Daily Archives: October 1, 2018

Make It Sew . . .

First off, Jan and I want to thank everyone for the many 51st Anniversary wishes we received from so many people. We appreciate the many kind thoughts.

Work today consisted mostly of getting prep stuff done for my 3 week absence, burning CD’s, printing out product labels, etc. I also ran some diagnostics on the computers and cleaned the gunk out. Hopefully everything will hold together while I’m gone.

But even though today was my last ‘work’ day, I still have to go back by tomorrow for a couple of things. Initially it was just going to be to pick up a last minute Amazon order, but then USPS changed that.

We have a large piece of equipment that we need to ship back in the original box that the new one came in. But when it came in, it was held together with nylon strapping, and it needs to be shipped back that same way. Otherwise it will be just too flimsy.

But we don’t have any strapping equipment, so I put in an order for a set from Amazon on Friday.

It consists of a strap tensioner/cutter,

Nylon Strapping Tensioner-Cutter

a crimper/sealer,

Nylon Strapping Sealer

a box of the crimps,

Nylon Strapping Crimps

and 300’ of the nylon strapping.

Unfortunately the USPS didn’t make the delivery until about 30 minutes before I was supposed to leave for the day. So I was hoping that I could figure out how to do it in the short amount of time I had left.

But due to the instruction sheet’s Picasso-like drawings, and the text description in both Taiwanese and something that I think was suppose to be English, but seemed more like random words thrown on the paper, I couldn’t figure it out in time.

I told my client that I’d take care of it when I came back by tomorrow, and that there was probably a YouTube video showing me how to do it.

And there was. In fact it used exactly the same equipment that I had ordered.


And like most things it’s really simple once you know how.

Recently I slipped up and spilled the beans to Jan. And it was all because of the Viking Sewing Machine I had gotten set up and working for her.

I know how to sew.

Every summer, when I was 9, 10, and 11, I spent a couple of months with my grandparents on their farm in Athens, AL. Riding horses, herding cows, bush-hogging pastures on the old Ford tractor, swimming in the pond, and sewing. It was a blast.

The only reason I didn’t do it after I was 11, was that we moved to South America the next year when I was 12.

Oh, and girls. I discovered girls.

Well, maybe ‘discovered’ isn’t quite the right word. I mean, it wasn’t like they were missing or anything, and I found them. It was more like, like they suddenly ‘looked’ different, better somehow, more ‘interesting.’

OK, that was a strange detour. Now back to sewing.

Of course I learned to sew on my grandmother’s machine, one like this.

Singer Sewing Machine

And yes, it was still treadle-operated.

My grandmother taught me to hem pants, sew on buttons, repair tears, etc. And my sewing stood me in good stead when I was away at Columbia Military Academy, and then college.

But I gave it all away when I decided that I wanted to hem two pair of jeans that I recently bought. And they turned out pretty good.

Blue Jean Hem

Jan wasn’t too sure though, because I guess I do them a little differently.

I put on the jeans and my shoes, and then fold up the bottom like a large cuff until I get it like I want it. Then I use binder clips around the bottom to lock it in place. Next, taking the pants off, I carefully turn them inside out and make a cuff the same length on the other leg.

Then I sew a straight stitch around the cuff, about 3/8” from the bottom. Now, if I’m happy with the length, I do the other side the same way. Once I’m happy with everything, only then do I cut off the excess cuff folded under.

Now I use a zig-zag stitch to seal the cutoff edge. Finally, being the ‘belt and suspenders’ kind of guy that I am (literally and figuratively) I do another zig-zag stitch halfway between the other two. This hem ain’t coming out.

I’m probably doing my own sewing from now on.

Tomorrow we’ll try to finish up all the get-ready-to-roll stuff still on our list before we head out on Wednesday morning.

Thought for the Day: 

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


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