“A stitch in time saves nine.”
I never understood this proverb when I was a kid. I think it was the “in time” bit that threw me. I was thinking of it in “A Wrinkle in Time” kind of context. Which then leads to all kinds of questions: Why are we stitching time? What happened to it? Saves nine whats? I don’t know when I finally figured out what it really meant — that a small repair made early would save time and work later. But now I get to live it. With the ability to sew comes the responsibility of repairs. Often, little rips and tears need to be addressed by hand and, as most of you know by now, I hate hand sewing. It’s tedious enough as it is, but then to do something uninteresting like sewing up a hole? Ugh.
Granota came to me yesterday with a tear in her winter nightgown that I had made a few months ago. She has a habit of sitting with her legs pulled up under it and then anchoring her toes into the fabric. Eventually, her toes weakened the fabric and drilled holes right through it. Lucky for me, this was a fix I could do on machine. I didn’t have any more of the penguin flannel left that I had used to make the nightgown, but I did find a scrap of plain blue flannel. I sewed it to the inside of the nightgown, covering the weak area of the fabric. On the outside, I zigzag stitched the tears closed so that they won’t rip any further. With damage like that, there’s not really any way to make it pretty.
Other items in my repair pile include three small stuffed animals: an elephant needs its tail sewn back on; a whale has a hole in its side; and the triceratops, well, I don’t know what it’s there for, but the kids brought it down. I’ve noticed a seam separating in my own flannel pajama pants that I made several years ago, not to mention the elastic seems to have lost its stretch. And speaking of elastic, do you remember that peasant top I made last spring? I made the elastic too tight in the sleeves and hate to wear it; it’s been in the pile for months. Now that the weather is warming up to where it’s actually conceivable to wear that shirt again, I need to address the elastic issue there, too. Rana’s coat is missing buttons. I could probably spend a whole day making all these little two minute fixes. I guess I should get to it before those solitary stitches increase to nine.