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Helpless Female Sews Chin Strap Ribbon Ties on Hat While Boating on the Snake River

When Wild Greg, a.k.a my husband, drives his jet boat, you had better hold onto your hat. However, this can make your arms tired. You must also be prepared that even when the boat is gently floating on the Snake River, while Wild Greg is fishing, the wind can pick up unexpectedly. Thus, you either resign yourself to being a one-handed helpless female for the duration OR you come prepared to sew chin straps on your fashionable wide brimmed hat. (click on any photo to enlarge)

Wild Greg taking a short break from driving the boat while he evaluates the route and fishing destination on the Snake River.

Wild Greg taking a short break from driving the boat while he evaluates the route and fishing destination on the Snake River.

It was not like I was going to be fishing anyway. It’s just that sometimes he needs me. Such as when his fishing line gets stuck, at which times he hands me his fishing pole so that he can drive the boat to slacken the line while I reel in. I do not drive the boat. He would let me, but there are no lane markers on the river…

The line detangling scenario can happen very suddenly, and is made all the more interesting when you grab the fishing pole being thrust at you with your same hand that is clutching your newly threaded sewing needle. So, for a few minutes, you are keeping track of a small, pointy object swinging wildly near your face at the same time as monitoring a fishing line that is being pulled at constantly changing angles around the boat.

Horses drinking at the riverside.

Horses drinking at the riverside.

Unfortunately, I had not been inspired to wind-proof my hat while still at home, safe indoors. While I usually remember to take it on vacations and outings, I don’t seem to remember the trouble of it blowing away until I am in the thick of things. But, for some reason, I remembered the potential problem this fishing day, just as we were heading out. I snatched up ribbon, scissors, needle, and thread to put in my activity bag.

It is a little tricky to stitch carefully on the rocking or moving boat. Still, my project was manageable because there was a stow-a-way sewing pin stuck in the round of ribbon. These were my steps:

1. I decided where to place the ties on the hat by putting it on, then holding the the hat band on one side of my head just inside the crown at the spot that I had felt was a good position relative to my ears and cheeks.

2. I left the ribbon on the roll, because I wasn’t sure yet how long I wanted the ties to be, but now I can tell you each piece is 33 inches long. (One piece per tie) This allows for a 1/4 inch foldover on the end stitched to the hat band and 1/2 inch for a rolled hem at the hanging end.

3. I finger pressed 1/4 inch under on one end of the ribbon, then pinned it in a way that covered the raw edges, to the fabric hat band..

As noted below, I started the thread under the hat band.

As noted below, I started the thread under the hat band.

 

4. I threaded a double strand of thread (that matched the ribbon ties), and knotted the ends together. This was done as needed for each of the sewing steps as necessary to replenish the thread to a length that could be used for sewing.

5. I began my first stitch from the underside of the hat band. This would look neater, as well as make it less likely to create little knots that might press into my tender head.

6. I slip stitched the folded edge of the ribbon tie to the hat band, ending by once again pulling the thread to the back side of the hat band.

The slip stitch along the fold of the ribbon ties, attaching it to the hat band. I used high quality satin ribbon.

The slip stitch along the fold of the ribbon ties, attaching it to the hat band. I used high quality satin ribbon.

 

This is what the stitching looked like under the hat band.

This is what the stitching looked like under the hat band.

7. I double rolled the hanging end of the ribbon tie, finger pressed it, and then used the singular sewing pin to secure the folds. I began this sewing by pulling the thread through the roll space created by the folds, before the needle was pulled through any fabric, but not all the way. The object was to have the knot and end of the thread inside the folds. This hid my thread end. I slip stitched  the folded edge of the ribbon to itself, then knotted it, BUT before trimming the thread, I pulled the needle and thread back through the fold space so that once it was trimmed it would be out of sight. I probably should have waited to knot it after pulling it through.

The tie ends are double folded and pinned.

The tie ends are double folded and pinned.

Then stitched, and the needle pulled back through the fold.

Then stitched, and the needle pulled back through the fold.

8. I repeated everything on the second tie.

I determined that the tag marked the back of the hat, then folded it to make sure the ties were aligned equally on both sides.

I determined that the tag marked the back of the hat, then folded it to make sure the ties were aligned equally on both sides.

All of this kept me occupied and from being too distressed that I had forgotten my snacks. I still glanced up to mention when we were going to drift aground, but Wild Greg seemed fairly unconcerned. One could get the impression he would just think it another fun adventure. He did occasionally redirect the drifting boat with a paddle or supervise the 18 year old daughter in boat maneuvering skills. Mostly, he just kept reeling in small mouth bass.

Youngest daughter happily maneuvering the boat out of the pokey shrubs.

Youngest daughter happily maneuvering the boat out of the pokey shrubs.

Sometimes, he would laugh lovingly at my philosophical questions, like, “Why must the boat most often drift backward?” Sometimes, he would jump ship to fish the uncivilized shoreline while we girls sat captive in the anchored boat … if he remembered to throw down the anchor. If the boat drifted very far away, he would casually wade closer to us, nudging the boat in a more cooperative vector with one hand.

Wild Greg abandons the boat for a while.

Wild Greg abandons the boat for a while.

I made the best of it and enjoyed the scenery, which included pure white herons, horses drinking at the riverside, and swallows flying to and fro from their mud nests on miniature perpendicular cliffs next to the water. Amazingly, I am not Wild Greg’s last resort fishing partner. He appears to enjoy passing on tidbits of fishing and boating wisdom to me. Here is a short list:

-Vibram Five Fingers (“foot gloves”) are great boating and river bottom, mud-walking footwear. (His lime green Vibram FiveFingers have seen a lot of the bottom of the Snake River)

-Squishy rubber tubes (that look like squid to the fish?) are good for catching bass.

-There are no known crocodiles in the Snake River. (Because he HAS taken me in rivers in crocodile territory before…)

-There is no phone service on most stretches of the Snake River where he fishes near Marsing, Idaho.

-Bring your own snacks.

Wild Greg with a big small mouth bass from the Snake River. It probably became fish tacos.

Wild Greg with a big small mouth bass from the Snake River. It probably became fish tacos.

We each got our work done -

Modeling my now secure shade hat with contrasting ribbon ties - I didn't have any brown or darker ribbon.

Modeling my now secure shade hat with contrasting ribbon ties – I didn’t have any brown or darker ribbon.

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