When I was offered my new job, one of the requirements was the purchase of an all-black suit. Until now, my definition of a "suit" has been a black sport coat I purchased in 2002 for $1.50 at a thrift store with black slacks. Finally, I needed to actually get something with matching pieces.
We don't need to go into my feelings on spending money in this post, but suffice it to say that I had certain financial hopes and expectations about my new suit before our purchase, and I was worried. A department store in Dublin called Penney's (not J.C. Penney, despite the spelling...) offers department store fare with Wal-Mart-like quality and prices. We could only hope that Penney's offered men's suits. If they didn't, we would be stuck getting something nice. We also hoped for a suit that would be machine washable. I didn't want to be spending significant money maintaining a suit that I had just spend significant money obtaining, see?
Our hopes were realized when we found the far back corner of Penney's, a small rack of polyester two-piece suits on offer for low-double-digit prices. The polyester is shiny, but it fits reasonably well and is comfortable enough. Where the suit does show its quality is in durability and care.
After the first few wearings, it was time to wash the suit. I was certainly glad I could use the machine instead of the cleaners down the street, but I was nervous about what the machine would do to my new threads. I had to go for it, so in it went.
When the suit came out of the washer, it was clean BUT was thoroughly wrinkled AND the creases in the pants were gone, just gone. "Now I have to figure out how to iron this thing?" Turns out, it can be ironed, but very carefully.
Using the internet, I saw some tips about ironing polyester. A wet piece of cloth (a clean T-shirt did for me) laid over the garment protects it from the direct heat of the iron. Using the wet cloth, I found out, requires much higher heat on the iron, but it achieves a nice, smooth result. I was even able to get the firm creases back on my pants. I daresay it looked better than when I bought it!
|Getting materials ready|
I went to the sewing kit for my materials. We had everything we needed right at hand. I learned quickly that the large curtain needles were not the correct tools for the job. Luckily, I did find a smaller, sharper needle to penetrate the hard plastic fibers of these pants.
|Needlenose sewing pliers?|
Penetrating the plastic fibers proved to be more difficult than I had thought, especially in the dense fabric of the waist. I had to go to my fishing kit to collect my needlenose pliers to pull the needle through the fabric.
I was able to find a use for those chunky curtain needles in the form of a handy spacer. The website I found recommended that I use a spacer to give my button a bit of wiggle room so as not to be too tight when buttoning fabric. These large, blunt needles were perfect for this purpose.
|Needle as a spacer|
|Finished front button|
|Working on the pocket button|
|There! All finished!|