Aunt Mabel’s Sewing Basket

Three weeks have passed since I was presented with the two dress shirts to repair. They have been left draped on a chair with the sewing basket close at hand, untouched. All that was required was some very simple button sewing but it seemed to be a job I would rather postpone. Today, I sewed on the buttons. It took about an hour because the buttons had been chewed off by the little bulldog character I’ve mentioned in some previous posts. Delicate chewing had crushed about six buttons and they had to be replaced with the extra ones sewn on the bottom of the shirts. It was good of her to leave some spares. It was also good of her to leave the shirt fabric in one piece. I am trying to be positive about her best qualities.

 The biggest pain was just threading the needle but eventually with a great deal of winking and aiming I got the thread through the needle and with tiny scissors I clipped away the tattered threads hanging on the chewed spots. After completing this simple task I felt some satisfaction and put the shirts away for my son when he breezes in to get them later this weekend.

The next thing I did was tidy up the sewing basket. For several years it has been in a bit of a jumble and I couldn’t quite close the lid properly. Obviously, this sewing thing is not a priority with me so a jumbled sewing box with it’s lid askew isn’t surprising. However, having finished the simple button repairs and feeling somewhat pleased with myself I decided to take a few minutes and just organize the kit so I could put it away neatly for the next sewing session.

Many spools of thread of intriguing muted colours filled the top layer of the box. Under this tray were all kinds of tiny clever travel sewing kits. Some were in little square cases, some were wrapped in brown paper and one was in a small metal capsule with a cute little thimble as a cap on the end. More mysterious paper packages revealed sets of hooks, buttons and what nots used for sewing emergencies. I found several threading devices also but could only figure out how to use one of them successfully.  Ribbons, elastic tape and seam binding laid in the bottom layer of the basket. I doubt I’ll ever use them but I don’t feel the authority to remove them. They stay.

An hour or so passed sorting through all this stuff and I found myself thinking of many different things in the process. Marvelling at the common sense practicality of all the items brought back memories of my aunt. This was her workbasket and had been handed down. The careless mess of the items was my doing during the years when all I could do was dash through tasks like repairing a fallen hem or lost button.  ( In my glory days as a very busy teacher I was more inclined to use a stapler to temporarily fix a dangling hem!) She had kept all these things in top order ready for action and I had pawed through them creating havoc.

In the whole scheme of things it sometimes takes time to face what needs to be done and sort through the things that don’t sit well. It takes time to really look at things, put aside the frustrations and try to use what is practical. Several years and three weeks later, some of my aunt’s common sense and practicality rubbed off on me. However, it is the thread of thought between us that I found so binding. Honestly, I enjoyed the visit.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s