Monday, January 09, 2012

Crash course: buttons and books

Crash added two skills to his growing repertoire this weekend. He can now sew a button back on, which meant learning how to thread a needle and how to tie off the thread at start and finish. He even took the advanced course, learning to sew on a coat button (you need to wrap the thread under the button to create enough space between the button and coat to fit the other flap).

He also learned how to bind a simple folio - a skill that any historian should have, no? He was fascinated to see how a book went together (he and a group of friends created a medieval bestiary as part of a project for their humanities class), from sewing the folio (more practice in threading needles), to creating the covers, the flyleaves and the spine. He wondered about how you make a large book, so we looked at the techniques for sewing together multiple folios.

I wonder what other practical skills I need to teach him before he heads off to college?
He can cook a respectable number of things from scratch, though he laments being in a family of cooks, where the ability to make a cake from scratch is considered "basic" not "advanced."


  1. Big Brother will turn 20 on Sunday. He is an Eagle Scout but cannot sew (my bad; I should have made him do his OWN merit badges). He's a decent cook as far as basics go so I don't worry too much that he'll starve next year when he gets an apartment on campus.
    I didn't realize (but should have known) that he didn't know how to iron until December. Also, he admits that despite all my instructions, he just dumps ALL his laundry into the same load on "warm" and hopes for the best.
    Stage crew and Habitat experience means that he can paint and do some basic building. He can also mix concrete and anchor fence posts & such.
    You should make sure your son knows how to clean a bathroom. My daughter regularly texts her brother to make sure he is cleaning the one in his quad.
    If he's going to have a car at school, he should know how to replace wipers and light bulbs, change a tire, check tire pressure and fill low tires, check the oil and do a periodic safety check.

  2. My son (who has been doing his own laundry since about 3rd grade), was amazed at how many kids at college did not know how to do laundry.

  3. Barb,iron! I'm not sure he knows how to do that.

    I'm always amazed by the number of students I encounter who are mystified by laundry. Both my boys have been doing their own laundry since middle school, and at this point are completely on their own. Crash even does his good black shirts on delicate (!).

    I have to say that stage crew is great for making them comfortable with tools and really gives them a can-do attitude!