Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Tale of an Eyelet, or, Why I never get anything done around here

See this?

This is an eyelet. Specifically, an eyelet that was required in order to proceed on a project that's been stewing in my sewing room for about a month.

And this is why it took a month to sew one stinkin' eyelet.

The Beginning
My son wants a new messenger bag, modeled after a "Bag of Holding" we got for him from the Think Geek catalog. Only, he wants it to look "Tron"-ish, with a glowing wire on the front flap of the bag. No problem; I happen to have one of those I bought in Puyallup more than a year ago, from Peacock Patterns.
In order to run the wire onto the outside of the front flap, I would need to sew an eyelet onto the front flap panel. No problem; I've got eight sewing machines and one of them surely can sew an eyelet. The machine I use for all my zigzag work is my old Bernina 930 . I sat down and looked at the stitch options. Hmm; no eyelet. I looked in the instruction book and didn't see any way to sew an eyelet.
No problem; I'll just lower the 930 into the cabinet and plop my Viking 1+ on top of it and use that to sew an eyelet. I pressed the lever to lower the Bernina and... nothing. It was stuck.
I looked into the recesses of the cabinet and saw that one of the wires had come loose from the pulley mechanism.
No problem; I'll fix it. Hmm. Easier said than done. I futzed with the lift mechanism while it was still in the cabinet but there's simply no room to maneuver under there. Luckily it's easy to remove: I unscrewed the top plate, unscrewed the side supports, and... SPRANG!!! The cables were under tension, and they immediately flopped all over the place, so I had no idea where they should go.
No problem; I'll find a diagram somewhere on the web. No such luck. This is an older model cabinet, and all the current cabinets have a totally different lift mechanism. After trying to figure out the correct path for the wires, I gave up and contacted Horn of America. This was last Friday, and their tech had already left for the weekend. So I shelved the project until this week (after all, Diana was home and we were in the thick of designing her Otakon costume).
Yesterday I got a call from Jeff, the technician at Horn, and he was able to email me the diagram for the cable paths. With that assistance, it took maybe ten minutes to get the cables in the right place. But then I couldn't figure out how to reinstall the whole mechanism.
No problem; I'll email Jeff again. And indeed, he was able to email me another page of instructions to install the lift mechanism. So, this afternoon, the whole assembly was once again installed, and working better than ever (leading me to believe it had never been cabled correctly to begin with).
Back in business! I lowered the Bernina and closed the table lid, then put the 1+ on top of the table and plugged it in.
Uh... Where's the eyelet?
The basic stitch cassette included some buttonholes, but no eyelets.
No problem; I've got more stitch cassettes. I looked at each one of them... no eyelets.
It took me maybe five minutes to remove the embroidery unit from my Designer 1, find the eyelet stitch, do a test or two, and stitch the eyelet in place on the front bag panel.

My father had a favorite saying in German: "Warum einfach, wenns aus kompliziert geht?" (which translates as "Why do it the easy way when you can do it the hard way?")

It's the story of my life.


  1. Der Spruch heisst: "Warum einfach wenn es auch kompliziert sein kann!"

    Lol...sitting in Germany where the sun finally came out today...


  2. I bet your DS will be pleased that you've finally found the right answer for you, though! Well done with persevering, and not going for some lesser solution - I'd probably have just left a mangled hole that eventually tore!

  3. I realise this post was some time ago. Any chance you still have the Horn cabinet cable path diagram? My has come off and although it has not completely unthreaded itself, I can't for the life of me see where one of the ends connect?

    1. Karen, yes I do! Send me an email (welmoed at sissonfamily dot com) and I'll be happy to forward it.

    2. Can u please send me the cable path diagram incase if u still have it. I need it desperately. My email id is saruvi at gmail dot com.

  4. I would really appreciate if you could send me the cable path diagram and other instructions to install the lift mechanism. My email is
    Thanking you.

  5. Awesome blog! I don't sew quite at this level, but it is still very cool to see your work. In regards to your German Horn sewing cabinet, would you still happen to have the cable diagram and lift installation instructions? I managed to get mine stuck as well and have had trouble finding a way to fix it. :(


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