I don’t care what anybody said before the cataclysm; afterward, mending will be better than ending. You can learn how to do it under duress, or you can start practicing now, while you still have access to these few pointers:
1) Needles are very sharp. This is why they invented these cheesy little pillowy things to hold them. You can make your own, and it doesn’t have to look like a strawberry.
2) Getting thread through an eye of a needle can be as hard as getting into the kingdom of heaven, especially as you get older. The trick is to moisten the end of the thread and twist it quickly between your finger and thumb. You can do it with spit, which you’ll be glad for when water is scarce post-cataclysm.
3) Only pull the thread halfway through, then tie off the two ends together. You have a nice knot that won’t slip through the fabric, and you have a double-length of thread for faster mending. Skilled seamspersons will tell you this creates crude and clumsy seams. I tell you it’s faster and easier, and reduces the chance of the thread slipping out of your needle accidentally.
4) Sew up seams from the inside (the part people don’t see), not the outside.
5) When sewing a button back on, stick a toothpick between the button and fabric. That will leave a little room for give in the thread, so the button can be twisted into the buttonhole more easily.
6) When matching thread to fabric, if you don’t have the exact right shade, pick a thread that’s lighter than the fabric, not darker, unless you have permission from Mr. Blackwell.
Next time you rip a seam or pop a button on your shirt, don’t throw it away or reach for the duct tape. Instead, stop by your local fabric store, pick up some needles and a few spools of thread. While you’re at it, grab a few extras for your cataclysm survival kit. With a little practice, you just might survive the cataclysm in style.