Saturday, December 21, 2013

Sew What?

I am a woman of many talents. I can chew gum and walk simultaneously, as long as someone holds my hand.  I can hum the tune to most any 1970's sitcom. I can laugh just like Woody Woodpecker. I can put in my earrings without a mirror.

But, sadly, I cannot sew.

My saintly mother, the coquettish one peeking out from behind the tree, did her best to teach me.  She even left me her coveted finger protection thingy. But to no avail, her lessons did not stick. I have adapted though and over the years, tape and staples have become my best friends.

Recently though I scored a beautiful green wool coat at the resale shop Frugality in Fairbury, Il where everything is 99cents. Or sure, sometimes the size tag has the name of the last owner scribbled on it in permanent marker, but sew what? I always fancied being called Nadeane.

What I did not like was the 1980's style gold presidential (?) buttons. So I bought some silver ones on line with a Celtic design of course. The price was five times what the coat cost but sometimes a girl just has to splurge on herself.

Cutting the old buttons off was no problem but how to attach the new ones? Tape didn't hold and the glue wasn't strong enough either. Staples had no place to attach themselves. Looks like I was going to have to put on my big Yaya panties and actually SEW them on. Yikes.

A needle was located (stuck into a candle buried in my junk drawer) but proved impossible to thread. How does anyone actually see that narrow opening at the end of a needle? Searching though my sewing supplies I ran across this doohickey.

Google-ing the photo and watching a 30 minutes You Tube demo and I was on my way. Needle threaded.

But how to knot the end? A sudden flashback of my mothers strangled finger tip and once again, I was ready to advance.

Several bloody sticks later (the red helped mark the spot for the return of the needle) and I was done. Counting the You-Tube video time, it only took 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Just 5 more buttons to go!


  1. Oh sweetie...I don't know how to run a farm like you, but I wish I lived nearby so I could get those wonderful new buttons on that coat for you. Attaching buttons is a's the thought of birthing hogs that scares the hell out of me. :-)

    1. Thanks for your empathy Camille. Now tell me your address and I'll mail the coat to you

  2. And we are going to get to see the finished, new-button'ie project, yes?

    1. No. You'll make fun of me. And then all the other homesteaders will make fun of me. And then they will kick me out of the homesteaders club. So No.

  3. Ever since I've been married (and before), I've done all my own washing, and my own 'sewing'. OK, it may not be 'invisible mending', but I can sew-up a hole in my trousers or replace a lost button. The one thing with which I struggle, however, is getting that very thick thread through that tiny hole in the needle.

  4. Seester!
    Out of the 4 of us, you and & I do not know how to sew! But I remember the same lessons with Mom, wrap the thread around your finger and make the knot for the end of the thread before you start sewing. With Mom's birthday being tomorrow, she is loving this blog very much.
    Way to honor our mother, with that memory.

  5. i can sew anything by hand but give me a machine and it becomes an instant disaster!

  6. Donna, I would be more than happy to give you and your sister sewing lessons. Needle and thread, sewing machines and heck even making my own sewing patterns - easy peasy. Not so much the livestock care - see we all have our talents. Love love love those new buttons! Please post a picture of your new coat it is going to be smashing with those lovely buttons.

  7. I'm sure the other four didn't take as long. Once you get going, you'll find a rhythm that works for you. I could never master making a knot by putting some thread around my finger and pulling it just so. I have to make a small circle in the thread near the end that's farthest from the needle and use the needle to draw the thread through, repeating as needed to get the knot fat enough. Conversly, if you are using a double strand, thread both through the needle, start to put on the button, and do not draw the thread all the way through. Draw most, then put the needle through the little that's left on the underside and draw tightly.

    I've never been able to use one of those threader things successfully, so kudos to you for working that out.