Sunday, 4 April 2010

A stitch in time...

I don't do sewing. My Mum probably thinks I'm a changeling since she was born with a needle and thread sewn into her fingers. It's strange though because for a time, when I was about 12, I actually used to embroider - from patterns and everything. I could perform an array of intricate stitches and I made my Sindy doll clothes that didn't fall apart. Then one day I woke up and my fingers must have grown overnight and become too gangling for fine stitchery (I have long fingers - terribly hard to find gloves to fit). Suddenly I couldn't even thread a needle. Sew on a button? You must be joking!

Once I started secondary school and we were let loose with electronic sewing machinery, things went from bad to worse. Was there perhaps some form of curse upon me? Why did the needles constantly snap? What made the fabric buckle up and, worst of all, why did I only need to look at a piece of cotton for it to become irrevocably tangled? I think my teacher finally gave up with me the day I tacked my nightdress to my school skirt. Tacking, that most basic of abilities, was clearly past the limit of my skill.

Things never improved as I aged. I do own a sewing kit - though when my Mum saw it I think she nearly passed out in shock. I think I paid £1 for it, 20 years ago. It hasn't been used much. It's pretty basic compared to her shipping trunk of supplies. It's interesting that men in my life automatically assume that because of my gender (and ability to knock up a three course dinner from the most basic of rations) that I am good at sewing. Any requests for invisible mending (or even just button sewing) are met with the most incredulous look and sudden attack of amnesia (rather like when you ask them to take the rubbish out or wash the floor).

Eventually though the sewing pile builds (especially since I have a six-year-old son) and I have to dig the needle out. Last night I sewed back on a hood and zip from a coat, a button and popper thing from my cardigan, the hem on a pair of trousers and the hook from my dressing gown.
True to form, mysterious knots formed in the cotton through no reason leaving large loops sticking out to get tangled and snagged and I managed to spear myself and break the scissors.

We wait with baited breath to see how long before they need repairing anew!

PS: I once dreamt that I found the needle in a haystack. Do you think that has any significance?


  1. Brilliant piece Lisa, you may not be able to sew but you can certainly stitch together a story out of lots of loose threads.

  2. what a fun post! i would never have thought that you found difficulty in needlework :) with all the creative things that you COULD do so well!

    on the other hand (no pun intended) ... since you COULD do so many things so well ... i guess God is fair, ... that you can't sew ;)

  3. Sewing is one thing..using a sewing machine is another. Whatever you do, don't ever go near one. I'm afraid your radically damage yourself!
    Very funny and cute post. Like I keep saying, "When does your book come out?"

    Cross stitching is fun-ish...mending is not.
    Me? When something needs fixes I just donate it and buy something simular
    at the second hand shop.

  5. oh I started to sew years ago...when I was a wee little girl....on my Grandmother's foot pedal singer...which I just got into my studio last brings me so much inspiration and I really want to sew more...

    love you post!!! and how cool that you actually found a needle in a haystack!!! how cool is that!!!


Thank you for your comments - I always love to hear what you think :)

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