helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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Wanted: one seamstress (any gender)

I am completely stressed out. My octopus is broken. No, this is not a euphemism for something dodgy - my toy octopus who shares my bed has ripped seams and exposed stuffing and needs to be fixed. Basically, the company who made him used weird plastic sewing thread, which easily pulls through the fabric and breaks. Richard has already repaired him by hand four times, but now he has holes in so many places that the only way to fix him will be to unpick enough of the seams to make the material flat, and completely resew all of them with fresh, non-crappy thread.

Today I went to look at sewing machines, but it transpires no one makes sewing machines for idiots. The cheapest one that has a speed control is £299 and has 24 types of stitch, which is 23 too many for me. You can buy sewing machines that have only 4 or 6 stitch types, but they don't have speed controls, which makes them entirely useless - I need something where the speed is independent of how hard you press the pedal, or else I spend more time unpicking than sewing. (I don't just break needles - I have actually blown up the circuit boards of sewing machines in the past by getting the fabric completely snarled up so it overheated). I don't get it - you can buy power tools "for women" (ok, don't get me started on the whole binary gender rant - I just mean they're lighter and slimmer, and usually painted pink), so why can't you buy sewing machines "for men"?

So I have decided that the only option is to persuade someone I know who has a sewing machine and knows how to use it to fix Yowie for me.

You need:
A sewing machine
An unpicker
Pins, needles, tacking thread, etc (don't ask me for the names)
Knowledge of how to sew at non-90 degree angles
Some way of getting you and your sewing machine to my house
Understanding that cuddly toys are part of the family, not objects

I will buy any supplies you need to do the jobs, like the actual thread that will be used or any additional widgets for the sewing machine that are necessary for repairing octopi (or more likely, give you cash and point you in the direction of the shops in Kingston that sell such things).

I will pay someone £50 + travel expenses to do this. I think it will take an experienced stitcher somewhere around 2-4 hours. We also have other things that need doing, like some curtains and t-shirts - if you're coming anyway I can add like £20 for the curtain that needs to be made (an hour or so), and £5 per pair for the curtains that just need hemming (half an hour?), and £5 or so for the t-shirts (simple repairs)... I don't really care if you want to keep the money yourself or give it to a charity of your choice, but I do think people should be paid fairly for work they do.

If you're interested, let me know when you could come over (tomorrow would be ok! or anytime this week) and roughly how much your travel expenses would be. I can probably feed you as well, provided your diet isn't too incompatible with mine.

Oh yeah, and if you want to know why I'm willing to pay £50 + travel expenses to repair a toy that cost £12 new, the answer is that toys are not objects and are not replaceable. I could buy another octopus who looked exactly the same as Yowie, but he wouldn't be Yowie. If you don't understand this, you're probably not the right person to be doing the job.

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