And this is why I can’t ever stop procrastinating

Tomorrow (in an hour and eleven minutes, as of when I started writing this) is my eldest son’s twenty-first birthday. Leaving aside the absurdity of me having a child who is twenty-one entire years old for a moment… He had one request from me: he wanted me to make a long-sleeved t-shirt for him for his birthday. He chose a lovely, lightweight but cozy waffle-knit fabric in a slate blue. I chose a pattern and he approved it. “Sure,” I said. “I have plenty of time.”

I started off strong. Early last week, I printed out the pattern and assembled it. Late last week, I measured him to make sure I got exactly the right size. Two days ago, I cut out all of the pattern pieces and had everything lined up and ready. “I am so on top of this,” I thought.

Narrator: She was not so on top of this.

Two hours ago, I found myself staring at those cut-out pattern pieces, which had had the absolute unmitigated gall not to magically turn into a shirt while I wasn’t looking.

Assembling the shirt itself was easy enough; my sewing machine and my serger were still set up from holiday pajama making (because my procrastination does not end when the sewing does!) I had a dilemma, though. The sleeves and hem did not call for a band; they were just hemmed. If I hemmed them with my regular sewing machine, the hems wouldn’t stretch properly. (I do know about double needles, but my experience with them has not been positive, though it has been plentiful enough. And while zigzag stitch will work in a pinch, the effect is very “homemade” as opposed to “handmade”, if you get my meaning.)

“Oho,” I thought. “I have a cover stitch machine.”

Narrator: She had bought that cover stitch machine over a decade ago, had failed at threading it once, packed it away, and never used it after that. You don’t even want to know how much dust was on top of the box.

What better time to figure out a completely new machine that I had failed at using before, if not three hours before the gift is due to be given, right?

This had all the makings of failure. And yet, somehow, I managed it out of nowhere. The cover stitch machine was a dream to thread. (What had I struggled with before? I can’t even remember.) The hems went together quickly and easily. The shirt got done with an hour and fifteen minutes remaining before his birthday. He put it on and ran off with it, which is, I suppose, the highest praise one can get from an (almost) newly-minted twenty-one-year-old.

And this is why I can never stop procrastinating. It always works out, even (especially) when it shouldn’t. All of those years of doing essays and term papers at the last second, with my parents saying “how do you not fail????” only to have me come home with straight As over and over have turned into last-minute crafting and cooking projects that somehow turn out great even though I’m right up against the wire every time.