Tackling the pile of mending began last week, the week before? I”ve lost track of the project, but not sight of it. Because my sewing equipment is stored in totes that only Attila can lift, once it is taken out of the tote, out it stays until the projects are completed. With Attila going back to work on night shift, then being switched after a week or so to day shift, projects lost their momentum in the ensuing chaos in our schedule and sleep patterns. In the meantime the equipment is stored in the small living room, it is quite a clutter!
The dining table has been cleared, the leaf it set up to increase the working space, and the sewing machine it setup and ready to go. The project for the morning is a shirt I use for working in the bush. Working in the bush requires clothing that is loose fitting to allow for maximum range of motion without restriction, that covers all parts of the body to protect the skin from the sun and biting insects, and that can be stained, ripped, burned by camp fire cinders, whatever hard work in the bush takes as its toll. So, my choice was to buy a pre-worn, extra large man’s shirt, from a second hand store. The price was right. The fit, well, the fit has left a lot to be desired.
Lacking inspiration to alter the shirt for a more practical fit, it has been worn for two summers as is. Inspiration for alteration came on the Saturday visit to the Camp. For the first time in my life, I was bitten by an ant, on the back, inside the shirt. It would have gotten into the shirt through the sleeve plackets, which are large and often gape open, letting mosquitoes bite me on the forearms, which I’ve been ignoring. I carry a lot of dead wood to be burned, so the ant must have been on one of the logs I dragged out of the bush, and crawled into my shirt through the open sleeve placket. It was time to get to that alteration!
I’ve sewn the plackets closed, which is not a problem because of the very large fit. The cuffs, even when buttoned, allow my hands to pass through easily. Since the yoke was about four inches too wide for my frame, I have added two one inch pleats on each shoulder. This also shortened the sleeves, which were about six inches too long for my arms, I had been rolling them up, which is no longer needed. Camp shirts are worn for function, aesthetics are of no consequence.
Attila and I are always busy working on our bush property when we visit the Camp, and we dress accordingly. Basically, we both look like hobos when we are out there; we don’t notice, and are unconcerned if others do.
The second project was another man’s shirt, purchased at a second hand shop to be worn at the Camp. Again the yoke is far to broad. The alteration for this shirt was an experiment, instead of pleats, the yoke was gathered to reduce the breadth and shorten the sleeves.
The third project is an old shirt I wear at home when working on renovations. The material on the collar had completely worn through. I turned the collar in and stitched it down. The shirt is good to go for another decade or so.
And with completion of the third alteration, the sewing machine could be packed up and all of the equipment put away, until the next sewing project presents itself.
Date: 2:00 PM EDT Monday 15 June 2020
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Dew point: 5.1°C
Wind: ESE 21 gust 32 km/h
Visibility: 24 km
“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”
Sir Winston Churchill
1874 – 1965