Wednesday, April 15, 2009

mending my ways

mending (v) def 1: what Sister MD does for me to keep her hands busy on Christmas day while I read a new book. def 2: what my mother does while visiting when she sees our pathetic pile of clothes needing repairs

CD lost a button on his dress pants. He asked me to sew another button on. I asked him to sew another button on. He seems to have had a bad experience once sewing on a button which just fell off again, so he claims his mending days are over. He suggested we take them somewhere and pay for the button to be sewed back on. The pants sat in a pile with the light blue sweater which has now two buttons held on with safety pins and another completely missing (but I really like the sweater) and other miscellaneous kid clothes which I was hoping they would simply outgrow. Until... the black thread that was tangled around a whole load of clothes in the washer turned out to have been the hem on my new black pants.

I cleared out the table in our mess office which contains sewing stuff. I found a needle and thread. I went back downstairs for my glasses. I found a needle threading gizmo I'd never used before. I mended his pants. I hemmed my pants. I am optimistic that someday I will buy new buttons for the light blue sweater.

The rest of the mending requires a sewing machine. I have one. My resourceful mom made sure that I owned one identical to the one I'd learned on at her home. Except it has been years since I used it regularly (meaning, since I left home). Each time I have to change the dang thread I'm lost. I have a directions book. It has tiny pictures and an assumption that I know what a tension spring is when I look at a bobbin holding doodad. (See? I can toss around words like "bobbin", proving I'm not a complete novice here.) I mess around and find the phone number of the sewing machine store. I phone and some wonderful older woman talks me through my bobbin issue. I get off the phone, ready to go. But the machine jams. I call Mom. She can't help over the phone- apparently her knowledge of a sewing machine is kept in her fingers. I quit.

I have momentum. I have mending. I even have time. I have done this before. I just don't have enough memory in my fingers.


  1. Oh what a delightful post, so funny but so true. Keeping the information in one's fingers....priceless. Love love loved it.

  2. When my daughter was about four years old, she asked my mom, "Nana, what's that?" My mom replied, "What? This? Why, this is a needle and thread. Haven't you ever seen your mother sew a button back on with these?" Amy just stared back with complete bewilderment.

    I don't own a sewing machine. I still have the same sewing kit from 7th grade (1975 or so) with the same scissors, my name engraved on one blade.

    I do know how to sew buttons back on pants & shirts. I also sewed several Brownie patches on Amy's sash the one year she was in Girl Scouts (unlike one mother who used a stapler!). I do not hem pants. That's what a tailor is for.

    Have fun! :)