First Blood

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Periodically, I see sewing blog posts regarding sewing injuries – typically, someone runs her finger under the machine needle (OW!) or stabs herself with a pin. Today, sewing drew its first blood on me, too.

As I was putting together the pieces for the messenger bag (a pattern I’m not overly-amused with, btw,) I realized I’d just knocked something off the sewing table in the direction of my lap. Reflexively, my legs snapped together, trying to catch it. This turns out to have been A Very Bad Idea.

You’re thinking “needle,” or “pin,” right? Those would have been preferable, and would have caused less tissue damage. Scissors? Nope.

Pro-Tip: If you’re not sure what you’ve just dropped, don’t try to catch it. Override those reflexes, folks.

A few days ago, I mentioned the awesome device that helps me guide the last remainders of seams under the pressure foot without them going all cattywampus: The aptly-named “Bamboo Stiletto.”

As my legs clamped together, a sharp, stabbing pain made itself known in both upper thighs. I gasped in surprise and let out an annoyed “OW!” Seeing I had skewered not only one, but both legs, with this little device, my brain sent the signal to “OMG LET GO!” and they popped apart. The thicker side of the stiletto had only gone in about a quarter of an inch, and came right back out. The eviler, narrower side, however, stayed quite put. Looking down at my leg kebab, with its skewer standing up at about a 45-degree angle , a few things entered my mind, the first of which was, “Huh.” It’s an odd thing to see something sticking out from one’s flesh.

That was followed rapidly by “well, f*ck.” It wasn’t hurting anymore, but damn. With deep stab wounds, one sometimes leave the penetrating object in place as a sort of cork. Surely, this was completely superficial, and not a worry. I gave it a gentle tug, and it didn’t come out.


Looking at the entry, I realized it could be directly over my femoral artery, and maybe if I pulled it out, I’d suddenly have a large problem on my hands. Sanity quickly returned, however – no way it could have possibly gone in that deep; I have far too much padding. Looking at it to determine how deeply it was in was difficult through my shorts, but it’s not like there were inches of bamboo buried in my flesh. I tugged on it gently a bit more without any success and finally gave it a good YANK. Ow. Femoral artery intact, two nearly-identical puncture wounds directly opposite each other. Awesome.

With a sigh, I went into the bathroom to irrigate the wounds with peroxide. As it turns out, the punctures were just the perfect size into which to insert a Luer Lock syringe – handy! Pulling apart the deeper wound to peer in, I couldn’t see anything critical, and I wasn’t gushing blood. I flushed both sides out with a lot of peroxide and went back to the sewing table to finish up The Annoying Bag.

Figured I’d better clean off the bamboo, but first, I took a gander to see if I could tell how deeply it had penetrated. Holy shit! That sucker was in nearly a full inch – 7/8, to be precise (I had a ruler, I was curious.)

Now I can see myself not paying attention and getting my finger punched through by the plunging needle – heck, I’ve been half-expecting it to happen, in truth – but this? Wow, this was totally out of the blue. My capacity to surprise myself remains intact!

The more superficial of the two wounds isn’t hurting at all, but the deeper one is starting to ache and twinge a bit when I walk.

Within an hour of The Skewering, I gave myself a nice second-degree burn with the iron, too. Earlier in the day, Mike dropped a 25-pound dumbell squarely on his middle toe from a height of about three feet. It it deep purple and red. His first thought? Not “I should go ice this and elevate it, maybe take some ibuprofen,” no. Rather, “I should go weed-whack for an hour.” [sigh]

We are not the brightest of people, Mike Neir and I.

On the plus side, we went and got Ethiopian food tonight, and I also bought some basic embroidery stuffs to teach myself how to do that again. Provided my left-hand tendon problems don’t get in the way, that’s something I can do away from the sewing room, curled up in bed, or wherever. That’s appealing.

I have the outer shell of the messenger bag assembled – all that’s left is to put together the lining, and then attach the lining and straps to the shell. After which point, I will take photos and probably have it ripped apart in about 5 minutes – I’ve made it out of Freecycle/Goodwill sheets, just to see if a.) I could actually make the bag or some reasonable facsimile thereof, b.) I liked it enough to give it a go with fabric I actually purchased.

Right then – back I go. Wish me luck, and the ability to know when not to try to catch something.


Posts at least a little bit like this one:

Equipment, Injuries, Tips, WTF ,

2 responses to First Blood

  1. Stacey Krusac

    OMG!! I hope you’re OK!! That sounds soo painful 🙁

  2. Sarah Adams

    You are so smooth, Erin. So smooth. The worst thing I’ve caught with my knees was a spoonful of potato salad, btw.

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