Sewing · Workbasket


1. I do not like being cold, it hurts my joints. If it is cold, wet or windy I really have no desire to go running. Running in the cold isn’t really a huge deal. In fact, when I run in the cold if feels pretty good once I warm up. The cold actually keeps me from over heating and getting over sweaty (I also abhor being sweaty). The problem is convincing myself to actually go out and start. For Christmas DW got me a very light vest to wear while running.

He figured that if I was warm enough to get started, I would agree to go running with him more when it was cold out. I have never been a big vest wearer, but this one checked my running-vest boxes. It is light colored and attractive looking enough to wear even with regular clothes in my everyday-walking-around-life. It is very light weight making it practical for layering. Despite men’s plan to keep women down by not giving useful sized pockets or pockets at all, this vest has pockets. They are easy to reach, zippered and large enough to be useful.

While running in the cold I wear many things. The usual ones meet the social constructs: running shoes, socks, leggings, activity appropriate undergarments, a long sleeved shirt and deodorant (I love the Lume brand if anyone wants to know). Additionally I wear a running headband that covers my ears, gloves and if raining a little running hat with a brim to keep the rain off my glasses. The thing is, I usually start feeling too hot in just under 2 miles. As I start to overheat, I start peeling off pieces of clothing. First off is the gloves, followed by the hat (if not raining). The last piece that can be removed is the ear band. Before having this vest, I had to carry them in my hands. This lead to very sweaty palms. Now that I have pockets, I have a place to store things that I have taken off. I can also adjust my heat by zipping the vest up and down as conditions change over the course of the run.

This is a lot of back story about a brand new item to be in a mending post. The thing is that I am clumsy (I no longer look at my watch while running due to two spectacular falls). I must have been fairly aggressive when putting things into my pockets because the little zip slide came off one side of the zip tracks. DW was upset that it failed so quickly. I was pretty sure that it would be a super easy fix. After returning home and getting sweat free, mending commenced.

While attempting to work the slide back on the tracks, it came off the other track. sigh. Never fear, I am stubborn and success soon followed. After making sure that the slide worked easily up and down the tracks, I used “heavy duty” thread to sew a stop at the bottom of the zip. For good measure I did the other side. That was a lot of blah, blah, blah for such a small mend.

2. Remember the rocking chair chair that when sat in, had a back foot break off?

Literally the day after taking the clamps off, DW was walking by the chair when he caught his toe on one of the chair’s front feet and ripped it completely off. Also, it broke a little. It made me laugh out loud. 1. He wasn’t injured (the look on his face was priceless), 2. The chair is still just “a thing” and far less important that a person.

Let’s just start with the fact that I am not a carpenter or furniture restorer. This chair is an antique but not a “precious” piece. I want it to be structurally sound, used and loved. With YouTube to guide me I jumped right into this project. I learned that if hyde glue was used, hot water will soften it. Then I can take the base apart, clean it up and put it back together. Hopefully much more sturdy than it has been. The first step was to remove the bottom half of the base from the top half of the base.

Interestingly, there was plenty of evidence of prior repairs. Including that the springs had been moved. Probably due to being loose in the original location. So. Many. holes. Leaving the springs attached to the upper part of the base, in their current locations, I removed the bottom base. While was disassembling the bottom base this little medallion came off from one of the side pieces.

The medallion itself is a little broken, but still in pretty good shape. I checked the other side piece, but there wasn’t another one. It would be fun to try to recreate the missing one.

Because I only had a little knowledge (super dangerous), after taking the bottom base completely apart the pieces all went in a sink of hot water to soften the glue (the white stuff in the picture).

Despite cleaning products in the background, none were used on this wood. Straight water. I have since learned that this isn’t a good way to do this. Not so good for wood. On a good note, the white stuff is softened hyde glue. On a bad note, on the center piece you can see that the tenon holes have broken out at the top and are no longer structurally able to hold the pegs/tenons safely. I have been looking and looking for a good fix for this problem (there are several more places where this has occurred). The hot water also softened the finish. I thought that it would be a good idea to give the wood a light scrub to get it all off. My plan was to “just refinish” the wood. I have since learned that this a bad idea.

3. Finely the glue was dry on the sewing drawers and it was time to screw it to the machine cabinet.

Sure, this mend is not glamorous. Down right ugly if I am to say the truth. Eh… It’s serviceable. It was time to screw it back on to the cabinet. Six screws later it was in place.

You may notice that one of the drawers in still sitting on the floor. I had neglected to check the fit while gluing or even before screwing it back on. :-/ Good thing that I used hyde glue. I’ll soften it with water, in place, adjust the placement of the crossbar(s) and re-clamp until dry. I am also going to take a little care to make the repair a little more attractive.

4. At some point during the last teaching season, I wore my teaching raincoat to do something muddy while at home. Not a big deal, I could just throw it in the washer and it would be fine. It was, but the badge came off.

My plan was to fix it right away but I misplaced the badge. Right after the teaching season ended… I found the badge. This time I zipped it into one of the pockets of the jacket. I had some tiny tubes of “Shoe Goo” left over from a different repair and thought this would be a good use for it. It doesn’t really dry “hard”, allowing for movement in a shoe repair.

5. While at work I noticed that the hem of the skirt I was wearing had come undone.

Thinking quickly, I grabbed some tape and made-do for the day. After arriving home (so as not to shock my co-workers), I took the skirt off and cut away loose threads. Using the Catch or Herringbone stitch (a stitch that I hadn’t ever tried before), I secured the hem back up.

I’m not sure how successful my Catch stitching actually was, but the outside of the skirt looks good.

6. Some time ago, my grandmother gave me a pink knit skirt. In the past, I have used it as an under-layer to stay warm while at work.

Since that time, I had started running and my waist got smaller. The elastic in the skirt waist was shot, allowing it to slip down. Putting on my “sewing eyes” to be able to see the individual stitches better I was able to carefully cut one at a time to open the waist casing. It was a really good thing that I only cut one at a time because I started with the wrong ones. If I hadn’t caught them right away the whole thing could have came unraveled! When there was an opening large enough to insert the new elastic, the old was snipped and pulled out. Of course, I couldn’t find my bodkin (the one that I had practically been tripping over for weeks). Improvisation to the rescue. I stabbed a short-ish knitting needle through one end of the elastic, using that to thread it through the waist casing. After making sure the elastic wasn’t twisted, I closed the opening in the waist being careful to catch and secure the loose stitches. Just to look at the two photos side by side, there isn’t is much difference between the before and after. It made difference while wearing it.