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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Reasons why Fran will never be on that Great British Sewing Bee programme

Lying on my bed is a pair of black trousers. They need some sewing work done but I am to needlework what Donald Trump is to coherent discourse and am putting it off.

I bought the trousers one summer, several years ago. The label said 'medium length' but when I first wore them, the hems smothered my shoes, dragged along behind me like two recalcitrant children, and yelled to the world, 'This is a shortarse if ever there was one. There's enough spare material here to cover a three-piece suite.'


I turned the trousers up to a more reasonable length but, that day, didn't have any black cotton. So, I waited until I could get to the shops to buy black  used silver-grey cotton instead and kidded myself that the stitches wouldn't show if I was careful.

Wouldn't show? Wouldn't show?  Perhaps if I was to needlework what Donald Trump is to verbal gaffes they wouldn't have shown. But -

I wore the trousers to school the next day and taught the first lesson of the morning to teenage cool-dude A level English students. Until you've been a middle-aged plumpy teaching a roomful of fresh-faced cool-dudes who can throw chopped and irregular layers of garments in different colours and patterns on top of a hangover and still look fabulous, you may think I'm exaggerating about how one's confidence can be destabilised by a touch of amateur needlework.  Some of the students were no doubt future fashion designers who'd learned at the feet of mothers who'd hand-sewn their ivory christening gowns in tiny elegant Jane Austen fully-matching-ivory-cotton stitches, with sequins, beads and all.

The lesson took place in a classroom with the sun crashing in at the window, its beams focused on my trouser legs, cruelly lighting up those silvery stitches as a car headlight picks out a cyclist's fluorescent jacket or strobe lighting picks out dandruff. My fumbling, clumsy stitches, quite clearly sewn in by someone with pork chops for fingers, dominated my thoughts and I tried to keep my legs tucked under the chair. No doubt some students were thinking, 'She looks tense. Why is she curled up like that? I hope that's not a diarrhoea bug she's trying to keep under control.'

I put the trousers in my wardrobe that night. 'I'll re-sew them tomorrow,' I said, 'with black thread.'

The next day, I re-sewed them. That was in 2013.

There they are now, lying on the bed.

I really ought to get round to taking out those silver stitches and re-sewing them.

I really ought.

After all, it's my half-term, and I'd have the time.





On the other hand, there's a nice lady in a shop fifteen minutes' walk from here who does sewing jobs and repairs for a very reasonable fee.

It would surely do me good to get out for a walk tomorrow ...






19 comments:

  1. Just a suggestion . Go round with a felt tip putting a miniscule dab of black ink on each silver stitch and no one will ever know .
    Then you'll have loads of time to help me pin up those jeans that have been sitting in my cupboard since November (2015).

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    1. I would never have thought of that!

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    2. I tried that, even dabbing the backs of the stitches, it washed out and I had to keep re-doing it. Eventually resewed with black thread only to find the pants had faded enough the black stood out. Straight into the Goodwill bin.

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    3. Oh no! From one problem to another!

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  2. I threw in the towel on sewing years ago. Everything I have goes to the tailors. Life is much easier because of it.

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    1. I think it's the way ahead for me too.

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  3. Excellent idea. Take a small walk, leave the pants, come back later (another small walk, see? exercise!) Or leave them as is and add a row of your "designer" stitches to the pocket edges and the waistband.

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    1. Ha ha! What a brilliant solution, River!

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  4. I can't even see clearly to thread a needle let alone use one !
    Double sided tape works for me !

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    1. I'm not as quick at threading a needle as I used to be. I have to really, really concentrate!

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  5. Even better than double sided tape, fabric glue.

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    1. I can see it now - my next blog post would be entitled 'Why Fran should never be trusted with fabric glue - news from the hospital bed.'

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  6. I understand your concern about the cotton not matching the fabric colour....it used to bother me too. Now I use double sided tape... the thin one.. it comes in a variety of widths... fabulous. As for the garments with non-matching cotton stitching.. I wear them anyway, because I figured out that most people will never check out MY clothes that closely.. and anyone who did notice, well.. I hope they would be too polite to admit they were checking out my clothes. lol .... have a good day Fran...
    .. Barb xxxx

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    1. Everyone keeps mentioning this double-sided tape! I obviously haven't lived :) As for people checking out your clothes, I am a lot more paranoid than you are, it is clear!

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  7. Oxfam time? No worrying trousers and a nice warm fuzzy feeling. Because someone somewhere really needs those trousers....don't they?

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    1. Mmm ... a warm fuzzy feeling does sound attractive. It reminds me that I gave my wedding dress to Oxfam years ago and when I next walked past the shop there it was in all its glory in the window. It looked much better on the Oxfam mannequin, I must say, than it had on me.

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  8. Oh, you innocent, you. Anyone knows that a pair of pants bought in 2013 will no longer fit in 2017.

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    1. Ah, but they do! I have lost 2 stone since Easter! Otherwise, yes, you would be right ...

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  9. I hate to trample on your desire to shorten your 2013 trousers, but your A level students will spot they are no longer in fashion. Did you never think of using a stapler? That has worked well for me in the past.

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