Bought a comforter set for a full/queen bed, but my featherbed is smaller than a comforter would normally be. So I spent two hours hand stitching the edges on the two perpendicular sides of the cover so that it'd fit. Even when aligning everything just right and using clothespins to baste everything, my seams were pretty sad and crooked. It's probably going to warp and come out when I throw it in the wash...even though I've already washed it two or three times in warm water. Used a basic running stitch, and I predict that it'll gather. If I did a backstitch, it would've taken me five hours. I did look into possibly turning it into a double-running stitch...I wonder if that would keep it from gathering.
Time to get a basic sewing machine. I'm too old to let my pant hems drag behind my feet. I could make my own drapes and do other things to make my apartment feel more like a home. Not sure if I want to worry about getting something that'll stitch through heavy duty fabric...I think it might be worth the investment. Maybe I'll try to make a sofa slipcover (if I ever get a couch). Although I actually suspect that thinner fabric might be more forgiving. A papasan chair cover would probably be even easier.
How do you get things mended? Did you learn to hand stitch quickly, or did you go out and get a cheap sewing machine? Which stitches do you use the most? Do you have an awesome family member or friend who will do it for you instead? What kind of stuff do you make with a thread and needle? I'm not looking to become hardcore about it, but if there's something reasonably simple that I should be able to make that would be useful to me, your feedback would be appreciated. :)
On an unrelated note...one of my wishes is to be able to teach disadvantaged kids how to do nifty things. Like maybe simple programming. Or sewing. Or anything that'll wake up their creativity and confidence in their ability. I think that when parents are struggling to make ends meet, they don't have the time or energy to enrich their kids as much as they'd like. So I want to help.