Thank God I have sewing skills

Before I became Mrs. Gonzalez, my husband used to have my mother-in-law do all his garment repairs and mending. Mind you, my mother-in-law is an accomplished “mananahi“, having put together my (ex) sister-in-law’s  bridal wear back in the day when.. but that’s not what I’m writing about.

Despite her skills with the sewing machine and with plain needle and thread, her eyes had been gravely affected by her age.  I remember chastising the hubby once when he asked me to replace a loose button in one of his suits the first year of our marriage because the thread used on the right button was a totally different shade not at all coordinated with the thread used on the original buttons.   So it stuck out like a sore thumb, and dashing as my husband may be wearing his suits to work everyday, that was a fashion faux pas his fashion-conscious diva-like boss probably raised his eyebrows on.  (Yes, it was a “diva” HE.)  Needless to say, I searched for the appropriate thread and changed it accordingly.

I have two projects on my plate thanks to his daily dress code — and one was a little challenging given the fact that I had to replace a gold button for one of his blue blazers, and it was a choice between finding the right button or replacing all.  It was a two-button suit but there were four smaller buttons on each sleeve which would’ve been such a chore.  And one of his favorite Egyptian cotton shirts which I had earlier patched a hole through via satin stitch now had three of the white plastic buttons breaking due to abuse from the press at the cleaners.   The fact that he had me remedy that tiny hole on the arm, driving me to Michael’s to find the correct shade of DMC thread to work with should tell you how much he loves this shirt.  The white buttons, even if there will be three of them, are not a problem at all.. it’s just a matter of sitting down to do it.

The bigger challenge was actually finding the gold buttons with a crest for the blue blazer.  Since I work on the fashion district row (although I am with a financial services company), it was a matter of finding the time to browse and hunt down that button.  I had no “spare” button to carry around (hubby lost it), so I took a picture of the button with the blackberry.  I made sure to take a picture of the button next to a finger so that I could gauge the size.

My first stop, of course, was M&J Trimming which is just a buttons, beads and notions paradise.  I stare upon the wall-high shelves of buttons and trims and ribbons and all sorts of other beautiful stuff crafters like myself go gaga-for.  I like M&J because of the high-quality and very organized way they display their wares.  The staff is also very helpful in trying to help you find the supplies you need.  Alas, no luck with my gold crest button.

My next stop was Joyce Trimming (which has it’s online store at eJoyce) and although it was a much smaller store — lo and behold, I found my button!  (Happiness!)  Of course what was even more exciting was the discovery of what would be a smaller (and less overwhelming) selection which was of such a kind and variety that it made me drool.  (Tissue please!)

By the doorway they had a clearance stash of bags of buttons and trims.  The trims went for $2.99 and the buttons, $3.99.  I had actually started going through the different bags trying to make a selection and then I took a step back and reminded myself I had enough projects on my plate.  At least now I know where to go for buttons and trims besides my favorite on 6th Avenue, M&J.

Would you believe I still buy my “banig” of needles every time I go home?  Is it the variety, the foil or the fact that they’re just so cheap in Manila?  Of course I have as good if not a better selection at the dollar store where I’ve found tapestry needles which I can use for thicker threads like yarn.  Perhaps it’s good, too, not to buy too many of them which eventually turn rusty due to non-use. =(

So I have my stewing stash ready.. my thread’s on standby.  Someone’s going to be happy to know…