So from the looks of things, my sewing machine is probably screwed. I don't know if that's a bad thing or not, to be honest. I've had the damn thing for almost two decades, and it's held up well enough. While I do have some sentimental value attached to it, I also have memories of hours and hours of frustration and agony associated with it, so perhaps just giving up on the damn thing would be best. I'll keep tinkering with it, of course, and maybe I'll happen across some magical tool or technique that will fix it, but for now, I think it's time to start saving up for a new one. I have my eye on a couple already, although it may be "too soon."
That said, I will have to resort, I fear, to entirely hand-sewn or no-sew items in the future. For knitting, this should be simple. For some small sewing, such as the many fabric wrist cuffs I hope to make throughout this week, hand-sewing shouldn't be so bad. I may even be able to pull off my Ursula costume with minimal sewing, although I'll need a bit of time and patience for it.
So this has led me to the wide, wonderful world of no-sew T-shirt Surgery. There are a ton of sites, such as Livejournal's T-Shirt Surgery community, which outline in usually detailed tutorials how one might take a huge, baggy t-shirt and make it flattering and cute with or without the use of a sewing machine and various other interesting notions. My problem, of course, is that I work in an office. As a receptionist. And although The Company is very good about allowing me to express myself through my dress, there are some t-shirt surgeries - many, in fact - that are simply not work appropriate.
Therefore, it stands to reason that my new challenge simply must be to create several no-sew or little-sew shirt surgeries and other reconstructions that I can wear to work, and that won't make me look like a loser or a teenager.
Meanwhile, I will continue knitting through my ever-growing Christmas gift list to keep my spirits up. I get sad when I fail at sewing.