Y’all, I got Tom Sawyered SO bad:
My husband bought these pants that he needs to wear tomorrow for an important golf outing. He accidentally purchased pants that are two inches too long and was going to return them today. But he somehow goaded me into claiming that I can sew a simple hem.
I can sew buttons on, but so can kindergarteners with reasonable fine motor skills. Now that I’m embroiled in the task, I’m not so confident I can handle these hems.
I’ve poked holes in three fingers already. My grandmothers and mother were excellent seamstresses, but it doesn’t seem to be a heritable quality.
I’ll probably sew the leg holes shut. But on the bright side, he’ll never try to get me to sew anything ever again!
PS: I don’t know what sorcery is involved with this simple needle-threading device:
But thank Beelzebub for it. Otherwise, I’d still be on the first leg.
PPS: Nailed it!
The hems are both serviceable and badly done enough so as not to invite a repeat. I am well pleased.
I have several generations of tailors on my mother’s side. And the result is that when a button pops off one of my shirts, I go to a professional to fix it.
Ah! The old and time honored “pre-teen boy” trick. Fail at a routine task so haphazardly, and in such a mind numbing way that the odds of you ever being asked to do it again decrease slightly.
Stitch Witchery is your friend. https://www.amazon.com/Dritz-222-20-Yard-Witchery-Regular/dp/B0001DSIHI
Isn’t a sewing machine normally used to alter hemlines on pants?
The correct response is “sew it yourself, asshole!”
Double stick carpet tape will work. Send him out for some. And/or iron-on hem tape. But you have to open up the existing hem first.
If you stick with sewing, be advised same is true, if the hem is too thick, like just folding over the hem that is already there, it will tug down, pulling against the lighter pants leg, and look terrible. You probably should scissor off an inch, then press over 1/4 inch, then press up 3/4 inch, then sew.
Also, lots of videos on YouTube on an easier stitch to use that won’t show. Search “hemming pants”.
@Corner Stone: Pre-teen? This is how I’ve managed my career.
@MazeDancer: Yes. Use the tape. It works great. Should hold for one golf outing for sure.
I used to be able to hem and do smallish repairs (buttons, rips, etc.), but my eyes have gotten so bad, it’s a major accomplishment if I can get the damn needle threaded.
Anonymous At Work
The best method for not having to do something again is to do it with as well as you can and trust the other person will be smarter next time.
Iowa Old Lady
@debbie: This is exactly where I am. Fortunately, there are people who will do this stuff for just a small amount of money.
Most of the golfers I see on the public course I drive by to get to work are wearing shorts No hemming there.
OT but did das Fuhrer get called to Valhalla? Here it is afternoon on the east coast and no twitter outrage over SNL or the so-called appeals court.
Alternatively, tell dumbass to learn what his inseam is and go back and buy a pair that actually fits.
@Baud: I am afraid to ask you to define “career”.
That’s quite a loooong running stitch ya got going there. ;-) I’m sure you’ll do a nice neat stitch on the inside when you finish the hem, of course. I’ve had to do a fair share of emergency stitch-ups, so you have my empathy.
I reattached two mother-of-pearl buttons to my wife’s cashmere cardigan this morning. Even threaded my own needle without my glasses.
(my proudest moment was darning the pockets ina beloved pair of silk shorts. Still wear those.)
Not too much weight / thickness and getting the correct stitch is probably enough forthe task (ironing fold to help in getting the legs matched in length also handy. Tiny tiny stiches on the outer layer of fabric (catching a mere thread or two) work with longer runs on the hemmed up side seem to hold rather well.
Don’t know if anyone has seen this yet, but good on Der Spiegel. There’s gonna be a LOT of outrage coming….
@scav: I think it’s to late for that advice, but maybe next time.
@Corner Stone: You should be, CS. You should be.
@Adrift: From the article
President Bannon is gonna be sad.
The computer is a great help in threading needles: I hold the needle up in front of any screen with a lot of blank space, and it spectacularly backlights the needle hole. I use those needle-threader gadgets, the sliver coins with a tiny wire loop, but even then you need to find the needle hole.
Once upon a time, many years ago, before my close-up vision went away, I created a back-of-the-car-seat travel bag for a friend who was going off on a multi-week road trip. I had a lot of cool fabric, velvets and shimmers and sparklies. Patched it all together into what looked like one of those boho-hippie bags, but instead of a strap I made a weighted flap. It came out quite well, for someone who’d never done anything remotely like that. Every so often I think about doing more of them – better engineered, with stiffer sides and all – and see if I can sell them on Etsy.
