Wednesday, 5 September 2012

You want it when? Yea, No.

September is always a busy time of the year, without exception. It is my favourite time of the year but it always seems to zip by before I get to enjoy the beautiful changing of the season.  And it is the time of the year that everybody seems to come out of the woodwork with requests.   

Speaking of coming out of the woodwork, my nephews came over Sunday. They are teenagers but they are handfuls. They don't listen well, they talk back, and they are rude. You know, they're typical teenagers.  

When they make time for a visit after the age of fourteen, there is a 99.9% chance it is because they want something. Sometimes it is hard to figure out what they are up to as they are snooping in the closets for, or sneaking off into someone's bedroom to talk on the phone. I guess that is how teenagers "visit".  

But this weekend I didn't have to guess. My nephew came out and asked me if I would make him a vest. Yes, teenagers also have moments of bringing extreme joy even when they're "visiting" with a motive. 

Of course, it made me happy when he asked. It is such a rare occasion that a sewing project is requested. Of course, it was revealed that he was only asking because he didn't want to pay $60 for the vest he liked in the store and his uncle suggested that he ask his aunt. But there was that moment of shock and happiness that he would ask.     

I promptly told him "yes" but that right now is not a good time because things are extremely busy right now and I have a lot on my plate. 

Teenagers never seem to notice all the work that the garden demands at this time of year. Nor the constant housework. Nor when you explain that you have a lot on your plate along with a whole pile of projects that I need to get to before I take on another. 

I explain that I'll be happy to sew a vest but "you might not get it until Christmas". 

"Christmas" he said in disbelief. Well, he is a product of the "I-want-it-now-and-want-it-cheap" generation. Besides, his uncle made the suggestion while they were vacationing in Florida, LAST MONTH!  Oh my goodness, he is in a rush now. The kid cracks me up.  

Teenagers can be cute at that age, in one ear and out the other. 

The afternoon was peppered with "I'm free to go shopping tomorrow" and "I can't wait that long" and "I can come over to try it on any time" comments. 

The excitement of having a vest without spending $60.00 was making him deaf. This vest is going to be a test of patience, for both my nephew and myself. And it is going to be beautiful even if he has to wait until December.  

I had questions about this so-called-vest that he was requesting. What is it with teenagers and the phrase "I-don't-know"?  

He didn't know how to describe the vest that he wanted me to make urgently. It was like pulling teeth to get details.  

"Do you want pockets?" I asked.  

"I don't know" he replied between the bites of food he was focussed on.

"Well, do you want pockets in the front or would you like it plain?" I tried to rephrase the question.  

"Yea, a pocket for my wallet," he offered.  

"An inside pocket then?", I asked.

"What's that?" he said as he looked up from his plate of food.  

"A pocket inside the front of the vest", I explained.  "You typically find them in suit jackets".  

"I guess", he replied.

"Do you want it lined?" I asked.  

"No, what for?" he answered.  

"Do you know what I mean when I am asking you about lining?" I ask questioning his aloof answer.

"What's lining?" he replied.  

I offered him two examples of jackets to examine the difference. He bounced back and forth from choosing a vest with lining or without. Kids now-a-days, they have tough decisions to make.  

Mama R came to the rescue when she produced one of his grand-father's vests. The process went much smoother when he had a physical object to guide his decision making. The vest was beginning to be imagined:

  • Pocket to hold wallet
  • Button front
  • Unlined
  • Inside chest pocket
  • Lined
  • Okay, button front but only two buttons
  • Unlined
  • Double breasted
  • Single breasted vest
  • Lined just like Grand-pa's vest
  • Five buttons like Grand-pa's vest
  • But 1 1/2" longer than Grand-pa's vest

We were lucky as we moved onto the computer and looked on-line for patterns. There are several options in Vogue and Simplicity to chose from. Pictures help with everything. I should have started with the pictures.    

The winner is Simplicity 4762 with one design modification. He still would like an inside breast pocket to hold his wallet.  

And then I let him pick fabric from my stash. He wants a black vest and I have lots of black fabric. I have to say that he has exquisite taste. He went straight for the black 100% Italian wool that I had put aside up for the Vogue 1309 trousers. 

It is all good because I also have a vest pattern in my stash, Burda 7769.  There won't be enough of the Italian wool for a pair of trousers and a vest.  But I can make two vests, Simplicity 4762 (for him) and Burda 7769 (for me) without wasting any fabric.  

My nephew picked out a blue lining fabric for the inside of his vest from my stash. I was surprised that he didn't go for the black lining I picked to go with the wool. And he found some silver buttons from my stash too. It was nice that he was able to find everything that he wanted without parting with his hard earned summer money.  

I was really impressed when he asked how to take care of the fabric and wash the vest when it's done. We talked a bit about care instructions and he asked about ironing. He said he irons his own clothes. How adorable is that? And he listened. 

Seriously, he really listened. There is hope for teenagers. 

I wonder if he was really listening when I said it might not be done until December?    


  1. Don't you know, teenagers have very selective hearing. They only hear what they want to hear. Or at least, that's what my Mom complained about us. Of course, I didn't listen to her complaints until I was much older...

    You're a very kind and patient aunty. :)

    1. Yes, they do. He got it honestly, from his aunt. But if it is repeated I'm going to deny it. ;)


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