Sewing ninja!

I’d like to share a small victory.

We have an old, old vinyl suitcase (one of those that’s basically a large duffel bag) that used to be Jeff’s in high school. It had been losing stitches in the area where the zipper begins, and Jeff had been using a safety pin to keep the zipper pull from sliding right off the end. While we were packing he realized that it had gotten past that point and the bag would no longer stay zipped.

Packing emergency!! But we’re busy doing things like closing our bank account (which has so far required three trips to the bank), not to mention continuing to feed ourselves and do laundry. As I may have mentioned before, basic errands take much longer when you don’t have a car. It was Thursday night and we didn’t have time to run around the city looking for a box, whether new or used. I went to the supermarket and got some free ones (instead of cooking dinner), but they didn’t have anything really big.

The next morning was Friday, and our packing emergency began interfering with Shabbat preparations. Jeff suggested taking the bag to a tailor, but I balked because it’s way on the other side of the neighborhood and we’d have to make the round trip twice (not to mention wait a few days). I said…I can fix this! Let me just see if a needle will get through the vinyl.

I got out my biggest needle, turned on the A/C, and attacked the bag. It turns out that regular thread, doubled over, worked just fine. The hard part was punching the needle through three layers of vinyl…over and over…and over…and over. The seam was about three inches long.

In what seemed like no time at all, I had the bag fixed! By the end it felt like my arms were going to fall off, but the fix is as sturdy as any of the other stitching on the bag. For some reason it was very satisfying work, much more so than regular hand-stitching (which is sort of mind-numbing).


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