this book and to all who won, congratulations! …on getting closure. Serious props to you brave people. Brett, I just tried the hidden zipper and it worked a charm :) Thanks for the great video. One small thing I forgot to do was to keep the zip open before I sewed the last side shut. I almost got my seam ripper out again!

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