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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happily Ever After

If you know anything about alterations then you know that most garments can be taken in up to 3 sizes. But when it comes to letting a garment out, it ranges from 0 to 2 sizes depending on how much leftover fabric there is on the other side of the seam. Unless you are Lan Nguyen, former alteration specialist at the A Cleaner World located off Union Cross Road in Kernersville. I say former only because after 30 years of service with A Cleaner World, she recently retired. Good for her!

A couple months ago, a customer came by with a wedding gown she had purchased at a second-hand store. She and her fiancĂ© were going to elope in 3 days, and she wanted to wear a proper wedding gown. This was the one she could afford – and it was 3 sizes too small. Could we help?

Lan took the customer’s measurements and quickly got to work, taking fabric from the train to add inches in the bust and waist and of course altering the train so it didn’t appear altered. Once the alterations were completed, Carrie and her staff cleaned and pressed the gown. All this was done in just 3 days time.

When the customer came to pick up the gown, she couldn’t hold back – the tears just fell. Happy tears of course. And we’re so glad we could have a part in making her day even more special.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sewing Patches

A few weeks into first grade, Gray’s school sent home paperwork announcing Cub Scout sign ups. He was all over it. Matt took him and so began the daily reminders of needing a uniform. The following week I purchased the basics, which included 5 patches that needed to be sewn on. Yikes.

I’ve admitted numerous times that I have an aversion to sewing. So the idea of sewing on 5 patches (and having to sew them on regularly once he started earning them) left me feeling quite displeased. But Gray was so excited – night after night he would lay everything out on the dining room rug. He would carry his handbook and paperwork to his room every night and put it by the door so he would remember to get it first thing the next morning. I had to get up the gumption to get over myself.

I got everything out and was just going to place them where they needed to go and then stitch them on. But then I thought about what a big deal scouting was to him. And I also remembered once that he questioned my ability to sew a button on a shirt. I decided I’d better make sure I did a good job. I went to everyone’s best friend, Google, and searched “How to sew a patch on a uniform.” Good thing because I was about to mess up. Wikihow.com was incredibly helpful, outlining the process step by step and even showing pictures. Here’s the link to their 12 step plan, but below are my big takeaways:

• Wash and press a new uniform before sewing on patches
• Position and pin in place before starting. I even measured to make sure they were straight. I didn’t have straight pins, so I used safety pins.
• This was the really big one for me -- Stitch the patch to the uniform by sewing all the way around the edge of the patch using the same color thread that is on the part where you will be stitching – see their steps #10 & 11. What they recommended was not how I had planned on doing it. Big save.
• Don’t double the thread. When I doubled the thread, the slight difference in color between the thread and the patch was really noticeable. So I ripped it out and did it again.
• The end of the ironing board is very handy, especially as you try to get the patches positioned on the sleeve.

I’m pleased with the results. Gray is especially pleased with the results. Most of all, I learned how to properly sew on a patch.

BTW -- They also list tips at the bottom of their page. I especially liked this one: “Teach child to sew his or her own patches when they’re old enough.” Done!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chris Edwards, Boss of the Year

Back on Administrative Professionals Day, I shared with you a really nice thing my boss, Chris Edwards, did for us one year. Today is Boss’s Day. It’s time for us to let our boss’s know that we appreciate them too.

I was hired by A Cleaner World in 1996. I was in my latter 20’s and had held a few positions since graduating from college. In those few positions, I’d had a mix of bosses. We’ll just leave it there. After a short period at A Cleaner World, I knew that Chris was the kind of boss I needed. He was there for support and guidance. He laid out my responsibilities and expected me to do to my job. I did, and it was perfect.

Being single and young, I was also involved with the Greensboro Jaycees at the time. So realizing that I found the place and boss for me, I nominated Chris for Boss of the Year…..and he won! I don’t remember the details or even the year anymore – I think it was somewhere around 1998. My memory has slipped a bit with age. The one thing I do remember is that I had to get up in front of a bunch of people, make a speech, and present him with the award. That I didn’t forget and still remember the “I’m going to throw up feeling” before walking to the podium. I have a HUGE fear of public speaking! But I survived. And I’d face that fear and do it again today if I could. I still think he’s the best boss I’ve ever had.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Made Soap

Meet Jim Mitchell, Tennessee Goat Farmer extraordinaire and my father-in-law.

One evening after dinner, Jim and I were discussing things, life, whatnot. Somehow the conversation turned to making Goat’s Milk Soap. On the drive home I decided that was something we needed to do. I spent some time searching and found this recipe. It seemed easy enough. I shared my fine idea with Jim, who offered to hold the goat while I milked it. WWWHHHAAATTT?

Go ahead and admit it. You’re impressed.

If I’m being completely honest, I had lots of fun with this. It was really easy, but it wasn’t cheap. I spent about $45, not including the olive oil and of course the goat’s milk, on all the supplies and ended up with 14 bars in various sizes. I do however have enough supplies, except for the essential oil, to make at least one more batch. I’m definitely going to do it again, but I need to let it cure for about a month to see how the lavender scent is. I want to see if I should cut back on the essential oil. If you decide to be adventurous and make soap, one warning – careful with the essential oil. It is powerful stuff. I swear I had lavender burnt into my nose for days.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Give A Kid A Coat Kicks Off Soon

My husband loves fall for the cooler weather, many colors, and deer hunting. My son loves fall because it’s the beginning of holiday season, with his favorite being Halloween. I love fall because of ---- Give A Kid A Coat. And this year’s kick off is just around the corner!

Mark your calendar and join us on Friday, October 11 from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the A Cleaner World located at 2527 Eastchester Drive in High Point for a live event with Fox 8, 1075KZL, and The Salvation Army. As always there will be great food, local celebrities, and wacky entertainment.

I cannot begin to put into words just how much I love Give A Kid A Coat. To me, it’s one of many examples of what makes our community great. Its folks reaching out to help others because they can – and they want to. And seriously, look at these faces. How could you not love Give A Kid A Coat too?

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