Polyester melts: when sewing, belly dancing and parenting combine

You never know what random life skills are going to pop up when you have a small child.

See, I used to belly dance. I was semi-professional by the end; I briefly taught and you could hire me for your party (well, if I felt like doing the job. I often didn’t).

The lessons that I took away from it are not what you’d imagine. Two words of Arabic (“beladi” and “habibi”). The fact that smiling while you dance is phenomenally more important than getting every step perfect.

And that polyester melts.

Specifically, that if you’re sewing a dress or skirt out of cheap satin, you can cheat on the hem. You don’t need to bother stitching it; just run a match along the raw edge. Nobody’s going to notice on a dance costume anyway. Especially if you’re smiling.

What does this have to do with parenting? Because it turns out that this sewing cheat that my dance teacher passed onto us isn’t quite as well-known as I had imagined. My own mother, it transpired, had no idea, and panicked the other week, because half of the hem of the satin Queen Elsa costume that she had bought my child tore right off while they were out.

The small child wasn’t upset. She just ran right up to me when she got home and showed it to me, demanding I fix it.

And, within 60 seconds, I had.

With a match.

Then, this week, a friend brought around a Tinkerbell costume that her daughter had grown out of. It was just the right size for my child, but it had some fraying bits.

“Can you fix these, mummy?” My child asked. “Of course I can, darling,” I said.

And I did. With a match.

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 9.04.41 PM

You can barely notice the bit where it caught fire and I had to blow it out. Stop looking so closely.

SO, to sum up — when confronted with a fraying princess costume, do not spend all night long mending it, for the love of god. Just get out the damned matches.

They won’t even fit in the damned thing in a month anyway.


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