Thursday, 31 May 2012

Numpty No- No's.

Well, hello again!

It appears I have overcome my previous shyness; I couldn't wait to write this post up. Why, you ask? Well, I felt it was an important  contribution to the preservation of crafters around the world.

It also contains one of my most favourite traits about myself & others. The things that make us authentic. Numptiness. What is numptiness? Well lets refer to the urban dictionary for an answer:

a.) Someone who (sometimes unwittingly) by speech or action demonstrates a lack of knowledge or misconception of a particular subject or situation to the amusement of others.

Still not clear? Allow me to give you a visual:

What is it? My hair. In a bobbin. Wound tightly. 

HOW? Well, according to Jeni from Handmade Love, it's because I'm a Numpty. I must stress that this was said as a form of endearment. 

So, now I've made that crystal clear, you'd probably like me to explain the technique for winding your hair into a bobbin. I know you love my tutorials. So here's a quick one:

How To Wind Your Hair Into a Bobbin:
1. Run out of bobbin thread halfway through sewing an important accessory piece at midnight.
2. Remove empty bobbin from case, and set up to rewind with the thread of your choice.
3. Whilst winding more thread onto the bobbin, take some time to rest your HEAD on top of the sewing machine. Ensure your hair is nice & frizzy. If it's not, it won't catch as easily.
4. Freak out when you realise your hair is winding you closer & closer to the bobbin spool.
5. Yank you head away in a panic so a chunk stays with the bobbin and can be integrated nicely into the thread.
6. Continue sewing as usual. You'll put a little piece of yourself into everything you sew.

After such an enlightening and wonderful crash course on what NOT to do around my sewing got me thinking. I mean, I've had some major crash & burns (yes, I'm actually being literal there) in the Joallie Petit studio. Perhaps I should compile a list of the top 5 Numpty no-no's for your crafty benefit. 


1. DON'T rest your head on top of a sewing machine whilst winding a bobbin. I think we've said enough on this matter.

2. DON'T spray any kind of adhesive spray onto your appliques when on the carpeted floor in your studio room. The memory of a bad tree shape will continue to haunt you forever. Or until you buy a rug.

3. DO NOT attempt to seal grosgrain hair ribbon if you already applied glue to it. The result is truly singe-a-riffic. 

4. DO NOT watch t.v.whilst sewing. The result could mean someone has to walk around on their hands in order to wear your clothing.

5. DO NOT think you'll pick up that pin/needle off the floor after you've done XXX. Chances are, your foot will find it for you. 

Like my list? Guess what? ALL of these are from personal experience. I've had chunks of hair missing, singed eyebrows, a permanent mark on my carpet that will forever haunt me, unwearable attempts at clothing, and two trips to the local ED to remove pins from my foot. And the doctors weren't even hot. Sigh.

And I'm still going. Why? Because I'm a Numpty, obviously!

Now it's your turn. Pleeeeease share your numpty experiences with me (I know I already have a couple in common with some of you...hehehhee). There will be a prize for the best one. A pair of my new shoe clips:

 No injury was sustained in making them. Just watch out for the hair, though. 

Post your comments under here, and I will choose the best one next Friday!

Jo xx


  1. You are a classic Jo! My top tip is to never rethread your overlocker with the power on :/
    Let's just say crawling children underneath your feet and fingers near a very sharp cutting blade are not a good combo!

  2. Oh Jo this makes me giggle! I'm glad I'm not the only 'Numpty' out there. I think my most painfull experience was flicking the HOT glue gun onto my lip (the thought of it still makes me cringe). The only way to remove the large blob of HOT glue was to also remove a lot of skin OUCH!! I had to walk around with a large wound on my lip for ages with people constantly asking what happened!! It was extremely embarassing trying to explain how I managed something so stupid.

  3. Hehe Jo- I am sure you are aware that you are not alone in your numptiness! Especially in the crafting world!
    Here's my no-no (quite specific to my 'craft of choice')- Do not attempt to make shrinky plastic a pretty spiral shape by bending it around the wires on the oven tray with your bare hands... inside the oven...when the oven is on...
    :) Briony

  4. Ohhhhh Jo you did make me laugh!! I have a number of numpty moments myself, I call them creative experiences though, tee hee. Can I suggest never cut things out on your lap when wearing good PJ pants, unless of course the fabric is lovely enough to incorporate into your sewing ;) Never try and sew while wrangling two children and a plate of peanut butter toast, unless of course your customers like the ensuing smell of nuts and little hand prints! Never try and sew at 3am, no matter how desperate you are to finish something. Common sense never prevails at 3am and you will ultimately end up unpicking everything and creating twice as much work *le sigh*!

