We have a large, old decorative tin that we keep sewing supplies in. I don’t think anyone in our house knows how to sew, but if we ever learn, we’re well prepared.

The tin is cool. I don’t know what its original purpose was. Maybe it came with a fruitcake. Or maybe cookies. It’s probably older than me, so whatever was in it is long gone.

The stuff that’s in it now — buttons, needles, thread — is about as old as the tin itself. Some of it still has the dime store pricing from when dime stores had things that cost a dime.

One of the packages says it has a lifetime guarantee. I wonder whose lifetime they’re going by since some of this stuff appears to have been passed down multiple generations.

You might remember your grandma having a sewing tin like this. Or maybe you have a similar tin. Back in the day, that’s what people did with decorative tins after consuming whatever they contained. They were too nice to throw out. Waste not, want not, and that sort of thing.

But, I didn’t come here to talk about the old tin. I came here to talk about my pants. And the hole in my pants.

It started out as a little spot at the top of my jeans pocket but eventually spread down the length of the pocket.

It’s not that I care whether people can see what color my shorts are on any given day, but they probably don’t care to see that. Plus, it was getting a little drafty back there.

Jennie suggested throwing the jeans out, but I insisted that I could fix them. That’s where the old tin comes in.

I know the rudimentary basics of sewing, but the application of said knowledge is a little rusty. Starting with threading the needle.

Eye doctors don’t need those expensive machines with the flip-down lenses. If you want to check a person’s eyesight, give them a needle to thread.

I couldn’t see the eye of the needle or the thread. I just kept jabbing my stubby fingers at the needle hoping to get lucky.

We have some needle threaders, but I couldn’t find them. It was like trying to find a needle threader in a haystack.

By some miracle, I got the needle threaded. That only took an hour.

Having bought and sold quilts in the past, I’m aware there are many types of sewing techniques and they have names — like turkey tracks and, well, that’s the only one I remember. That and my technique, which people refer to as “the wrong way.”

The slit in my jeans and the pricks in my finger were closing up nicely. I’m sure the blood will wash out.

It occurred to me that I could teach a class on sewing. The class would be called “How not to sew.”

I’m thinking about starting a whole series of classes on how not to do stuff. There are a lot of things that I know how to do wrong.

Maybe people could learn from my mistakes. How not to wire a house. How not to install plumbing. How not to make people happy.

Some classes would have to be limited. Like “how not to clean your gun.” You’ve got one chance to get that wrong. Then it’s early dismissal.

I should stick to non-lethal calamity classes. Things I’m really good at, like how not to paint a house, how not to cook a steak, how not to plant a garden and, now, how not to sew a hole in your pants. Bonus class — how not to find the needle you lost on the floor with your stocking feet.

© Copyright 2020 by David Porter, who can be reached at porter@ramblinman.us. On the plus side, I did manage to put everything back in the tin in a way that the lid fit. That’s a first.