Monday, April 17, 2017

What seams difficult . . .

On Saturday nights, I listen to Prairie Home Companion, and I pay bills, and I mend clothes.

Except that now that my sons are finishing up 11th grade, getting closer and closer to the day they'll launch into the world on their own, I pay bills and have my sons mend their own clothes.

Fixing a ripped seam -- like the one on N-son's bike jersey -- takes maybe 3 minutes if you know how.  And I darned well want my sons to know how, and not to toss a piece of clothing that's easily fixed just because they're too intimidated by the process of pinning the fabric or threading the sewing machine.

The first time my sons asked me to mend some clothes and I turned the job back over to them, they panicked.  To me, that says that the lessons were all the more vital.  How did I let them get to that point?

I'm really pleased that by now, they accept the task matter-of-factly.  They know how to back-stitch at the beginning and end of the repair, how to remove pins as they stitch along, how to turn the needle so that it finishes up, how to snip the threads when they're done.

They're even sort of proud of their skills.  Sort of.  But I guess I don't have to leave that particular chore up to my sons; I can take on the the task of being proud so they don't have to do it themselves.

[addendum:  when I read a draft of this post to N-son, he replied, "Boo-YAH, I'm proud!"  So I guess that's yet another thing he can handle, after all.]


  1. Wonderful skill! I'm glad I learned to sew too (tho not from my mom). She is constantly amazed at things I sew. But I find it's just a matter of staying calm and trying things. For the record, my things are mending and basic projects, like a baby blanket or crib sheets. I find tutorials online to be exceedingly helpful in walking me through the tricky steps.

    1. I think, no matter what your day job is, there's still something wonderful about being able to make something physical with your own hands. But for academics or other brain-job people, there's something extra-satisfying about being able to point to something real that we helped create.