February 7th, 2004
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sewing tips for the lazy

I admit it. It’s not the first time. I went to put on my favourite t-shirt, a ratty looking grey tank that is soft and fraying from years of wear, when I heard a nasty tearing sound. I contemplate for two seconds the idea of pulling out a needle and thread and quickly decide that there are too many other things I need to do, no time for the old fashioned art of sewing. So I reach for the stapler. And I laugh at the absurdity of it, (I come from a long line of expert sewers, yards and yards of tiny delicate stitches covering dozens of colourful handmade quilts.) I hear the screaming of my ancestors as I punch down through the thin fabric. It’s not that I can’t sew, I’m actually quite good at it, trained by both my mother and grandmother. But sometimes I find the act of dressing myself in the mornings to be a chore, taking more time than I would like. Yes, I have on occasion been known to work in my p.j.’s, (a habit I am trying to break due to meetings with fedex drivers and drop in neigbors). I was quite excited to learn that the brilliant furniture team of Charles and Rae Eames had both invented their own “uniforms”. Rae designed for herself a kind of “frock”, a basic black tunic style dress with pockets. She had several of them made in the same colour. Charles decided on button up shirts, bow ties, and cardigan. Intensely practical people they wore the same things for years. I admire their ability to ignore the mass culture at large (on all fronts, not just clothing). I have thought about what I would have as my uniform, several things came to mind (my black lace up boots). But I have a tendency to dress according to my mood, some days I want a lot of colour, and others all black. Today I just wanted to wear my favourite shirt.
If you are considering following my quick “sewing” tip yourself, keep in mind that staples do NOT hold up in the wash. Just so you know. To demonstrate the extent of my laziness, I have in the past stapled skirt hems, blazers, and shoelaces (don’t try this). Sometimes quick is not always the best solution.

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