Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"THE " Jacket

No ordinary piece of clothing, this jacket of mine has led many lives. It began it's first life in the 80's when Don Johnson starred on Miami Vice, and his scruffy face and casual linen jacket were all the rage. One of my sons wanted a linen jacket, and so that is how "THE" jacket came home with us. He quickly outgrew it, and the jacket fell out of fashion, as the hard rock era and its demonic and gore style emerged. Being a fabric snob, there was no way I would ever get rid of a linen jacket, and after several years of gathering dust in a closet, I got it out and narrowed the shoulders. ( The 80's had crazy wide shoulders.) Then, one day when my granddaughter was 3 years old, I got the idea that we ought to paint it together. ...And that is what we did. It was a blast! Flowers, smiley faces, Ohms, circles, hearts, an engagement ring and a rocket ship, in many shades of metallic and sparkly fabric paint, all found a place on "THE" jacket. It became my most beloved and frequently worn garment for the next 20 years, and it got the compliments nearly every time I wore it. A few times over the years, I found it necessary to do some touch up painting. Last year, I noticed that there were a few places where heavy use had left some edges fraying. No problem! I used satin ribbon to re-face the neck edge and the tops of the pockets. I also had to cover the sleeves where the rolled up cuff hem was. Then, three weeks ago I washed it again. As it was being pressed, I noticed to my shock that the fabric itself was now beginning to give out. Looking at it made me so sad that I had to put it away for days while I racked my brain as to what course I would take this time, and would it be worthwhile. Well, I missed my jacket! ...and the decision was made that any course of action was definitely worthwhile.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Old Pair of Jeans Gets a Facelift Resurection ...or Too Much Is Never Enough!

I have an old pair of Lee jeans. They fit perfectly. They are so soft and comfortable that I live in them. They are several years old now. They have been patched with iron-on patches to help keep them together at the seams, but now, the fabric is getting so thin that it has given way over one knee, and the crotch is shredding apart, ...and I am not ready to give them up even though I hesitate to wear these jeans anywhere out of the house now for fear of a blow out that would certainly leave me facing public humiliation. I have devised a few plans to deal with this possibility. One solution has been to iron patches on the underside, ...and patch, ...and patch, ...in order to give the illusion that they are still new and wearable. I suspect that I am only fooling myself. Another solution is to wear a mini-skirt over the jeans to provide decency in case of a rip out.

Yesterday, I got the new September issue of Elle in the mail. Lots of jeans! Some even had patches featured, and got me to thinking of my quilting days and fascination with patchwork embroidery. It has such a rich history, and Victorian times provided a height of embellishment. The Victorians must have had a philosophy of "too much is never enough!" There has never been as much popularity in ripped up jeans as there is now. My grandson won't buy a pair unless it is properly ripped, and it's a happy day when the hem gets caught by the bicycle chain and it bites a chunk out. For myself, however, I prefer a less chewed up, grubby style.
Anyway, my old jeans need revival. I plan to share the transformation with you.