Thursday, April 11, 2013

J = Jeans

after a few ideas of J words 
I would venture a thought that "Jeans" would be one of some importance to me.
From a very early age,
I grew up hearing the hum and " damn it's "
of a domestic sewing machine. 
I was very comfortable using Mother's machine
and really thought this sewing thing was a breeze, 
heck I even embellished the catch phrases.
One day, way back, almost just out of high school,
I landed a job at Levi Strauss.
Then came Intro 101
The training involved was somewhat of a step up 
from what I had been used to but I thought, 
 hey ,  if I can learn what I learned
from whom I learned it from,
this should be a breeze.
Well, the breeze was from the motors
coz those puppies could really move.
There is nothing quite as chilling as the rhythm of a factory
full of Industrial Sewing Machines....
I mean, these things were the real deal,
 and man did I learn from them....
For several years I put the waistbands on Levi Jeans
and I really have to say
"It was a good job."
We had a ton of laughs,
learned that the back of toilets make really good coolers.....
(sick,,,, I know but hey it kept a good beverage cold.)
many a friendships were made
and most still hold.
You learned that as a bit of a class clown,
you never knew what to expect
when you went to your machine
in the early mornings or after a break...
 So many memories that go with it all.
The odd time there was a few pairs of jeans come through
that were of a different cut and if you knew the right people
and liked a challenge
you could have your own pants put into production
without the supervisor getting down your case....
Many a pair were put through a couple of the line ups.
Every so often you could purchase from the store
and for the most part everyone did,
but my favorite location was the end of the rolls.
I have absolutely NO IDEA how many meters of that old familiar denim
 I acquired, but I do know that after wrapping a skirt
 down one side of a 48' flatbed,
across the back and then back up the other side,
there tends to be a few meters discarded
at the end of a good parade.
hmmmm with my imagination in tack
 I thought to my self
"Self, what can I do with 104 feet of good old denim???"..hmmmm
Within a week, I had covered a couch,
made chair covers for our kitchen,
made a few duffel bags, a couple aprons, a Duvet cover for a bed,
AND a few pair of pants too......
The production of Jeans was one of great precision and timing.
One aspect of this industry is Piecework and with that training
it became a way of life for many years in several different facilities.
 In fact, I am still working with Industrial machines
and the fact that they do not intimidate me
 is a great indication that I can use them at their capacity
and not have the typical concerns of the speed or intensity of these machines.
it is a bit of a pain in the butt when some Smartass walks past with a pair of snips 
cuts a thread and continues on past,
 or the damn spools run out of thread .......
After Levis shut their doors at the main plant in our town
 a few of us chose to travel to the Stoney Creek facility for about 6 months
and then I decided that with everything I had learned about the several machines,
I could put that to use here in our town
 so off I went.
I worked at a T Shirt factory for about 6 months before I became a Supervisor
 and maintained that position for several years.
I have also worked where BBQ covers and boat covers were made
 and then off to another facility where life was very different
although the machines were still the same.
With all of the experience on these industrial machines,
it was somewhat of an easy decision 
to make to get back into the saddle
and help a friend with a ``few`` dance costumes.....
Few my
Sew,,,, after all this time I can honestly say;
I have only ever had my finger come in contact with one needle
(on a domestic no less in my own sewingroom)
and after all is said and done
and the glitter has drifted off my everything,
I owe alot to those darn dark blue Jeans
with the bright orange label.
Cheers to the way your Jeans fit your life.

1 comment:

  1. I loved hearing how you connected with needle and thread! I have never mastered a sewing machine. Yes I know, no bike, no sewing machine.... sad, isn't it, lol!


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