Tea and the Brass Buttons

A hot cuppa tea at hand helps make any task go faster.
A hot cuppa tea at hand helps make any task go faster.

Tea is known to stimulate and to calm. What better beverage to partake of while doing something tricky (at least to this person who rarely holds a needle and thread) like replacing all the buttons on an otherwise splendid blazer? For this teetotaler there is none.

The problem:
A few years ago, I bought a double-breasted blazer in navy blue. It had brass buttons, which initially was just fine and I thought a rather nice look. Pleased with this addition to my wardrobe, I wore it several times to my office job. Now, I don’t mind a bit of teasing, having grown up with people who would engage in some good-natured “ribbing” as their way of showing affection, but sometimes it becomes apparent that the teasing is more than just teasing. You can only hear “Ahoy, sailor!” so many times before it becomes old and then downright annoying. The blazer ended up in the back of my closet.

The solution:
For this tea drinker with Pioneer Spirit, having a perfectly good item of clothing serving as a hanger occupier on the closet hanging rod was not the best option. I kept thinking of the money spent and how the blazer was a great item in my wardrobe. There had to be a way, one that would not tax my very limited sewing skills, of making it wearable again. Any possibility of me being another Betsy Ross or Vera Wang went out the window in my Middle School Home Ec class, where there weren’t enough new sewing machines to go around and I was stuck with the old machine in the corner. It was one of those kind that seemed to be impossible to control, either speeding along or barely running. The wonder was that I managed to make anything at all. No, the solution to my blazer dilemma could not be accomplished on a sewing machine, so turning the double-breasted blazer into a single-breasted was out of the question. A bit of thought would give me the answer. [insert here the music from Jeopardy! that’s used when the contestants are thinking up their answers to that final question] Aha! The thing that made the blazer look like a Naval jacket wasn’t the double breast. No need for major alterations. The brass buttons were the culprits, and they were easy and inexpensive to replace. Hand stitching is much easier for me to deal with. A quick stop at the local fabric store for some navy blue buttons, an hour of time spent removing the old buttons and sewing on the new, and voilà! I had a wearable blazer once again.

The role of tea in all this:
Before beginning the whole button swapping process, I steeped a nice pot of a tea that would hold up flavor-wise during the whole time this project would take. English Breakfast Blend No. 1 was the obvious choice. Hubby and I can make a pot of it in the morning and have a cup or two each, with the remainder staying warm and tasty for at least another hour. For this project, I made a 4-cup potful and had a cup, with just a touch of milk and some sweetener, before beginning the blazer rebuttonization; it got me into the right frame of mind. “I can do this.” (As I said, sewing is not my forté.) About halfway through the project, I took a break and had another cup of that lively tea blend. It steeled me to see this task through to the end. When the last button was done and I had tried the blazer on and seen how much nicer and much less “naval” it looked, I had a third cup of that tea to celebrate.

The bottom line:
Even the most dreaded and tedious task can be made better with a cup or two or three of tea. But you already knew that!

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One thought on “Tea and the Brass Buttons

  1. Judy Trapp

    Oh what a brave soul you are! The mere thought of sewing makes my face break out! Going into a fabric store and smelling all that fabric and seeing needles and threads could make me faint. Button sewing is probably my limit too. I’ll try enjoying a cup of tea the next project I undertake.

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