Yes, but for all the wrong reasons.
“A time to sew, a time to rip.”–My Grandmother
I can’t use a sewing machine at all, but I can still hand sew. It just takes patience I don’t have, but I can do a machine hem stitch, replace buttons, basting stitch and sewing stitch. You’ll be fine, as long as that isn’t a basting stitch or if it is, it doesn’t get caught on anything. This is why men should get basic sewing skills.
Unfortunately, it only works for Presidential candidates with Russian backing.
Got that right. It’s how I was stuck doing my chores and, eventually, my younger brother’s chores while growing up. He could fuck things up in very creative ways. My father simply gave up. My mother, though, always made sure to give me a bit more allowance and extra privileges.
I have often done embroidery and crewel work as a leisure time activity. I even took lessons in embroidery as a kid. I’m an excellent hand sewer. However, any time I have tried to use a sewing machine, it has been a disaster. It’s kind of a weird phenomenon for me. I can do the really hard and exacting thing but am completely unable to manage the time and effort saving device.
Um, step away from the needle, send him out to get the tape, you will be be happier ;-)
Mum didn’t know it but she taught me, her only son, how to do basic sewing. Including operating a sewing machine. It has come in handy a few times over the eons. On the other hand I used to know a man from the UK who had been a paratrooper in the British army and as an occupation he was a tailor, Savile Row trained. Made very nice suits for people with much money. In Burbank.
Eons ago when I was a simple secretary type, my boss, clearly assuming that all women could sew, asked me to repair a rip in his shirt. I warned him that I was no seamstress, but hey, I’m female, right? He took off the shirt in his office and tossed it to me over the not-all-the-way-to-the-ceiling wall. I didn’t do a very good job, and I tossed it back.
A few years later in another office, they decided that it would be my job to prepare the morning coffee, even though i do not drink coffee. I deliberately screwed it up every day, and they relieved me of that responsibility within a week.
We have our methods of resistance. I also got out of the secretarien’ business.
Not so sure about the tape. I used to have to rent tuxes and they would always use the heat tape to avoid the effort/time/cost of sewing the pants. About 50% of the time the tape wouldn’t hold. I finally bought my own tux and had it done right. I found out that decent tuxes are not nearly as expensive as one might imagine.
@Ruckus: Hmm…I’ve had it hold for a long time. Maybe depends on the type of tape?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I don’t know who Chemi Shalev is, how much readership he has or what his broader politics are, but he is pissed
@Baud: I was gonna ask about the “pre-teen” part. I’ve never been married, but I’ve heard plenty of tales of the “Of course I’ll do the dishes….um, honey, where’s the dish soap?” tactic.
@Emerald: Oh, Emerald, why were you not my mentor? Even after I became a paralegal – two years of night school – I always ended up being the secretary/receptionist/office manager. I reckon they tried to make me office mom, and it worked in that I planned all the office parties and shit, but no one ever came to me for sympathy or solace – definitely too many sharp edges for that. But it took me years to realize that I could monkey-wrench shit, or just leave it alone, and only sometimes pay a price.
One time, in the olden days before Kindle, I actually had an attorney request that I photocopy the first 100 pages of a novel because he wanted to start reading it on the plane and didn’t want to lug around the hardcover. Reader, I clobbered him. Hah. Actually I’m pretty sure I did it. But I did learn, with one particular lawyer/employer, that it was possible to nod and say, “Yup, sure thing” when he’d announce a particularly stupid plan or tactic, and then ignore it, and it never turned into an issue, on account of the idea being so stupid to begin with.
I thought I’d share this here in case there’s any interest. The woman who started the gofundme project to take 100 girls of color to see Hidden Figures in Indianapolis is a friend of my nephew. She is also the mother of 2 young daughters in an environment not particularly welcoming to diversity. The project has met its goal but she is now extending it to provide funding for community organizations to do likewise. Link.
@debbie: When I was little, my grandma used to ask me to thread the needle for her. I always did, and didn’t mind at all, but I secretly thought that she was just humoring me, letting me do a grownup task to make me feel a part of things. Now I get it. I can’t see the damn eye of the needle and must use the threader-thingie.
You are a better woman than I, he would have gotten it back with a huge chunk cut out where the tear was, I would have made sure that after I was done “repairing” it, it was unwearable. Lessons must be taught. What’s that, passive aggressive? Moi, never.
