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December 2nd, 2013

Mr Chiots has a old hunting coat, it was purchased on ebay a few years ago. The outer wool shell is in very good shape, though the lining has seen better days. I’ve been spending time mending it over the past week.
mending 4
mending 3
Patches cover the big holes, torn seams have been sown shut and buttons have been sewn back on. With a little mending this jacket will no doubt last Mr Chiots for the rest of his hunting life. I wonder how many hunting trips this jacket has seen?
mending 2
mending 1
Mending isn’t a common practice any more, most clothing is of questionably quality. When you have a piece with this much history and quality, it’s certainly worth a little love and car. Woolrich doesn’t make jackets of this quality any more.

Do you have any clothes worthy of mending?

14 Comments to “Mending”
  1. Deb on December 2, 2013 at 5:21 am

    I mend clothes all the time, worthy or not. I jsut do it as my mom and so forth before me did. I jsut repaired an old pr. of hubby’s insulated coveralls. Had a seam ripped, missed it, and some holes. I washed them after the season last spring but missed some holes. I spent over 2 hrs. covering big homes and small and resewing a seam and jsut some zigzagging over some frayed areas not needing patches. I ahve sewn for 43 yrs. since I was 9 when my mother taught me on her machine. Now he has better ones he keeps in his car in case of really bad weather but the old ones get repaired until they are really bad, then I quit. These coveralls came from a previous workplace about 28 yrs. ago. There they used to get employees new ones every yr. being stupid many guys tossed the old ones, sometimes barely used. he would raid the trash cans and bring them home. Our son has some, my father has a pr,, hubby has the pr. I mnetioned and I think there’s still a pr. in the attic yet waiting for their turn to be used. I repair jeans many times but sometimes if they’re too rotten it isn’t worth it., better to go to the thrift store for more. If I patch and then it rips right below or above it’s time to quit. he had some 25=yr. old jeans, rarely wore them and when he started needing them 3 yrs. ago found out how rotten they get just with age. So I shop for more then. No better way to do it. he has probably about 8 pr. of jeans and I apid a total of less than $50 for all of them. he needed more with going to school very day or he’d have less. I know some will need repaired sooner than others but I’ll repair and eventually use them for something else or they become shop rags fro greasy spills and then they go in the burn barrel. My girls both sew, not much right now, but they can do it and even my son can sew if necessary. Usually I do repairs for him and he ehlps my hubby with biugger projects for me. Win-Win. Many folks in this day and age jsut toss each season for new styles and that’s when I reap the benefits as they are barely worn and I get ‘new’ clothes. I love shopping after Christmas as so many toss the year before’s styles. I’m not into fads so works great for me and my family. My whole family shops thrift shops and garage sales. I ahve had woolrich items and they do last a long time. Of course I got them secondhand. :)

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  2. Jennifer Fisk on December 2, 2013 at 7:23 am

    I have a Primaloft jacket that was part of a layering system my son bought from LLBean in 2000 or so for his NOLS experience. I love the jacket and have had the zipper replaced 3 times and numerous tears repaired. This was one of the finest garments ever sold by Beans.
    If Mr. Chiots is looking for more wool clothing, Johnson Woolen Mill in VT is wonderful. Well, I’m assuming they are still in business.

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  3. kristin @ going country on December 2, 2013 at 7:40 am

    We have a wool Woolrich coat left here by a horse trainer in the sixties (history lives at Blackrock!) that’s so heavy I almost can’t wear it. I actually don’t wear it because it’s a little too small in the shoulders for me, so I anticipate giving it to my son in a few years. It’s an amazing coat.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  4. Nebraska Dave on December 2, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Susy, I am so glad to hear that mending and repairing clothes is not dead in this country. Most manufacturers design clothes with a short life so folks will have to buy more. Most of my shirts that have needed repair in the past all come apart at the seams or loose buttons. Only a little TLC is needed to extend the life of the garment. Even a sewing challenged guy like me can fix a small issue like that. It doesn’t take an expert seamstress to sew a button back on.

    Have a great mend and repair day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  5. DebbieB on December 2, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Yes! I’m a mender. Not sure if they’re “worthy” or not, but I mend my clothes when possible, because I hate the idea of throwing them out and being a rapid-consumer. And when they can no longer be mended, if possible I strip them into lengths and weave them into rag rugs so they can go on living.

    I also mend our handknit socks when they get holes.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  6. Misti on December 2, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Patagonia just put this out: Some of my clothes have stories too.

    Reply to Misti's comment

    • kathi Cook on December 2, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      thanks, that was a great link!

      Reply to kathi Cook's comment

  7. Annie on December 2, 2013 at 11:51 am

    I will mend anything if it’s an item I like but all my Carhartt stuff especially gets mended until it just won’t work anymore. So far I’ve only had one pair of coveralls get to that point but it was more that I just outgrew them! ha!

    Reply to Annie's comment

  8. Sherri on December 2, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Lovely job on the coat!

    I mend, too. Just the other day, I mended a pillow cover, a jacket rip and I sewed buttons back onto a coat. Buying better quality garments means that they do generally last longer, but if they are worn often and well used (as our things usually are), wear spots can come up (easily repaired if caught early, though).

    A few years ago, I found a very good quality nearly new condition down coat for my children at the local thrift store. It had a tiny burn hole (campfire spark, I assume) and down was leaking down out of it. I think I paid $8.00 for the coat and was able to repair it so that it’s hardly even noticeable. You have to look hard for the repair! I looked up the coat online and it sells for over $120.00 so I saved us a bundle. This is the second year of the coat being used by my daughter and because it’s black, my son will probably wear it for 2 years after that. A good value for certain!

    Reply to Sherri's comment

  9. Melanie G on December 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Yes, I have two of my grandmother’s coats – one Woolrich, actually, and one I think she made herself – that are both worthy of repair. The Woolrich one is a wool-lined rain jacket, perfect for those in-between fall and spring times. It needs a little TLC now, actually, mainly repairing a loose seam on a pocket and around some velcro at the cuff.

    The other is a dressy, black camelhair coat that I just love. There’s no tag nor evidence of a tag, and the workmanship inside is excellent but indicates made at home. The cuffs and collar are edged with satin bias tape, and the tape on the cuffs needs to be replaced. I have the bias tape made, but it’s slippery stuff and I haven’t had the courage yet to try putting it on! I did repair some small tears and loose seams in the lining, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to wear it yet this winter. I have a lovely red, felted wool hat to go with it, made for me by one of my grandmother’s friends :-)

    Reply to Melanie G's comment

  10. KimH on December 2, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Absolutely.. I dont tend to buy junky clothes.. so all of my clothes are mend-worthy.. though rarely need it.

    M’honey tends to wear more clothing out since he wears them hard, but he wears them till they’re usually not able to be mended..

    Reply to KimH's comment

  11. Karla on December 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I mended one of my tote bags the other day. It tore when I was trying to carry too many winter squash in it. I’ll mend a sock once; by the time it develops a second hole, it’s probably lost too much overall structural integrity for mending to be worth it.

    Reply to Karla's comment

  12. Maybelline on December 2, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Yes – my 20 year old barn coat.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  13. Bettina on December 3, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Clothes – not that much, even though I do fix handknit socks. Usually I have some yarn left over, so it works great for that.

    On the other hand, I do buy very good quality shoes usually and they get resoled and new heels put on when needed and they tend to last me a good long while.

    I recently threw out a pair of boots where the seams started to split after about 20 years of wear. I have no idea anymore how often I had them resoled and re-heeled.

    Reply to Bettina's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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