Sew what?

February 1, 2013

Home economics (what a misnomer!)  wasn’t one of my favorite courses in high school. Do they still teach it?

Nonetheless, I can wield a needle for basic repairs as well as anyone.

The dry cleaner had finally destroyed buttons on a 15-year old Flax brand linen blouse that was otherwise indestructable, so it was time to get replace them.

Sure, I could have had the dry cleaner do it, but why pay someone when I could do it myself?

After a visit to the notions store for the right size buttons, I got out my ancient sewing kit.

That’s right. My mother kept her sewing things in one of these, and when I got married back in the day, she gave me one. Do you know what it is?

It’s an old fruit cake tin. Here’s the funny thing: in all these years, I’d never turned it over, so this was the first time I’d seen the embossing. Who knew that Hostess once offered fruit cakes? Or that they still do, only not in a tin? Or that these are called “vintage” and go for up to $25 on Ebay? Yep.

But mine holds needles, threads and notions.

So one night, I reclined on the bed to make repairs with a good TV show in the background.

 i was surprised at how relaxing it was. Remove the old button. Place the new. But first, thread the needle, which, at this age, was the most stressful part of the activity.

Stitch, pull….stitch, pull…the repetitive motions were soothing and peaceful.

I’m sure this would not be the case if I were working with patterns, measuring, cutting and worrying about fit and look. But this simple, repeated action seemed as calming as meditation.  Here’s something I hadn’t considered before:

And in some cases, it may be just as effective.

By the way, Flax brand linen lasts forever, it seems, at least the heavier weight style. I just found an online purveyor and bought a bunch of the gauzier styles for India. They’ll be cool and airy and I hope I’ll look like Judi Dench in the Hotel Marigold movie.

Hey, don’t harsh my fantasy, ok?

9 comments on “Sew what?
  1. Maryl says:

    I just sewed two buttons on my husband’s jacket which was a bit more challenging since it was leather and not linen. I use to sew up a storm but haven’t the patience anymore. I have my grandmother’s sewing basket…precious. I’ve had so many tins from Christmas cookies that I started throwing them out. Yours is a keeper though. Have you thoughts about knitting? It’s another task that’s very relaxing to do with the TV on in the background relaxing in bed just before turning out the night more so than being on our computers online which I suspect most of us are doing. Thanks.

  2. I too took HOme economics all through high school. I often wonder, how do today’s kids survive without anyone teaching them these basic skills? Didn’t know that fact about Flax linen, thanks for sharing that.

  3. I loe to sew…on a sewing machine. Hand sewing isn’t my thing. But, hey, if it relaxes you, then that’s a wonderful thing. And you saved about $15 in NJ $ by sewing the buttons on yourself. Nice work!

  4. I was one of those “HomeEc”ers that was an “over achiever” my first project was a crushed cord material for a skort. Since I’d never sown anything I was discouraged – but it turned out great.

    Made my daughter take HomeEc in high school and although she did well it wasn’t her “thing”.

    Now I wonder if it is even offered at school?? At least the basics should still be taught – sew a button, cook an egg …. it would ease some college/dorm stress right?

  5. Haralee says:

    Not only did I take Home Ec in school, I became a Home Economics Teacher! Before I even graduated from college the school of Home economics was bought out by the school of education and the school of food technology. Who knew it was my first brush with buy-outs and mergers in my life?
    Home ec is not taught but “Life Skills” is making a come back because there are generations that don’t know how to sew a button, hem a pant leg, boil an egg, shop a grocery store, read nutritional labels or understand a bank account!

  6. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Love this quote: Sewing is cheaper than therapy!

  7. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Love this quote: “Sewing is cheaper than therapy”

  8. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Love this quote: “Sewing is cheaper than therapy”

  9. I rediscovered my passion for sewing two years ago. Such great therapy and solves the creative cravings. Just attended the Road to California quilt show last week. Now that took sewing to a whole new level!!!

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