Monday, May 23, 2011


I like sewing.
I'm terrible at it and I can't thread a sewing machine to save my life, although I do like the word bobbin.
Hand sewing, though, is a fish of a different feather.
Just now I sewed up some buttons on a button-down shirt that wants to be unbuttoned more than buttoned down or up, and that's fine in certain situations but not when you're at work, or at the market – anywhere showing off your gallbladder scar isn't your first priority.
I got Grandma's sewing basket out of the closet and found some inconspicuous grey thread. The price tag was still on the spool: 29 cents. You pretty much can't buy anything for 29 cents anymore. I think even 29 cents would cost more than 29 cents.
Dave had to help me thread the needle. I tried cutting the end, licking it, all my limited tricks. The worst my eyes get the harder this job is. Finally I pouted enough that Dave got the job done for me.
Then I sewed.
An immense satisfaction soaked through my fingers and into my bones. The feeling of getting a job done; of fulfilling a task that was put off. There is nothing better.
In my house, sewing is always something put off until there is absolutely nothing else to do.
But today I am exhausted after unpacking from our long weekend camping trip. I am tired to the core, but the laundry is folded, the dishes are done and there are fresh sheets on the bed, waiting for me with scented comfortable softness.
And so, with rain pouring down outside and the leaves unfurling almost before my eyes; the air ripe with budding blossoms and the cat curled up asleep in the window sill, I sew.


  1. I love it! I should have failed Home Ec. as I blew the blouse I was supposed to sew. Yet, I sewed clothes for my kids. I look at my hand-sewing and my gramma's stitches were so regular and even. sigh. But then I don't do it much.

  2. Sounds like a lovely, peaceful end to the day. i remember my Gran clearly. She never sat down without some handiwork at her elbow. That and a cup of tea.

  3. I got a sewing machine for Christmas 2 years ago, but it took over a year of trying to get the darn thing threaded - granted I would get frustrated and put the machine away for a month or more! I don't sew often (partly because I really don't know what I'm doing, and partly because I'm afraid I'll run out of bobbin thread and it'll be another year and a half before I can get it threaded again), but I love the satisfaction I get when I sew something and see the finished product!

  4. You're right. There's immense satisfaction in getting a job done. And you may be doing that job again soon because 29 cent thread is old and therefore brittle.
    And speaking of breaking thread, I found out the hard way that chlorine will dissolve cotton thread used to make your own bathing suit.

  5. Oh man, I have like 5 pairs of pants that need buttons sewn on them. I'll totally bring them by. My wife hates it.

    Also, what does it say that I have popped the buttons off 3 of my pants. Hmm.

  6. Isn't there an ap for that?

  7. "I think even 29 cents would cost more than 29 cents."

    I smiled on that one. Dangerous close to true!

    Those 29-cent baskets have held up pretty darned well, too.

  8. I started learning to sew when I was about five - my mom used to get us to sew buttons on all my dad's shirts when they broke off in the ringer washing machine.
    I still sew, quilt, and am one of those kind of obnoxiously talented people - such is my might make you feel better to know that I almost failed home ec in junior high...really! Still haven't figured that one out?!


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