The Domestic Arts: Veni, Vidi, Vici

For the whole schoolyear, I have been putting off sewing my daughter’s badges onto her scout troop vest. Because I don’t know how to use a sewing machine. What? I graduated from college with a degree in public policy and started having babies 4 seconds later. I’ve been taught to use a sewing machine a handful of times, but it never stuck. Proficiency with machines and domestic arts are two skill sets that I lack–by nature and by choice.

Anyway, today the scouts are wearing their uniforms at school for an end-of-the-year ceremony, and proper attire is rather important to my scout. I had to figure out a way to get those patches onto her vest.

Naturally, I went knocking next door and begged our 85 year old neighbor Mrs. Patti to come teach me. We had to thread the needles for her, but she rocked the zig-zag stitch and got us started. I did the flag, first aid, and campfire songs patches myself. All five  of my kids watched in wonder. I’m not sure whether they were surprised to see me getting my homemaker thing on, or whether they thought I might prick my finger on the spindle and fall under Maleficent’s spell.

While working on the circle-shaped hiking patch, I ran into some kind of snag, and the machine stopped working.  Also, the American flag is about 45 degrees slanted. Whatever. Tell me this isn’t a good afternoon’s work:

Keeping it real…

  • Kellie “Red”

    You go girl! I am impressed. Sewing is something that I know nothing about. I struggle with buttons and mending a torn seam! Gianna gets soccer patches for her tournaments, and I decided to punch a hole in them and put them on a ring attached to her bag, rather than sew them on her bag! Maybe someday in my retired mom diva days I will learn to sew…

    • Juris Mater

      Nice solution on the ring of patches!

      Sewing’s a nice skill to have, but personally, I’m planning to spend my diva grandmother days barefoot water skiing, organic gardening, and playing with grandkids.

  • Saoirse

    Don’t know about girls scouts – but the cub scouts have this awesome glue paper http://www.badgemagic.com/ you can use to affix badges. Thank God – otherwise my boys’ uniforms would be bare. I too would love to sew – but seriously – sewing badges on – too much stress for something so minor!! Good job though!

    • Juris Mater

      Badge Magic! What an awesome concept. Thank you!!

    • Texas Mommy

      I am super impressed, JM!

      Badge Magic sounds awesome! I have impaled myself too many time to count sewing (poorly) by hand the tiny little stars onto karate uniforms.

  • March Hare

    Yep, Girl Scouts have the same thing. One thing to beware of is humidity–high humidity may make the badges peel off. You can also use it to hold the badges in place while you stitch around it (much easier than using straight pins!). Also, both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have patch books, a convenient way to store or show off patches when the vest or sash or jacket becomes full. Or if you’re like me and hate to sew!

    From the looks of the vest, I’m guessing your daughter is a Cadette. Time for her to learn to sew those badges and patches on herself! LOL!

  • Kath

    I feel your sewing pain. I tried making my kids for a couple of months, and they basically looked like ragamuffins. Plus the amount of time I spent definitely didn’t make cost effective sense.

    So is your daughter a girl scout with the cookies or an American heritage girl? I was a girl scout myself, but I’m hesitant to put my daughter in Girl Scouts because some of their education materials run counter to my beliefs and I’ve read multiple articles that claim the Girl Scouts support Planned Parent. I love the cookies, but I’m worried they’re not the same organization they were when I was growing up..

    • Juris Mater

      Kath, our school (a classical Catholic academy) started with American Heritage Girls for the past few years. This year they switched to Troop Tekakwitha. I don’t know the reasons–AHG was great–but I’m not one to dispute St. Kateri. I do get the feeling that the girl scouts aren’t what they used to be!

  • awolmommy

    JM, the Army used to require us to sew lots of patches on lots of uniforms. My thrifty man calculated how much money we could save if he sewed them himself. Score. It is actually pretty sexy to watch him manipulate the fabric around under the needle :)

    Additionally, can we please not speak of grandmother diva days – that is too great of a temptation with a one-year-old at home still. But while we are on the topic — Costa Rica and triathlons for me.

    • Juris Mater

      You CRACK ME UP.

  • JMB

    I once took my daughter’s vest to the local tailor and for 10 bucks he sewed them on. After that, the troop moved to the iron on ones.


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