Sewing for Hapless Man-children

Another side effect of a social media detox: realizing how far I am from being a functioning adult.

Something I hadn’t considered before I started cutting myself off of social media: I don’t have anywhere to ask questions to higher-functioning adults. What can I use basil for? Where’s a good place to go camping? Any advice on renting an RV? How are you supposed to wash grease out of a pan when a soapy sponge just spreads it all over the place? Do I need a financial advisor? How do you keep vegetables from going bad?

For a while I’ve been wanting to learn how to sew, because at some point in the past couple of years, all the world’s clothing manufacturers got together and decided that making shirts that fit fat people was for chumps. I’m eager to become one of those white-bearded middle-aged men who makes his own Aloha shirts, and wears them with shorts and sandals all year round, everywhere except funerals.

I was lucky to have a friend I could DM for tips on what I needed from a sewing machine and what I should be looking for. After months of looking around online, I finally found a sewing machine that wasn’t sold out or being sold for $100 over MSRP because of COVID.

But my plans on sliding into 50 like an eccentric uncle have been stymied by the fact I can’t thread the damn thing. No matter how many times I’ve tried. I’ve watched multiple YouTube videos showing how to do it, 1Which raises the question: how the hell did I ever survive before YouTube?! and I still can’t figure it out. I need to be able to go to someone and just say “explain this to me like I’m an idiot.” Because that’s apparently the case.

In high school I took the closest thing my school offered to home economics, but it was all personal finance-type stuff, like “here’s how to sign a check” (useful at the time), or “never ever buy a new car” (absolutely not useful, since after my first POS left me stranded the fifteenth time I swore I’d never again buy a used car). Knowing my school in the 80s, I’m skeptical they would’ve ever let a boy take a sewing or cooking class, anyway.

Maybe that’s the kind of disruptive idea that will drive the next wave of internet start-ups: now that there are start-ups to keep you from having to drive yourself, cook your own food, buy your clothes, or leave the house to talk to someone, maybe we can have services that teach us how to be functional adults again.

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    Which raises the question: how the hell did I ever survive before YouTube?!

2 thoughts on “Sewing for Hapless Man-children”

  1. If you have a substantial amount of basil, I recommend making up a big batch of pesto and then freezing it in an ice cube tray (once it’s frozen, bag up the cubes). Now you have pesto in individual serving sizes, just thaw it in the microwave and go.

    Can’t help with sewing at all though. I know how to thread a normal needle (you rub the eye of the needle over the thread until it pushes up through, it’s kind of the reverse of how vibration straightens out knots, is the only way I know how to describe it). With a sewing machine you have to sort of wend the thread through the machine from the top and then down into the needle itself, and then there’s a separate thing underneath. Before I quit social media I saw a gif that really helped me understand how the thing actually worked, and it’s here:

    Going to keep commenting to encourage you to keep blogging, and maybe at some point prompt me to start blogging again myself.

    1. Thanks for the tips! And sorry for the delay getting this comment posted. It got flagged as spam (because of the link) and it’s been so long since I’ve been updating the blog that I’m not in the habit of checking for spam.

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