I just looked at my fingers and realised the tips have become punctured and pocked lunar surfaces. This is because I sew all the buttons for our bags and aprons by hand rather than use the button setting on my machine.
Lou thinks I’m completely coo-coo for not using a perfectly good button setting, and perhaps she’s right. It’s so quick and makes for such a secure, tightly bound button. But I fret over the way the thread always seems to bunch and knot at the back of the fabric when I do it. I’m sure it just takes practice (you only have to look at Lou’s to know a nice clean button is possible), but I’ve taken to carrying the bags I need to button on buses (alliteration, whee!) and sew them on in transit. And you can’t do that when you’re using a machine.
While I’ve sped up my sewing and can now whip them on in no time, I still yet to learn how not to prick and poke myself with the sharp end of a needle in the process (though in fairness, this might well be because I’m sewing them on in transit!). I’m sure my grandmother had a collection of thimbles. I should find out if there are any still floating around.
If I’m perfectly honest, in spite of my woes, I will also admit to rather loving a hand-sewn button. As silly as it sounds, I feel like it somehow makes me closer to the person who will eventually use the bag. There’s something infinitely satisfying about the feel of thread running through a button hole, the little tug at cotton and button to make that first stitch secure, then it’s 1-2-3-4-5-6 quick stitches over and under and through and voila! It’s snug and ready to slip through the button hole and sit smartly on the other side.