Guys, I *bled* for this one

Ok, who else has done this? I sewed through my finger for this shirt! And you might be just as surprised as I was to find out, given that this blog is generally littered with expletives, that I remained rather calm and collected when it happened. I sat quietly holding my finger thinking, “I’m only going to react if I just broke my twin needle, and if I did I’m gonna absolutely lose my shit.” The needle was miraculously intact; my finger not so much. Me? I remained miraculously calm. And didn’t get any blood on this white fabric. (Funny, my husband and #unsungsewingbloghero was inquiring about Sewzilla just today, expressing his relief that she hasn’t shown up around these parts for a pretty long while. Sewzilla was almost unleashed that day but for the intact twin needle. I’m sure she’ll visit again another day sometime soon.)


I chalk the accident up to having recently purchased a new sewing machine, with which I’ve been having huge troubles in terms of sewing lightweight knit fabrics. So after pfaffing around* with the new machine to no avail, I switched back to my old machine, which has a bit more space around the needle mechanism. Seems my old-machine-muscle-memory didn’t kick in fast enough and I just got a little too damn CLOSE. I’m grateful it wasn’t a mishap with the serger, which could have been a whole lot worse. Once I accidentally neglected to remove a pin before it got to the serger knife and the pin broke in half and flew off into the air (and happily not into my eye).

Anyway, it wasn’t a bad injury — the needle went though the side of my fingertip creating a bit of a gash but it healed up fairly quickly.

How about you? Got any good sewing injury stories to swap? Or near misses? Such an extreme sport this is!


Anyway, about this shirt. Nothing too exciting here, but I needed a basic long sleeved tee…because you can never have too many. (Or, on second thought, actually, maybe you can have too many.) In any case, I thought I’d try Vogue 1389, a Donna Karan pattern featuring a blazer, skirt, and fitted tee. The tee design has side seams that curve around to the back, which I think you can see in the pic above, and a wide neckband. I modified mine so it had full-length sleeves instead of 3/4 and I left off the cuff bands.


I had a helluva time getting this collar to lie flat! Evidence: here’s the first hilariously lame-ass try at sewing it in…

After a few rippings-out and re-sewings, it’s still not quite perfect, but I can live with it. The neckline rides up away from my shoulders while I’m wearing it. But if I were a gorgeous young model I’m sure it would sit perfectly and not dare budge like it does in the pattern photo below. (Did someone elongate the model’s neck in Photoshop? No one can possibly have a neck that long in real life, can they??)

Vogue 1389

Verdict: this top is a pretty quick sew (depending on whether your neckband sewing skills are better than mine, of course) and it’s a very good wardrobe basic. Be warned that it is designed with quite a lot of negative ease, so it’s very fitted, which for my comfort level makes it not so great for wearing on its own but very good for layering under other things in colder weather.

Thanks for stopping by for a look! And a very happy Thanksgiving weekend to Canadian readers! No doubt with the federal election coming up next week, there will be plenty of family fights around the table. Bring lots of wine!

*ohmygod it feels like I’ve been waiting my whole sewing blog life to use that pun! THAT FEELS SO GOOD! I’ll freely admit that neither of my sewing machines are Pfaffs but I just could not pass up an opportunity for a bad pun. Pfaffing around!!!! I slay myself. (At least I slay someone.) Here’s the definition of faff in case you have no idea wtf I’m talking about. Apparently it’s a British thing.

12 thoughts on “Guys, I *bled* for this one

    1. I took it into the shop where I bought it and of course the minute we set it up and started sewing with the same damn fabrics and the same damn needle I had been using, it was fine. One trick I learned was to start sewing further away from the edge to help avoid the fabric getting sucked down into the feed dogs. But still, kindof a big pain in the ass, especially since my old 1980’s Singer doesn’t have that problem at all.


  1. I’ve pierced my finger with a needle too! I was directing some thick fabric through the machine and got too close. The needle went right through my fingernail and out the other side! (It was kind of at an angle so not through the thickest part of the finger.) It was very freaky. Still makes me squirm in fact!


      1. Yup. It happened fast at least. It’s not like I got to stare at my finger with a needle through it. I only knew what had happened from the holes in my finger and the pain. For a long time afterwards, my older daughter would tell me to be careful…


  2. A-hahahahah! Love the pfaffing around comment (so many great British sayings . . . their use of language was my favorite part about living there)! I do have a Pfaff so I will likely have to steal that line (giving you full credit, of course). I am amazed that you didn’t get blood on the white top. I wish there was a place where we could post sewing related injuries. My squirmiest one was when I stood up to look for a needle I had dropped, and managed to step directly onto my lost friend. The needle disappeared completely into my heel and I had visions of it floating around my body waiting to pierce something vital. My aunt squeezed my foot until it started to poke back out like a splinter.


    1. Ack! I’m squirming just thinking about it! I should be careful what I ask for, asking for sewing injury stories…
      Oh and feel free to use pfaffing around freely and without giving credit. It’s a bad pun that deserves to be set free! 😉


  3. Hi there, just found your blog today via looking for examples of a specific Burda dress which brought up your version (Burda 07/2014 #113) and of course read back through lots of your posts. great stuff and I look forward to reading in the future!


  4. God your hilarious! And I am totally a Sewzilla too! My husband is gonna love that term. He was only saying today that he can’t understand why I persist considering the level of expletives leaving my mouth during any given project. I persist, dear hubby, because the results (never mind the process) are effing awesome, that’s why!!


  5. I sewed through my finger a few months ago… I went to the doctor because it was so sore & he assured me it was just blood & bruising… so imagine my surprise when I pulled a sizeable chunk of needle out of my finger a few weeks later… from the needle tip to well above the eye! Glad yours wasn’t so nasty.


  6. I like this top! I have had this pattern forever!! I did not realize the side seams wrap to the back-cool. I have been sewing for ages and ages; I have sewn my thumb twice. Not a pleasant feeling and always my first thought is God I hope did not get any blood on my fabric! Once that has been determined then the pain sets in.


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