  5. I call these little mishaps 'What NOT to do next time'. If we didnt have them then we wouldnt learn to grow in our crafting. I have certainly had many enlightened learning experience that have resulted in tears, the smell of burning flesh and above all blood. My top tip: Dont put your fingers near the needle of the machine because yes you can sew it (**Ouch**)and another one would be Dont use metallic thread on a heatpack as sparks will surely fire when placed in the microwave (derrr).

  6. Jo, you are fecking hilarious. My only recommendation is similar to Chrissy's: do not emroider on your lap whilst wearing loose clothing -unless you want to choose between unpicking 3 hours worth of work, cutting up your favourite pants/jumper/shirt or making wearing a hanging embroidery hoop complete with unfinished design from your thigh some sort of new fashion statement.

  7. Dear Jo, after the week I have had this was the chuckle I needed while sitting in the comforting embrace of my dressing gown at 2pm hiding away from the world & imminent disaster! And so, I say thank you. I love it!

    I can join your 'Numpty' crew as I am sure you well know, some things that I can share in public to avoid 'crafty' numptiness (because I have numptiness on various levels from reversing over the letterbox to wearing really high heels & nearly knocking yourself out on things you wouldn't normally)...but in the crafty realm it would be not to cut fabric pieces on your lap because your trackies would definitely get a hole in them, I know as I have done this twice. I have sewn through the side of my finger during late night market madness phases & on two occasions I have completed a large & fabulously intricate appliqué only to hold it up in admiration & discover that I have appliquéd the back of the garment ;)

  8. You made me laugh Jo. So far I've done as above, sewed through my finger and man it smarts ALOT!!!! And I've iron things upside down and to the ironing board instead of the garment. And I've overlocked a hole into garments by not keeping them out of the way of the knife. I don't sew late at night as that leads to madness and insanity.

    hope your week next week is much better.

  9. My Numpty moments (yes plural of the same thing):
    Taping quilt layers onto our hardwood floor then spray-basting the quilt layers together.
    Then later on in the day walking around in my socks on the cold floor and going A over Z on the extra slippery patches where the overspray hit the floor and I forgot to clean it up.

  10. Well, I posted our Canadian tax return (a source of much stress in this house) to the government without applying any form of postal payment. Just slipped it straight into ye olde postbox. Realized about a week later and had to call the accountant and ask for another copy, sent to the house so I could conceal my numptiness. Remembered to take that copy to the post office for stamps!
    Husband still doesn't know but I'm pretty sure he doesn't read your blog so I should be safe...
    Btw, you are 'ularious' as my kid would say!

  11. Oh Jo you really do know how to make a girl chuckle, I think I may have actually snorted whilst reading this lol.

  12. I am feeling so much more normal as it seems numpity is a side effect of sleep deprivation and trying to do too much, as mentioned on the HL facebook page I have learnt not to cutout on the lounge floor because your too lazy to move things off the table this will result in you cutting holes in the carpet for which you then have to hide from your partner until you can glue them back in , you will also blunt your good scissors which is just annoying but the worse case of unforgivable numptiness is never ever leave your choccie stash on the ironing board in front of the iron not only do you make a mess of your ironing board cover and put lovely chocolate stains on the item you are pressing but you have just left yourself with no chocolate how numpity is that.

  13. Oh Jo, you gave me the best giggle of the afternoon & what's more, your lovely followers just kept the laughs coming!! I too am clearly part of the numpity group. But rather than tell you of my mis-haps, I'll tell you of my sister. In year 12, like you, she was finishing her TEE art project & sewing late into the night. Getting more and more tired, her head hung closer and closer to the sewing machine until she was so close the cotton threading/tensions bit that goes up and down with the needle hit her just above her eye. She had a fabulous bruise the following day & we always thought her lucky she didn't poke her eye out with her machine! I'll be back to read everyone else's stories.