OT I just returned from Trader Joe’s and I haven’t seen this level of excitement ever, for a game before. I lived in the Atlanta area for decades, including the last time they went to the superbowl.
@Gelfling 545: That is such a nice story.
My father majored in industrial arts education and taught woodshop in Pittsburgh Public Schools. He took tailoring in college as part of the industrial arts curriculum, and was an excellent sewer. My mother sews, but not as well as my father did. I sew pretty well, if I do say so myself, and I sew a lot of my (office) work clothes.
Most of the women in my family sew and some of them (not me) knit and crochet as well. My sister knits and quilts too.
It’s always been my belief that sewing is one of those almost lost arts. After all, if our ancestors didn’t sew, most of them would be naked.
I don’t know nuthin ’bout sewing no pants. But I’m amazed at how many videos there are on the YouTubes, like “How to Hem Pants with a Sewing Machine (using the Blind Hem Stitch).”
The Internets can be great sometimes.
I remember driving a girlfriend to check out the results of an ad in a free classified paper. The machine on offer was a Pfaff sewing machine (my friend was attending fashion and design school). The machine was exactly what she wanted.
I also remember a commuter who was knitting a sweater while on the bus. I learned, but have since forgot the differences between knitting, crochet, needlepoint, etc., but remain in awe of people who do this stuff well.
@nycmt: Oh my. Mother of pearl buttons. Cashmere. Silk. Perfect vision. Am I reading this or dreaming it?
Iowa Old Lady
@JPL: So I guess that means Atlanta is playing today.
and Der Spiegel keeps going
A nifty idea! Wish I had thought of it!
Got ’em with the coffee though.
Iowa Old Lady
@Adrift: Once someone explains what choleric means, Trump is going to be really choleric!
Does anyone remember an early episode of the X-File called Darkness Falls? It was a standalone ep set in the remote Pacfic Northwest where evil clear-cutting has released an ancient microbe or virus or something tiny, green, and sparkling that comes out at night and envelopes intruding humans in a thready sticky shroud and kills them? So atmospheric and beautiful (not the sticky dead part). But that’s how it looks outside where I’m housesitting in the redwoods right next to some wild open space. So so beautiful, green, misty, redwoods dripping last night’s rain….
I can sew buttons on, but so can kindergarteners with reasonable fine motor skills
I have incredible fine motor skills, and cannot sew. Nor can I solder worth a damn, bit of a hindrance for a radio amateur.
@JPL: You are braver than I am. I’m not even in Atlanta, but I wouldn’t venture out to TJ’s on Superb Owl game day. I’m afraid I wouldn’t survive the parking lot.
@Iowa Old Lady:From the article:
If Germany thinks this way it says quite a lot.
ETA: It also begs the question of why our domestic press are sycophantic lickspittles.
I have evil tendencies, I would have been tempted to add Fleet to the morning coffee. The purpose of morning coffee is to wake you up and keep you running all day, just being helpful. Fleet will keep you running for sure. Your way was much nicer and it worked.
There is a difference between head lice and clothing lice (yeah, gross. I know).
And so (from a random science link):
Yep. Sewing has been around a long time.
@Iowa Old Lady:
Cholera, I don’t have cholera, that’s a poor people disease. See the media are lying about me again, they say I have cholera !
ETA: People who have cholera are yellow, I am clearly orange not yellow!!
Iowa Old Lady
@Brachiator: I love seeing stuff that shows you how scholars come to the conclusions they do.
It’s what they are, they crave access, they crave someone strong and resolute, enough of the namby pamby nuance, this guy is bold and exciting, so they will lick whatever it takes to have the privilege of pissed on daily. I guess he’s not the only one fond of golden showers.
@Brachiator: One of my most favorite things to teach in an elective I teach on the anthropology of body modification! How we know when humans began using clothing (for broad values of “humans” and “clothing”.)
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Me neither, but Bibi’s silence was indeed deafening.
@Ruviana: The lice certainly pushes it back. The carvings and hair nets on the Venuses are the earliest that spring to my mind, are there still earlier indications in other arts / artifacts? Can’t immediately think of how to pick up tattooing or scaring that early unless there are some fantastically good amber finds that have snuck by.
