A Jungle January Clutch and a Beastly Machine

Today, I wanted to show you my small contribution to Pretty Grievances’ย Jungle January. I’ve been seeing so many fun animal print projects that I really wanted to join in the festivities.


And yay for this button!

Basically, all the cool kids were doing it!

But, my sewing machine had other ideas.

I did finish this:

Zebra Clutch

It’s a little clutch which I am using as a makeup bag (right now it has thread in it). I’m not buying new fabric at the moment, so I knew I would need to dig into the stash to find something in the theme. I know zebra is more savannah than jungle–let’s just go with it. I had originally intended this to be a Christmas gift, but I changed my mind. Since I still had all the fabric and notions ready to go, I decided to go ahead and sew it up.

Yesterday morning, I was working on a companion makeup bag, feeling proud that I was knocking out my daily 20 early, and pondering how great it’s been that my machine has worked so well all this time (not even joking about that), when suddenly in the middle of some topstitching the motor seemed to stall a bit and the needle movement became stilted and irregular–almost like the thread was all jumbled up in the bobbin case–though the stitches continued to come out normally. And then the machine started to rumble and growl at me. Well, I finished that row of topstitching (slowly and with much trepidation) and went searching for the manual. Of course, I found nothing helpful. It wasn’t the thread; cleaning out the bobbin case didn’t help; I wasn’t getting any sort of error message.

This is the bag I was working on when the machine got an attitude.

I began to think about bridesmaid dresses that I’m supposed to work on this weekend and this mending job for a friend that I’ve had since before Christmas and curtains I have to hem and Roman shades to be made for an interior designer friend–not to mention all the sewing I’d planned for myself. . .

Slowly, I began to panic.

And then I switched into Crisis Management Mode.

Do you have a CMM? I do. And when I am CMM Jenny, I am sort of a fearsome creature to behold. I’m all gettingitdonegetoutofmywayorIWILLCUTYOU. (Afterwards I get a sort of headache. I think it’s like an adrenaline hangover.)

Over the next 10 minutes, I found my warranty information and my original receipt and an authorized Brother service center near where I work; I called the service center and found out that it would be at least three weeks before they could get my machine back to me; I begged a friend via text to let me borrow her machine for a few weeks (I didn’t have to beg, really) and I packed my machine in its original box and got it all ready to go. And then I was running late for work so I had to go into CMM part 2 to pull myself together and get out the door.


This whole episode has got me thinking that it might be time to start considering an upgrade. While I love my machine and up till now it has been absolutely perfect, I bought it knowing that it was a starter machine and that if I kept at my sewing, I would need something a little more sturdy and long-lasting. Just something to ponder for now.

Maybe being without a sewing machine for a day or two means I’ll actually finish sewing the buttons on my New Look 6078. Guys, I have Things to Say about this pattern, and I need to hurry up and get it done!

Back to the clutch–I actually have a couple more of these in the works, so I will tell you more about the pattern (and how you can get your hands on it, too!) and construction and all that later.

But for now I leave you with. . .

Mighty Ferocious Neville

a ferocious jungle beast. . .?

24 thoughts on “A Jungle January Clutch and a Beastly Machine

  1. That clutch is very cute! Ugh, I’d be upset if my sewing machine went under – hope they get it to you sooner because I do want to read about NL 6078. I’ve been thinking of upgrading too – but only because I’m thinking of a multi function machine – sewing and embroidery combo – but i’m not sure what to get. Was thinking of visiting a dealer for info.

    • Thank you! I’d love to get it back sooner, but at least I have a borrowed machine to use in the meantime.
      While I was at the service center, I wandered around and salivated over some of their sewing machines. I think finding a good dealer is the way to go!

  2. HAHAHAHA. I feel like CMM Jenny should have her own sitcom. I’d watch it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ But your cats would need their own spin-off show for sure.

    Joking aside, I’m so glad you have such a nice friend to lend you their machine, that way you can still do your 20 minutes a day.

    I loooovvvvve the make-up case (and the dress you were wearing in the photo). I’m interested to see the other bag you’re working on, too.

  3. That clutch is adorable! Love the zebra! But shoot, girl, I would’ve lost it completely if my machine started to freak out like that! Way to remain calm in the midst of upheaval! You’re like a freakin’ ship captain or something!

    • Haha!! A ship’s captain??? That is a hilarious mental picture! And a little frightening. . .
      I think I spent the first two minutes going through all the stages of grief. Then once I hit “acceptance,” I could be rational. But seriously, is it weird to be this attached to a piece of machinery? I feel like I have a sick pet!

  4. Pingback: Continuing the Mission….in the jungle! « Pretty Grievances

  5. Loving the clutch it’s fab! I would definitely have a panic attack if my machine had a hissy fit. Although pondering a new super duper one is food for thought. If you’ve got flaunt Neville that’s what I say ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Haha! Neville clearly agrees with your philosophy ๐Ÿ™‚
      I’ve already started compiling a list of features I need and features I want so that when the time comes, I’ll be ready. But for now, I’m really hoping my machine gets fixed properly!

  6. Pingback: The Annie Awards! Semi-live and semi-ferocious! | Pretty Grievances

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