A stitch in time-24th Feb 2022

Sewing on a button

I am just going to start typing and see what shows up today. I guess we are all keeping a nervous eye on the news, wondering how and when it will effect us, wondering if there is anything we can do about anything, trying to get on with whatever we were already doing in our lives. Hum…

We live and, while we live, there are choices to be made and no one else can do that for us. I can do nothing about the world except look after my little corner of it as best I can.

Looking after things…I often think that a great proportion of our lives is really about maintenance. Look around where you are right now. How many things do you see that need regular maintenance in order to remain a useful part of your life? And does that feel like a joy or a chore?

That’s a huge subject and not really the focus of where my head is today.

“Small bites”. “Slow down”. “Chew your food well”. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew”.

My Mother’s voice rings in my ears on a regular basis. It’s a comfort.

When stressed, I do TRY and focus on just one thing. There are days when even that feels like a luxury as we can all end up juggling more than is wise. Never mind. Just for now, focus on one thing. I am writing this piece now but the lead up to it involved my cardigan. I have two like this, one dark grey and one lighter grey. They have both managed to lose a button in exactly the same place. We won’t go into what extra strain those particular buttons may be under for this to be the case…let’s just get on and fix it.

I really have spoken to so many people who say they cannot sew on a button and, if one pings off, they have to take it somewhere for someone else to fix or they take the now deficient garment to the charity shop and then go out and buy something new. Look. No judgement. I know what being time poor can do to your life. But, but and but…..

Learning life skills can be fun and interesting. Now is a good time as there have never been more resources for learning about things at our fingertips.

If there is anything I am not sure how to do, I look on You Tube first. I was wondering what was out there for people who don’t know how to sew on a button and, yes…..loads of stuff. However, the videos are not all equal. The first few I watched, I found myself thinking, “yes…but I wouldn’t do it THAT way”. LOL! Here is one I found that is pretty good:

Done by a man who has been well taught (we all get taught things at some point, no shame should EVER be felt for not knowing how to do something) and he is very helpful and encouraging. He even makes a knot in the end of the thread in the quick way that I was taught by my grandmother. If you look at this video, there is one thing I would add that I do that speeds up sewing a button on by…well, 50%, I guess. In the video, the man puts the thread through the eye of the needle and then knots the two threads together, forming a double strand to sew with. I pull off twice the amount of thread he recommends, fold it in two first and then thread both loose ends through the eye of the needle, creating four strands to sew with. Find yourself a needle with a slightly larger eye for this and then keep it somewhere safe so you can find it again in a hurry. Instead of his 6 journeys through all the button holes, I do half that many (or even just twice) and the button will be so much more secure than it was when it left the factory. For this particular button on my cardigan, given the worrisome loading issue, I will sew a small reinforcing button (anyone else have a jar of spare buttons that they keep all found buttons in?) on the reverse of the placket behind the button I am sewing on again to stabilize the whole shebang. I also try to keep a couple of these larger headed needles already threaded up in with my sewing gear, one in black and one in white, as buttons rarely pop off when we have plenty of time to deal with repairs. So many times, it really IS the item of clothing that we must wear that day.

One day at a time, one thing at a time, even if the “things” all back up like No 6 buses coming down the Edgware Road…

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  1. You’re so organised! I love the idea having the thread doubled up ready to go. I’m okay at sewing buttons on but I thought I’d look at the you tube clip anyway. However, on route,I allowed myself to get slightly sidetracked by watching Ian Hislop appearing at The Standards Committee meeting in Parliament. A must watch. Hurrah for Ian! Shameful….MPs need to get their house in order.
    I did also learn a better way of sewing on buttons so thankyou.


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