My about 25 year old shoes came apart on a road trip. I went to a Payless in some small town and bought a cheap pair of loafers. After a couple weeks the top thread ripped loose. I had no receipt, and not even sure what town I bought the shoes in. Asked the Mrs. to fix, and she said no way. So I did it myself. Wore to work Friday and no blowout of stitches. I am so proud.
A good chunk of the press have always been compliant lickspittles, including those on the Washington, DC beat. They hang out socially with politicians, depend on them for anonymous sourcing and leads to career enhancing stories. Sometimes they get treated to fancy meals as part of their coverage. It’s easy to go easy on a politician. And of course, their bosses, the editors and publishers and network heads have to keep the rubes, viewers, happy.
@Brachiator: I think we forget that lice were almost universal in Western culture until the modern era.
But yeah, yuck.
I once sewed a button on a coat, the coat to my pants, and all of us to the couch.
Now Mr WereBear sews the buttons if needed :)
There is no such thing as an “important golf outing” unless your husband goes by the name Tiger.
Funny. I’ve studied human evolution and run across stuff about clothing, jewelry, etc, but only recently thought about body modification as a formal category, but it makes a lot of sense. Physical differences are more trivial than people think, especially for human groups living near each other, and various types of body modification were probably commonly used to distinguish tribes or groups, and the naked body would be a huge canvass.
But you’re the instructor on this. What do you think of my quick thought on this?
I also recall being fascinated by the tattoos on the 2,500 year old Siberian Ice Princess.
With respect to clothing, some of the discoveries that suggest that Neandertals were not as dumb as past science described them, indicate that they used tools to soften animal skins, probably for clothing.
And using paint and pigment for body painting may have preceded tattoos.
That’s not a hem is it, looks like the running stitch. A perfect hem should be barely visible from the outer side of the garment.
J R in WV
I learned how to sew a hem and put buttons on in Boot camp. Ironing too. Hated it then, and still do.
Can do it, don’t. The dry cleaners we use (once in a blue moon) will do buttons and hems and such, very reasonably. So I hire them to do it, when absolutely necessary. LL Bean will repair their stuff if you ship it to them. But I’ve started a boycott of them, so…
@glory b: I learned to sew at the Y when I was about 11. My mom also sewed but was never very good at it. I found I really liked it because I could never find pants that fit my waist and hips, and were always too long (I’m 5’3″). Over the years I’ve gotten better, made a couple of winter coats, made dress shirts for my husband for a while until I realized it wasn’t any cheaper. Made the kids’ halloween costumes while they would still let me. Made countless articles of clothing for myself. Neither of my girls has much interest in sewing, much to my disappointment. I wish more people would think of it as a useful skill. Oh well.
Heading to NYC for theater next weekend and I’m staying an extra day so I can go to Mood on Monday since they’re closed on the weekends and I usually can’t get there during the week. Whee!
Well….. they were trying to do things on the cheap and probably knew that most tuxes were worn for 3-4 hrs at most during the rental time. Who cares if it sticks longer?
@J R in WV:
Thirteen button pants were a pain weren’t they?
I was cursing Isotoner the other day because I removed an itchy tag from a pair of gloves and OF COURSE the stitches holding the damn tag in were the same stitches keeping the side seam closed.
I stitched it with black thread on black fabric, so the horrible shoddiness of my work is at least difficult to see.
@Brachiator: Neandethal burials certainly had ocre (along with the flowers) unless my memory is really gone so body painting during Iife is hardly a stretch. And if we extend to the idea of using hides and masks for hunting and related rituals, that could suggest serious leaps back. they’d likely notice they we a bit more comfortable or dry when sneaking up on things, pretending to be a critter
@Larkspur: Check back in in about 9 hours, ok?
@Gelfling 545: Thank for the pointer – I donated. It’s great that she’s doing that – it’s so important to get kids to see that people just like them can do science and math, too. It’s not just for white guys who are introverts and wear their pants too high. And that it’s interesting and important!
I detest tags. Whenever possible (on the rare occasions I even buy clothes anymore), I always look for tagless garments. Unfortunately, they aren’t always available.
@The Lodger: Just gotta keep the lights on, that’s all. I hope.
Oh my. The former seamstress in me fainted dead away at the sight of this.
@Mister Papercut: me too, and I’m just a guy who hems his own pants.
“Important golf outing?”
I had different legs of 2 different pairs of pants un-do themselves last week. A YouTube video on “blind hem by hand” and I got them fixed. Not bad for a 52 yr old computer programmer (male).