For the love of an industrial

My friend Lilya owns a sewing shop about 20 mins from me with three industrials at the ready.  I spent several hours in her store today working on the outside of the Weekender — the bag that will not die.


I am physically tired from the exercise. But, I only broke three needles at her place. And still want / need to go around it a second time. The stitching is just not close enough to the piping for my peace of mind. I want to trim back the seam allowance too so it wraps nicer (that Timtex is making the edges stick out I think).  I could also try ironing the edges.  My stitching is reeeeal close to the edge of the fabric in more places that I would like to admit.

So, this is going to wait a couple more weeks until I can get back to her store. I still need to make the lining.


I hit Joanns today for some quilting template. While there, I got this box for carrying my school supplies. It’s kind of pink, isn’t it?


Moral Dilema: I bought a bolt of muslin for school and home. Halfway home, I realized I was charged just $2.49 (minus my 40 percent off coupon) for all 25 yards. Do I make a special trip back so they can charge me the additional $35 or do I wait ’til my next Joann trip in a month?


  1. I recommend calling the store and speaking with the manager. It can probably be resolved by phone.

  2. I would call and say something. My husband would tell me not to, but I would feel bad, plus I’d be afraid they would realize my mistake, and they know me there.

    Once, I worked at Hobby Lobby and got no training. I didn’t sew then, so I didn’t understand fabric at all. Someone brought a big bolt of fur to the register without going to the cutting counter, and I charged them the price of one yard for the whole thing. I realized later I had made a mistake, but I don’t think anyone found out!

    Finally, your Weekender bag looks great. Mine looks lousy b/c of all the same problems you’ve had. I didn’t break any needles, but I will agree on trimming the Timtex. I didn’t, and my seams are really screwy looking.

  3. See a lot of times I catch things at the register (I keep a running tally in my head) and if it’s seriously off like this was, I’d of said something there. Most of the time they argue with me that they were right and never wrong and I let it go. I do get trying to be honest, trust me.

    I just got change back on a $20 for a $50. I told the woman 4 times I gave her a $20, she got rude, snapped and said “I NEVER do my job wrong. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, how long have YOU been doing my job?” I told the manager on my way out, and that she was rude, and he replied “Keep it, she’ll get wrote up for it. No sense being honest when she’s going to be like that.” So for me, I get to the point I tell them, I can’t make them believe me.

  4. …which I forgot to say, I’d call and see what they want you to do. Now it would be at your convenience and I’d call and handle it when I came in next.

    I do like the bag!

  5. Your bag looks good in the photo. I’m sure that was no easy thing to sew. I’m going to try a fusible when I start mine. There’s instructions on the Amy website for that. Maybe that will go easier.

    Love the pink box!

  6. About the moral dilemma – forget about it, I’m sure Joanns will survive without your $35. Maybe they need to take a look at their staff training program. Accept it as a gift from the sewing gods and try to pay it forward somehow.
    The weekender looks great.

  7. Another vote to phone JoAnn’s. I do however see the validity of Elizabeth’s suggestion.

    And I love your weekender bag. It’s looking really gorgeous to those of us who didn’t work on it, and, therefore, aren’t picking apart our own work. And your pink box is awesome! But you could tell from my blog that I sorta like pink, too, right?

  8. I love the bag, I can’t tell from here that there is a problem. As for the muslin, I’d call. You don’t know that it wasn’t a brand new employee who didn’t know better, and if her sales didn’t add up it might come out of her check. I’d hate for that to happen by mistake. If they act like it’s your error, then forget it. If they’re grateful, you’ve done the right thing. K

  9. Your bag looks beautiful and your patience and persistence impressive.
    Calling the store sounds like a good idea.

  10. Your reading public is very nice, very ethical if we judge by the previous comments. I’m impressed. However, I harbor no such moral pickles when engaging in business with big box stores and corporate America in general. If it were a small business, totally different story, but for Corporate Big Box stores, I’ve been screwed enough to say just recognize it as the rare gift it is from the sewing gods…Is that bitter?

    On a more positive note -your bag looks great! How do you like working the industrials?

  11. Call the store. You won’t rest easy until you do. No need to make an extra trip, the phone call should suffice.

  12. Call the store. You will rest easier and it’s along the same lines of speaking up for yourself in class. It’s the right thing to do.

    Your bag does look great. Hurray for friends who share their machines!