  14. never attempt to hand quilt while watching tv while having a blanket on your lap cause you will inevitable sew sailt quilt to the blanket ! duh I really should pay attention to what I'm doing late at night !
    My other one is ironing applique pieces to the interfacing before ironing onto the shirt ! I should really put a cloth under it cause I've now got little pieces of left over interfacing ironed all over my clothes from putting it straight onto the ironing board ! ughhh

  15. Heheheh Jo you make me giggle, you poor thing! My numpty no-no advice is not to use your bed as a lovely flat surface on which to cut out your pattern... especially if your good sheets are on the bed :\ (although the bonus might be that you get to have TWO of the same piece - one from your original material and one from your 400 thread count egyptian cotton sheets in mushroom brown??).
    Keep up the lovely blogging Xx

  16. Had a very good giggle and this blog and everyones comments.

    I was once embossing cards on the floor in a rented house!! Big mistake I melted big chunks of carpet!! Managed to hide it by moving furniture for all the house inspections but we were found out when we moved. Couldn't even blame anyone else as the carpet was installed while we lived there!!

  17. Bahahaha... I can honestly say I have not laughed out loud reading a post like this in as long as I can remember, you are HILARIOUS! The late night sewing has got me into a few little pickles... like thinking I'm good by marking out several points on a garment to only confuse my start-finish points and end up with button holes in the wrong place and making the hole with the unpicker BEFORE checking the position!! :/ (I do hate starting all over again when you are so close to the end!!)
    Also a tip not to get too close to the needle while sewing... regularly pull your head back, blink a bit and review how close your fingers are getting to the needle!! It is actually quite hard to figure out how to unattach yourself from the maching once the needle has sewn into your fingernail!

  18. Oh Jo, I laughed as I could relate to all the above mentioned! No other serious injuries to myself. however I recommend NOT using your ironing board to cut out on as I have managed to cut up our ironing board cover beyond repair. Oh, and a stupid moment just 2 days ago entailed me posting a parcel without putting the persons name on the address section. Luckily I remembered to put my return details so it came back to me pronto. How embarrassing!!! Xx

  19. Oh dear! What a wonderful post and NEVER will I sigh and rest my head wearily on the sewing machine as I wind a bobbin :-) I am also convinced I must be a numpty too Lol..numpty things I have done, hmmm, which ones, which ones?? I've sewn pins to projects - you know, those ones that have button shaped heads. Yep, those ones! Reached for my iron instead of my water bottle and thankfully realized before I burned my lips - ouch! Spilled fray stoppa in big nasty piles on my cutting out table..Tried for a year to write with a pen and discarded it in disgust as it never sister came along and pulled the cap off for me.. eeek! Dumb I know, but the nib was slightly poking through the cap..that makes it a bit better, don't you think?? Tried to second guess patterns, and ended up having to back track due to being a smarty pants! And "straightened" what I thought was a scrap to turn it into a skirt, only to discover I actually just straightened out and chopped right off the crotch on the pair of pants that the scrap was leftover FROM.......yes I'm an official Numpty!! LOL

  20. My number one tip? Don't try and catch a falling pin between your thighs. They are not made out of marshmallows, and they will make you laugh and cry at the same time!

    Oh, and if following a pattern, also follow the design notes. I do NOT know better than the creator of the pattern...


  21. Do I share one of the most embarrassing days of my life?
    First year uni and I am making a hanging structure out of perspex and fishing line. As usual I am still up at 2 o'clock on the day of the presentation, finalising all my hanging bits when I suddenly realise I won't have enough fishing line to complete the whole thing. Never fear.. I suddenly come up with a brilliant idea (as you do at 2am) - I can use cotton thread on the top bit instead of the fishing line - nobody will even notice it! (the top bit being the one thread that holds the whole mobile up)
    So on the day I proudly tie my hanging structure from the beam of the lecture hall and begin presenting on how my artwork represents objects floating in space when all of a sudden my artwork becomes literally stunning as it plummets towards me, bounces off the side of my head and lands in a crumpled mess at my feet… Complete silence as I pick up the tangled mess, put it on the table and continue talking about my suspended artwork .. which is clearly not suspended thanks to my misguided faith in cotton thread. I think a little part of me died that day…!

  22. My most common numpty moments are losing needles on the floor, and then stepping on them. The worst one was when I dropped a large needle into my shag pile rug, half an hour of searching for it with no luck, and as expected I found it later whilst walking around. I was wearing thongs - yep, it went right through the sole of the thongs and into the sole of my foot. Eye first - ouch!


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