Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sew What

In retrospect, I probably should have seen this coming. Over the past week, I've eaten my way through a wedding (with a cupcake bar! And a candy bar (that is, a bar serving candy, not a bar made of candy, though the latter was included in the former.)) and a potluck Thanksgiving (three kinds of stuffing! Salad made with tofu soaked in butter! Six pies--mostly pumpkin!). And my regular eating habits aren't exactly examples of dietary restraint. So, something had to give, and in this case, it was the button on my favorite pair of pants. And yes, for those who have been paying entirely too much attention to my life, it was the second pair of pants to suffer such a fate in as many weeks.

I'm trying to address the long-term pants problem by finally getting my running routine back up and, uh, running. I've done two six kilo trips since I got back on Monday, and while that's a far cry from the 10 k regulars I used to do, it's a step in the right direction. The more immediate problem, however, was how to repair the pants in the here and now. And that would require the basic skills delivered in any elementary home ec class. Too bad I never took one.

In my high school, students had to choose certain electives: Accounting or Math C30. Law or  French. Choral or Free Period. (Guess which most people took?) And Home Ec or Industrial Arts. In terms of which I'd be more proficient at.... well, that was never the question. If anything, the question should have been which I was less likely to injure myself or others. But it never came down to that either. Rather, the choice was decided for me. 1990s rural Saskatchewan decided to hold off on that "nontraditional gender differences" for as long as possible, and it was socially understood that boys took IA and girls took Home Ec. And so it was. My social standing was precarious enough that I didn't see any point in rocking the boat. Not that IA ever went very well either; from the first day, the teacher assumed that those going in had a certain level of background knowledge concerning things such as tool names and engine parts, and those lacking that knowledge were... well, let's just say being in IA didn't help my social standing either. It was with great relief all around that alternatives generally arose in the form of Information Processing and Computer Science.

At any rate, sewing a button onto a pair of pants is something that never really entered my oeuvre. But I figured it was mostly doable. Thus, I bought a needle case full of needles, a relatively inexpensive spool of black thread, found an appropriate how-to internet wiki, and went to town. Here's how it panned out, via a series of Facebook posts:
Sewing attempt #1: failure. However, we have established several important sewing principles. Such as, remembering to thread the eye of the needle. Also: that needles have eyes. Scaaaarrrryy. Will post future updates as they occur.

Sewing attempt #2: failure. Note to self: think through the order in which the thread goes through the button holes before the thread goes through the button holes, or it will "look weird."


 Sewing attempt #4: failure. Note: when the spool is dropped, do not attempt to pick it up by pulling on the thread. That principle doesn't work with toilet paper, and it doesn't work here.

 Sewing attempt #5: Button appears to be fastened. There's still the product testing to go through, but we'll save that for another day.

Okay, 3 didn't actually happen. But there was a point where I realized I'd sewn a bag to my pants, which was practically the same thing.

Anyway, the button appears to hold up under pressure. Thus, I am one tiny step further towards being useful. Next: I learn how to use a bandsaw. That's the next logical step, right?

Later Days.