  13. Regarding the muslin, it was considered “one cut of by-the-yard fabric”. Your cut happened to be 25 yards, which was the entire bolt. The people at the cutting counter didn’t have to cut and measure, but just put the whole 25 yards on the cutting slip (I’m assuming you had to get one because technically it was a measured fabric.)

    At the two Joann’s that I shop at, this is done all the time, especially by the quilters buying muslin and batting. They will use their 40% or 50% coupons to buy an entire bolt.

    Another thing to consider, if your Joann’s has the new touch screen registers, the computer decides what to apply the 40% coupon to, you do not have choice any more. The computer then decided that the muslin was the item to apply the coupon to.

  14. Congrats on your weekender bag. I bought the material and the pattern six months ago but have not made it yet. You’re making me question doing it. Sounds grim. Love you pink box, very cute. On the muslin, I would call and tell them what happened and pay for it next month when you were planning on making the Joann run. Their mistake not yours and you’re being honest, which I’m sure is not the usual practice. I’ ve always loved your blog since I found it, but now I love your honesty. So proud blog reader.

  15. The bag looks good to me, and after it goes around the world a few times, it will be even better.
    It’s great to see all the people here agreeing that doing something about the undercharge is the right thing to do. We are a moral nation, after all.

  16. JoAnn’s has ripped me off at the register for at least that much, so consider them even.


  17. Once I bought some things at Williams-Sonoma, and when I got home I discovered that the salesperson had accidentally put my check in the bag instead of the receipt! I called them and told them and the next day dropped off the check. The manager said that she was surprised that I had called; most people wouldn’t have, she said. “But I was with my kids, ” I said, “What kind of example would that have been?” And then she gave me a jar of fancy expensive jam as a thank you. I would have felt guilty shopping there afterwards if I hadn’t called. So I agree with the folks above. I’d call them

  18. I would call and see what they want to do, no point in making a special trip, I’m sure they’ll resolve it over the phone.

    I love your pink box! The bag is looking good.

  19. I don’t have a problem with the price charged for the muslin. If it was all one piece, the price was right. I usually only buy muslin with a coupon like that. Good luck with your schooling. I enjoyed mine when I did it.

  20. I read all the comments and the message I get is “theft is theft”. It doens’t matter how many times someone cheated a customer at a “big box store”, or if they argue they were not wrong in making an error, or if the customer plays sematic games with the presentation of the price. Two wrongs don’t make a right, so I’m with the crew who suggest you call the store.

  21. Let’s face it, your instructor waited until you were gone and then told the whole class that you have a black belt in karate! I’d be nice to you too.

  22. Oops! I mis-posted. My comment was supposed to be on the previous post that pertains to your class! Sorry.

  23. I’m for calling the store, too, although if it were me, I’d just do it on the next trip. I think you will probably have better luck paying the extra money if you are face to face.

    Yes, I’m anticipating that the person you get on the phone may be really unpleasant to you, or just not have a clue, or will just tell you to forget it because they don’t want to bother. None of which will leave you, an honest person, feeling as if you did the right thing. (If the manager tells you to forget it, that’s probably another matter, but it’s hard to believe a manager would do that.)

    So I think you’re better off doing it in person, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with waiting until you’re back next month — it wasn’t your error, after all.

    I still let people know when they’ve given me too much change or undercharged me (I like to sleep at night!), but it is amazing how many times people have been really, really nasty about it. The stories in the comments above don’t surprise me at all. Strange world. On the other hand, there are always honest checkers who are just horrified that they made the mistake, and very grateful that it got corrected.

  24. Your bag looks fab. Kudos to you for having the patience to tackle the small details. In regards to the muslin, I’d definitely call the manager like the others suggested. Could be you were charged properly but if you weren’t, you can put it right. Those things tend to nag at you if you don’t do the right thing. Oh, good on you for confronting ms. cranky student. She’s probably a bitter unhappy sort.

  25. I am with the group for honesty. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and as much as I like the idea of getting something for nothing (or a lot for a little, in this case), I don’t think I could live with myself, knowing that I had been fraudulent. So I would at least call, and probably go and see them and offer to pay the balance. If, by some miracle, they decline, then good on you, but either way, good on you!

  26. The bag that will not die. I like that. I still can’t believe that a bag with so few pieces is such a challenge! I’m cheering for you — right to the finish! As for the muslin — I’d just give them a call, talk to the manager and see how they want to handle it.

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