Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sewing Skills

In the past two days I have lost two buttons, one from each of my two spring-weather coats. (These also double as fall-weather coats, incidentally. Does anyone out there actually have separate fall and spring coats? I'd like to know.)

The good news is, I found both buttons and sewed them back onto my coats.

I'm moderately good at sewing. I can repair rips, fix buttons, and do minor alterations, like hemming. I have never owned a sewing machine, so whatever I do, I do it by hand.

For complicated jobs, I go to Mrs. Lee. Mrs. Lee has a little dry cleaning business in a store that's about 3 feet wide and 20 feet deep. In the back she has a tiny dressing room and a sewing machine. Monday through Saturday, from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm, you'll find her busy at the sewing machine. The woman has some mad skills. I have seen her creating evening gowns and woolen winter coats from bolts of cloth and her own patterns.

Mrs. Lee always seems to be cheerful. She hums along with classical music on the radio. I have never seen her looking sick, grouchy, or tired. I have never even seen her take a break. She's always puttering away industriously, busy with pins and a measuring tape.

I've seen less of Mrs. Lee this season, all because of skinny jeans. Well, because of skinny pants in general. All the new pants I've gotten since last fall have been of the skinny variety, so there's no real need to hem them. They can easily be cuffed, or, as is fashionable, I simply allow the extra fabric to ruche around my ankles. There's no danger of tripping on long pantlegs, or treading on the hem and making it dirty.

I hope the skinny pants trend doesn't cut too much into Mrs. Lee's business.


WhatIGotSoFar said...

You need a jacket in today's weather? Please woman. I left the house this morning in a t-shirt.

But should I need a jacket, my spring and fall jackets are the same.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Mrs Lee.... doesn't she also do pies??? Spring jacket? Fall jacket?? I just have a jacket, period. I'm either warm enough for nothing (hee hee) or cold enough for the jacket.

DarcsFalcon said...

Oh my, yes, you need a jacket for every season around here, and everything in between.

I've always wanted to sew like your Mrs. Lee. I can do a mean baby blanket, but I never got into clothing. She sounds like a treasure. :)

LL Cool Joe said...

I've never owned a coat, I've always worn jackets.

I'll let you into a secret, I can sew, and I'm an expert with a sewing machine. :D It's about the only thing from my younger years that I couldn't quite give up.

Jenski, PhD said...

Don't worry about Mrs. Lee - there are still women like me who look ridiculous in skinny jeans. (At least I think I would, so I don't try them on. I used to say the same of capris but I love them now...)

Sparkling Red said...

WIGSF: Don't forget, I walk to work. I question whether you would have set out for a 20-minute walk in a T-shirt this morning, given that the temperature was only 5 degrees at 9 am.

Ron: I wish she sold pies. If she made a pie as good as she sews a hem, those pies would be nommity-licious.

DarcsFalcon: I don't know where I'd be without Mrs. Lee. My clothes have never fit so well. I never have to wear a belt because she adjusts all my waistlines to a T. I'm spoiled!

LL Cool Joe: Do you make any of your own clothes now?

Jenski: It took me a few tries to get used to the look of skinny jeans, but I figured out that as long as you get the shoes right, they can look pretty good.

Ily said...

I would love to have a Mrs. Lee in my life. I'd bring her espresso or cafe con leches and chat with her a while (if she'd let me). :)

LL Cool Joe said...

I did in my art college days. Well amended stuff. Now about the most I'll do is to shorten trousers.

I have made my kids fancy dress outfits too. :)

I love doing anything practical really. Woodwork, metal work, needlework. I never got into pottery though. :D

Karen said...

I have 2 spring coats - one is pink and one is green, blue and white with flowers. Neither could be worn in the fall. For the fall I just wear sweatshirts or darker colored jacket.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

One of my biggest fashion fears is losing the buttons to my coats. Not shirts or pants. Just coats. I'm special.

I do have separate fall and spring coats - the weight is about the same, but the colors are different.

powdergirl said...

Yep, I have separate coats for spring and fall, the weights are about the same but the colors are very different. I do, however use some of them interchangeably, the white ones and black ones, anyway : )

I hope Mrs Lee is doing all right. Those skills are fading fast from the work force, my Mom was a pretty good seamstress back in the day and sewed my school clothes, which were fabulous and made me the envy of all the 'towny' kids. She still sews when she comes to visit, I save up my hemming and patching for her because I'm voted most likely to sew her own thumb to the door jamb if I so much as thread a needle : (

powdergirl said...

Hah, I just went back and read the comments, seems Nilsa and I have the same coat thing goin' on, LOL!

Claire said...

Mrs Lee sounds like a legend!