The Price of Labor

A month or two ago, my old sewing machine decided that it didn’t want to do zigzag stitches any more. I was pretty sure that it could be fixed with a tune-up, as it’s all mechanical parts – no electronics. But I was reluctant to take it in, because it would probably cost nearly as much as buying a new basic machine, and probably almost as much as I paid for the machine 30 years ago. Besides, I knew it was most likely something my husband could fix.

I don’t use the machine much, and I admit to totally neglecting it maintenance-wise. I think I only lubricated it once in all of those years. Mebbe twice. So we took off the cover and we used the extremely poor illustration in the manual to try to figure out what needed oiling. No joy. It still wouldn’t zig-zag.

But my sweetie sat down with it and played around with the parts. He figured out how it was supposed to work, and what parts should be moving that weren’t. There were some pieces that were supposed to move back and forth, causing the needle to move, but which were stuck open. He got them loose, and I have zigzag again!

But it came at a price. Now that it was fixed, he wanted me to patch the big tear in the knee of his jeans.

I hate those stupid jeans – I was glad to see them wearing out. They’re cargo pants, and I think they look funny on him. But he loves having all of the pockets. If he’d just carry a purse, he wouldn’t have to have all of those pockets.

Plus, I never really knew how to patch jeans. All I ever did was just sew a patch over the top of the hole or rip, zigzagging around the edges of the patch. But that didn’t work well. Neither did the iron-on patches.

I figured I had to try, since he fixed the machine for me. And ’cause I kind of like the guy. So I looked up a bunch of tutorials, and found a video that looked like a good method.

It may not be a work of art, but it’s the best patch I’ve ever done, and it’s functional. And most importantly, it made my sweetie happy.

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8 Responses to The Price of Labor

  1. margene says:

    Hey, that looks great! Mr. L is one smart cookie and so are you!

  2. Kitten says:

    Aw, nice! My sweetie carries a man-purse that was recently upgraded to a whole gym bag and he still has pockets overflowing with carp. (intentional typo. little kids listening. plus I like the visual.)
    I’m with Mr. Sheep, though – pockets are so much better. Alas, that so many women’s clothing items omit them…

  3. elizabeth says:

    You got your machine fixed! Hooray! Couldn’t your scissors have slipped and accidentally cut the jeans beyond repair? ha. just kidding!

  4. Cookie says:


    (Maybe those jeans can get lost on their next trip through the washer/dryer.)

  5. Chris says:

    Yay for a fixed sewing machine! But alas, now that you’ve confessed to the internetz, if anything bad happens to those jeans, suspicion will immediately fall on you!

  6. jill says:

    You both did some pretty crafty thinking! And what a sweetheart you are for doing such a professional job on the patch. I think my evil twin might have used a lavender print. ;-0

  7. Laritza says:

    Love it! I had to patch, also in exchange for something a jacket… was not work of art but DH wears it with pride…weird stuff that makes men happy.

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