It seems as if it took me forever to schedule a day with Eileen so she could start teaching me to sew. This was entirely my fault. I started doing other things and kept forgetting to call her to arrange my lesson. She finally gave up waiting for me and told me she’d be uptown having lunch with Pete & Andi’s youngest daughter and she could come by right after. I jumped at the chance! Eileen can sew anything! And learning to sew with Eileen would be fun!
When Eileen arrived she quickly learned I didn’t have a seam ripper. I’d checked Walmart and some other local stores but they had to ship them. Eileen suggested the Dollar Store in the very tiny village just west of us. Lo and behold they had one so the first part of the lesson was a road trip!
If you’ve ever seen “The Trouble with Angels” you’ll recognize what I thought of when we got home. ”Rip!” But Eileen actually did the work. As she worked on ripping out the stitches where I’d managed (before our lesson) to sew in a big ripple, she told me her plans for our lessons. I’m going to be a busy lady!
First, naturally, we were going to finish the pair of jeans I’d been trying to fix since my sewing machine was given to me. These poor old things have worn out so much we were nearly working with random threads!
Eileen complimented me on the patch I had manage to put in myself. I asked if she were being facetious but she told me I really had done a good job! The side on which I’d sewn the ripple, she told me, wasn’t really my fault. I was trying to fix that side without a patch and it just wasn’t going to work.
But before we started the second side Eileen wanted me to go over the stitching I’d used at the tear on the first side. It was, apparently, done well but she wanted me to reinforce those stitches. When I was done she told me I’d done a good job! I love Eileen!
Then she showed me how to baste the second patch to the jeans. Ah. Basting. I didn’t have to use 327 pins to hold it in place. She also taught me that I can slip a piece of cardboard between the front and back of the garment so I don’t baste both pieces together. If I did that I’d be back to “Rip!”
I also learned I didn’t need as big a patch as I’d put on the opposite side. Although the seat was worn I’d gone way over into perfectly good fabric. It wasn’t really a problem; I simply used more of my patching fabric than needed.
When I started to sew the second patch in place Eileen taught me how to follow a curve without having gaps in the stitching. “When you get to the curve, make sure the needle is in the fabric. Then lift the foot, turn the fabric a bit, and start sewing again.” Brilliant!
I still have to remove the basting thread and trim the original material a bit but my jeans are now actually wearable! The seat isn’t the prettiest but I wear long tops so it’s not going to show anyway. And very few people on earth actually look at my backside!
Since Eileen is involved in a lot of community activities I’d assumed she’d want to rush off as soon as we were done. Instead she showed me how we’re going to make the curtains for my kitchen window and she also decided we’re going to make new curtains for the doorwall in the family room.
Using only a scrap of fabric and some paper, Eileen showed me how we’ll make the loops to hang the doorwall curtains. I was so impressed! I can’t wait to get started!
Because of Eileen’s lesson I feel pretty confident I can fix the other pair of jeans that wore out. I also know I’ll be able to (eventually) sew everything I need to sew!