As you know, I’ve gotten hip to the fact that already-sewn pillow covers will be a lot easier to sell in the Red Chair Market Designer Tag Sale than fabric yardage would be, because very few people know how to sew anymore, and the pie wedge of this mental infographic gets even tinier if you’re talking about people who know how to sew AND ACTUALLY WANT TO. I have embarked on a plan to create a boatload of pillows this week. I have fabric for 22 pillows cut out. I’ve purchased 22 zippers for my pillow covers and have all of the thread my sewing projects will require. I have time in my calendar blocked out to complete the construction on these pillow covers between now and Sunday’s tag sale. This would be the PERFECT time for my sewing machine to eff up, right?

Yeah. That just happened.

Oh, it just never fails, does it? Your computer always gets glitchy when you’re on a deadline. You get excited about found money and then get hit with an unexpected expense. I should have seen this coming.

It all started Saturday, when I flew into a frenzy to get things prepared for the sale. I’m going for more “pop-up boutique” than flea market, so I wanted to make sure I had map out how I was going to merchandise everything. I have an IKEA Expedit shelving unit in our playroom that I want to sell anyway, so I thought I would use it to display my products and offer it for sale. To create a mockup of my selling booth, I pulled all of Phoebe’s books and toys out of the shelving unit and stacked it all along the walls of the playroom. Then I started filling all of the Expedit’s cubbies with the fabric, lamps, books, and pillows I wanted to sell next Sunday. I kept finding more and more things I wanted to unload–after all, I’ve pretty much decided I’m no longer going to actively seek out staging projects, so there’s no reason to hang onto all of these great pieces if I don’t have a place to use them in my own home. The more I looked around, the more I uncovered, and before I knew it, the playroom floor was covered in merch. My Expedit shelving unit was filled to overflowing and is way beyond capacity. What wouldn’t fit in the cubbies is scattered throughout the playroom floor. It almost looks like we could be on Hoarders.

So then I got the brilliant idea to convert all of my fabric into pillows and spent a few hours cutting stuff out, leaving thread, lint, and stray fabric pieces all over the path I’d carved out for foot traffic. There are piles of fabric scraps here and there, as after interviewing green designer Danny Seo this week and the discovery that there’s an Austin company who recycles textiles, I can’t bring myself to put anything in the trash.

That’s the scenario upstairs. The mayhem continues downstairs, where all of the sewing was to take place. The machine’s on the dining table, thread scraps and zipper packets are everywhere, and we’ve got an obstacle course to run through every time we enter the kitchen, where the iron and ironing board have taken over. (If you’re not a sewer, those are necessary to the sewing process.)

Aaaaaghhhhhh! This is the kind of environment that will make anybody crazy. After three days, it’s taking its toll. I was SO. READY. to be done with the sewing part of this endeavor and finalize my mock boutique when my sewing machine decided it no longer wanted its upper thread to catch the bobbin thread.

In technical terms, my machine’s timing is off. The needle is exiting the undercarriage before the hook has a chance to make its revolution and catch the thread. Can’t sew a damn thing without this happening.

No problem, there’s got to be a YouTube video for that, I thought. And I was right–there are plenty of them. Turns out there are lots of Midwesterners out there just churning out video after video to show you how they beat The Man and saved themselves costly repair bills by making minimal tweaks to their machines themselves.

Following their lead, I unscrewed the bottom of my machine and found the whatsit I needed to tighten or loosen to adjust the timing of my needle/bobbin thingie. Found a screw loose–literally–and figured that if I put it back in its proper hole and screwed it in, I’d be all set.


Okay, it might need a tiny adjustment. After all, these Midwesterners can’t stop bragging about how they fixed their machines on the first try. I’ll just keep tweaking and see what happens.







Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope.  Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope.  Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope.  Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope.  Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope.  Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope.  Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak. Nope. Tweak.

<Bangs head against table.>

Did you see that? Now I can’t get WordPress to work right. What’s up with my margins all of a sudden? I DIDN’T TOUCH ANYTHING, WORDPRESS!!!!!!!

<Insert multiple profanities here.>

My patience took a powder and I’m on an express train to Crazy Town. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to sell all of my worldly possessions and go be a barista in Barcelona. I can’t be expected to make 22 pillows with a finicky sewing machine AND finish my Danny Seo interview AND write my next article for New York Institute of Art & Design AND make TxTag and the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority agree on whether my license plate has two zeros or two “O”s in it so they will STOP SENDING ME TOLL VIOLATION NOTICES, MAN!!!!!

I need a good laugh. This is a job for kitties, no?