Monday, July 19, 2010

Sew Smart

Last weekend, at my brother- and sister-in-laws' beautiful wedding reception, the dance floor was wildly, awesomely fun and crowded from practically the band's first note (particularly when the mother of the bride took to the stage to play the cowbell). In this merry fracas, however, some reveler (who shall remain unnamed) accidentally snagged an appendage on Ali's (the bride) gorgeous lace wedding gown, tearing a large hole in the cap sleeve, only midway through the evening.  Where, oh where, was the torn and tattered bride to turn? Well, if you have me for a sister-in-law, the answer should be obvious: to me and my bottomless bag of tricks. Did you really think I would agree to be a bridesmaid and not bring my trusty sewing kit? Oh, ye of little faith.
Okay, fine, I have no idea how to sew lace (I'm pretty sure most people in this country stopped learning "tatting" once the TV was invented). And after one (or three) too many celebratory drinks I probably would have poked lovely Ali twenty times with a needle had I given it a shot (speaking of shots...). But, luckily, I had my other secret weapon with me there, as well: My Mom. Quick as a bunny, she patched up Ali's dress good as new, without drawing blood, and sent her back to shake it on the dance floor before she missed another song. Sure, my mom is the real hero in this story, but the point is that her heroics were only made possible with the use of MY sewing kit. Which is why I am taking 50% credit.  Mama didn't raise no fool.
Here's how to make your own perfect on-the-go emergency sewing kit, to help you save the day (okay, and sometimes help you help save the day) wherever you go. Forget those pre-made sewing kits they give away in hotel rooms or sell in drugstores- the boxes are alway flimsy and break, and there is always a ton of stuff you don't need (A measuring tape! Purple thread! Tiny, dull scissors!) and not enough of the stuff you do. But feel free to poach the useful items from those kits. Get a little creative, get the essentials, and you'll be prepared for anything. Mama says.

What you will need:
An Altoids or other sturdy metal candy tin
A sturdy cardboard jewelry giftbox with a lid
A rubber band to hold closed

Put inside:
*Sharp scissors with rounded tips (so they won't get confiscated at the airport).
*1 bobbin each of black, white, and a mid-tone gray thread. One of these will work in almost every situation.
*Assorted sharp needles.
*A needle-threader (especially if you have poor eyesight or shaky hands).
*Assorted safety pins.
*Assorted straight pins.
*Assorted buttons.
*A seam-ripper.
*Toupee tape. (It's super sticky, and will fix anything from a droopy hem to a cleavage-revealing neckline).

Go forth and save the day. And call me if you need my mom.

photo credit: Craft stylish


Anonymous said...

We ALL need your Mom. And you!

Anonymous said...

I love this blog - just found it - but alas, as a new breed of housewife you MUST know that tatting is "knot" a lost art! There are many of us who still do handcrafts, including tatting - just search the internet! :) Other than that, I find your resourcefulness and creativity refreshing and will look forward to reading more of your posts in the future! Congrats on a wonderful event!

Emily, a tatter and part-time housewife in Michigan (whose husband knits!)

Lily said...

@Sara- But mostly my mom, right? I act all self-sufficient, but I rarely make a move without consulting my advisor (aka Mom). Hence, the telephone bills.

@Emily- So glad you found me! And I stand corrected about the tatting. I'm super impressed, and would love to see how it's done. (Although I would probably inadvertently tat a lace rendering of Jerry Orbach while watching Law & Order reruns). And the only thing my husband knits is his brow when I come home with yet another craft project (rimshot!).

Lily said...

Also, Emily- I forgot to say: "'knot' a lost art" made me a little light-headed (in a good way). That's my kind of punning. You are obviously a woman after my own heart.

Laura said...

I think you and your Mom are great. I mentioned you for an award over on my site

Anonymous said...

Yes need her desperately. Channeling her now!!!

Jessie said...

Toupee tape. Brilliant idea! I'm running off to find some to keep in my emergency kit!

Kim said...

How do those metal Altoids boxes travel on a plane these days? Great ideas, love you site!