Sewing - Live Like a Mensch
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J seems to be under the impression that I can sew.

Granted, he has a couple of reasons for that impression:

While I did, in fact, sew all three of these quilts with my own hands, and I do, in fact, own a sewing machine, I consider all of this evidence both irrelevant and immaterial. Because quilting, while it is a form of sewing, is also inherently impractical. For instance, the middle quilt that is currently covering our too-close-to-the-floor bed, took 11 years to complete. Other sewing projects--like clothing, for example--would generally need to be completed in a shorter time frame than that. The concern would be that the intended recipient might no longer fit into the clothing that took over a decade to complete. Size matters not with quilting.

And since quilts are generally enjoyed in the privacy of one's home--and many times in the ultimate privacy of one's bedroom--I consider them to be much less stressful than any clothing alterations. You wear clothes out in public, unless you've got some really lax public decency laws in your state. Any missed stitch is on display. Quilts have the benefit of low lighting and few visitors. They can look lovely even if the quilter is not entirely sure which end of a pin cushion is up.

This, you see, is why I don't really feel like I know how to sew.

J, on the other hand, takes all of my crafting experience, stash of fat quarters, and hours spent with a thimble on my finger as evidence of some sort of innate understanding of the fabric arts.

He started by asking me to hem some of his pants.

"I can't DO that!" was my horrified reaction. "I don't know how to sew!" (This was one of the many instances wherein J learned how to perfect his "Okay, crazy lady" look.)

I was able to stave off his insistence on my competence for several years.

Then when we moved to Lafayette, money was tight for a little while. We were carrying two mortgages, and for the first time, J was working at a company that required business casual dress. (His previous employer offered him an engineering jumpsuit/uniform which he wore over his street clothes and they laundered for him. He loved it. He could use his uniform as a napkin if he got ketchup or oil on his hands). For the new job, J had to buy several pairs of professional pants, which of course were a tad too long. We couldn't afford to also have each pair professionally tailored, so I was pressed into service.

Thankfully, YouTube has been invented and nice people (who must make tailors and alteration services really angry) post videos about how to hem pants. I managed to do a job that J--who has frankly been known to wear ketchup and oil stained clothing to work--was not ashamed to be seen in public wearing.

Sadly, that "success" only encouraged him.

Last year, J asked me to make one of those insulation snakes you slide in front of poorly sealed doors. I managed to be "busy" until it was summer, and I thought I was in the clear. I forgot to factor in the eventual return of winter.

On Saturday, J asked if I'd make the snake. Figuring that I could handle what was basically a long pillow, I agreed.

I proudly showed off the completed snake:

J, however, was not satisfied. "We need a way to attach it to the door," he said.

"Huh?" I said. "That wasn't in the blueprints."

"Well, it'll just get kicked aside if we don't attach it." Frowning some more, opening up the door, closing it again, and looking over the snake, he finally said, "Just sew a strip to the side. I'll staple-gun it to the door."

This, ladies and gentleman, is why the outside of our back door looks like this:

Definitely, not what I'd like for public display.

Which is why, if anyone asks, I'm going to claim that J did it.




By the way, I posted a little while ago about alternatives to wrapping paper. I've gotten some great responses, and I'd love to hear more ideas. Please email me with any great ideas you've had. I'm looking to write a post about this sometime after Thanksgiving. Thanks!!



bobi said:

Self-sticking Velcro: a non sewer's dream (also better than staples!)

November 7, 2012 6:31 PM

Emily Guy Birken said:

I just got that recommendation from a friend on Facebook who saw the post. Further proof that I'm really not a seamstress!

November 7, 2012 8:32 PM

frugal_fun said:

LOL!! I agree that there is a world of difference in sewing essentially 2-d quilts versus 3-d clothing and objects, although perhaps you're more competent then you're letting on. The problem, at it's core, is that the competent get saddled with more work once the world knows. I've always admired the "learned incompetence" crowd from afar and their amazing abilities to get out of chores. ;p

November 8, 2012 2:43 PM

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