My sewing skills are tested in the Under and Over trial

I have finished the Under and Over sewing trial

Week 12 day 5. A very fiddly pattern

Twelve weeks to test my sewing skills. Another one of my MS stories. That old friend MS is now slowly destroying the nerves I use to control the fingers of my left hand. Find out how I discover my sewing skills have deteriorated.

My sewing skills

There was a time, many years ago when I would patch my own denim jeans. Back in the seventies no self-respecting student wore ripped jeans. I was a poor student and patched my own jeans with needle and thread.

Use of hands and arms

The thought of losing the use of my fingers and hands frightens me. Now I can’t even remove the cork from a bottle of bubbly. Have you ever thought about doing up the top button of jeans? Probably not. These use fingers and hands and are problems I have not yet thought through.

Back to the Under and Over trial

There are two groups. One group spends twelve weeks limbering up the muscles and joints doing the 9 hole peg test (9HPT) every weekday and then starts the sewing exercises. I was in the other group and went straight into twelve weeks of sewing, 5 times a week.

My sewing skills are tested in the Under and Over trial

A simple example

I finished the sewing exercises a couple of weeks ago. It starts off with fairly easy and straight forward patterns but get steadily harder and harder. The number of times a thread has to be sewn through the same hole 3 times is a measure of difficulty as is the amount of sewing.

Doing the trial

My sewing skills are tested in the Under and Over trial

… Much more complicated

Each day I start off unpicking the previous days effort that’s about 15 minutes. Then an hour or so later the real work. I have to time how long it takes me to sew the pattern and answer a few questions. The whole thing lasts about an hour a day.

My work around

I’m left handed so all the actual sewing would naturally be done with my left hand but MS affects my left leg, foot and hand. Sewing is a precise activity and I really struggled. Even knowing that I was holding the thread had to be confirmed using my eyes, yup numb fingers. I made life much easier by using both hands but mainly my right one.

Looking back

Should I have persevered with just my left hand? In a perfect world then probably the answer is “Yes”. Nowhere in the instructions does it tell me how to do the sewing. At the beginning and end of the trial I had to measure the time it took me to complete a 9HPT. That requires me to test both hands.

This is very a well-designed trial and I’ve done a few. I will be interested to know how my sewing skills compare with other people.

What next?

I am going to do a little trial of my own. I am going to do a 9HPT test over every weekday for the next 12 weeks and see if my times improve. Watch this space I will let you know. I’m also looking forward to seeing the official results of the Under and Over rehabilitation exercises trial when they are published.

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August 2021

2 responses to “My sewing skills are tested in the Under and Over trial”

  1. Lisa says:

    Afternoon Patrick. I’ve recently finished the Under and Over sewing. I quite enjoyed it. I, like you are affected on my left hand side, but luckily I’m right handed so it was probably easier for me. Good idea about doing the 9HPT daily. I might try doing that myself. I do enjoy doing those😀.

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