Tues. Nov. 9, 2021 – why yes, I am tired…

Cool and damp. Possible sunny later. I really hope it’s nice as I’ve got stuff to do. Was nice yesterday but I ate something that disagreed with me and I was afraid I might do a Biddn if I strained lifting and toting… so I worked on stuff around the house until it was time to get D2.

Mondays are short work days for me anyway with the kid home and projects piled up. This time we did a sewing project. I picked up a fabric backdrop of a fantasy jungle scene, and put it up as the back wall of her lower bunk, making a kind of jungle play fort out of the bunkbeds. Unfortunately it was two pieces and they were only glued together, and they seam failed. Fast forward and we have a nice project to sew it back together. So we sewed. Got the machine out, set up, tacked the seam back together with fusible interface, and then ran a line down the seam. She did the next one. She did ok for her first time, and we’ll try something more complex next time.

Since everything was out, I did some small repairs on a back pack/ laptop bag that has been waiting for a long time for the repair. It ended up being a bit more complicated than I thought, but I got it done. It’ll either go into the auction, or my wife or kid will steal it…

I think everyone should know how to do basic sewing with needle and thread, and at least straight seams with a machine. My ‘everyday altoids tin’ has a golf pencil, with 18 inches of stout black thread on a heavy needle wrapped around it. It’s great for a quick repair, and works well on webgear too. I’ve got an embroidery capable sewing machine, a serger, the wife’s machine, and an antique mostly manual machine. You don’t need much- a set of needles, a few spools of thread, some fray check liquid, and some fusible interface will go a long way. A basic machine isn’t expensive though, and a pair of good scissors is worth spending money on. You can do a lot with just an iron, fusible interface, and fray check. Heck, for years I kept a variety pack of iron-on patches in my travel bag. If I got a tear in my pants or shirt while on the road, I could iron the patch onto the INSIDE of my pants and fix the tear very well until I got home. For fabric and leather, I hit up the Goodwill, and I used to hit the IKEA ‘as is’ section for drapes, bedsheets, or curtains to re-use.

In the last year I added specialized leather repair tools- mainly stouter needles, heavier thread, and something called a ‘jerk needle.’ I’ve got some hope that I can do some leather work at some point just because I think it is cool, ever since seeing a guy doing tooled leather at a craft booth at the Silver Dollar City amusement park when I was a kid.

I don’t expect I’ll be making shoes or shirts after the fall, but it’s definitely worth knowing how to fix your own stuff, whether it’s gear, shoes, or clothes. (I did make an entire long overcoat/trenchcoat modeled on the one Jack Nicholson wore in Witches of Eastwick for my final project in my costuming class. Well, I designed it and sewed it. The woman that ran the shop did the pattern and cutting…) For anyone who is too ‘manly’ to sew, it’s a POWER TOOL! Are you going to tell me there’s a power tool you won’t try to master??? You don’t have to actually master it for it to be useful, but it is good to have an idea of what you’re doing around sewing. One more skill, one more system to add to the stacks.

Keep stacking my friends,

nick