August 29, 2014 by Julia West
I’m not much of a seamstress. Except for an ill-fated attempt at a dress on my own and a bag with a twisted strap in Home Ec, I didn’t sew growing up. I went through a brief period where I felt pretty crafty. I made 4 pillow covers and crafted a strange looking cover for our hand-me-down recliner couch. I bought scads of fabric and made a boatload of yoga mat bags, but it turned out I only needed two (one for me, one for Mom) because no one wanted to buy them. So I got over it. That skill was briefly revived for my sister’s birthday, because Mom is about to retire (go Mom!) and wanted her yoga mat & bag back.
But mostly, I avoid anything more complex than sewing on a button and even then, the button has to be vital to get replaced.
In fact, I’m pretty sure I would never sew if I didn’t have dogs. Stuffed toy repair is basically a given – unless you have freakishly gentle dogs or freakishly durable toys or unlimited toy funds, stuffy surgery is inevitable. Since the commercial options are thin and expensive, I’ve made a handful of crate beds. After the first two I stopped using zippers – far more trouble than they were worth. I’d either have it fold back on itself like an envelope or go pillowcase style.
The same winter I went crazy with the yoga bags, I had an ill-fated attempt at leg warmers to help Xena’s knee in the bitter cold. They looked ridiculous and fell off as soon as she moved. I’m pretty sure she was mortified too.
My latest and greatest attempt to sew will be replacing the screen on Delta’s portable crate. Dash created the damage years ago, but Delta looked a little untrustworthy sticking her nose through the holes. I bought some firmer mesh while I was shopping for yoga bag cloth (Noticing a trend? Get me in Joann’s and I suddenly think I’m crafty). Tonight, I took the first step – I completely removed the old screen. Now it’s do or ditch time because I’ve got a seminar to attend in a week and I don’t want to lug my folding metal crate. I’ve got the new material partially pinned and soon it’ll be time to pull the rest of the crate around like a dead body while I attempt to sew a straight line.
To file under things I will never sew – a weight pull harness. I went to Missy at The Working Canine to order Dash’s very first harness. She made a lovely forest green harness with dark gray padding. I highly recommend Missy, she does a good job and stands by her work 100%.
I’ve started conditioning Dash outside of class by having him pull chains around the yard. He was a little freaked out by the chain “following him” on the driveway, but once he got on to the grass, he was all business. It is wonderful to see how naturally he takes to this sport and it is obvious he enjoys having a job.
PS: Notice how he’s in our unfenced front yard with no leash on? He didn’t. Head down, all business.