I followed all that mendbroidery up with replacing the pocket bags on a pair of pants I made, apparently in 2010 (there is a cryptic note in my notebook but no fabric scrap stapled beside it). They are Vogue 2698, though I have no aspiration to the studied ennui of the model on the envelope, nor her slenderness. I butchered the welt pockets when I made these pants, and haven’t made a welt pocket since! Just the same, there are some nice touches, like the home made bias binding made from recycled ties. I went all out on some of the finishing.
The pocket bags were made from one of my grandma’s many scarves. No one wanted them after she died. So I took her scarves home and have since used them for all kinds of things. I am not close to running out, and years have passed.
She had some real commitments in fashion of which her dedication to scarves worn with a gold coloured ring to hold them in position at her throat was only one. In her lifetime she was an accomplished dressmaker and had trained in millinery. She had made many a lovely outfit as well as curtains and every other household requirement. In my lifetime, she loved things that didn’t crease above all else. She adored crimplene from the point of its becoming available (she was an early adopter!) and made herself 100% polyester caftans. Perhaps some of those long shapeless dresses were even muu muus! As she lost her sight she kept sewing until it became impossible for her. Even after she became unable to use her machine, she had a friend thread needles for her and kept a stash in a curtain in her bedroom where they were easy to find with her fingers, for little jobs. She taught me how to hem a handkerchief when I was a small child and set me to English (paper) piecing with her scraps. After she went blind, she gave me her overlocker, which I am still using (she’d love that, and expect no less). She had taught left handers to crochet, and it was a lifetime achievement she mentioned to me more than once. She had made more coathanger covers from polyester ribbon than anyone else in her town.
But I digress… The pockets had given way most spectacularly in places. There was nothing for it but a complete rip out and retrofit. Not my idea of a good time, I confess. Off with the belt loops! Out with the pocket bags! And on and on it went until I had nice, plain, bottle green, intact pocket bags. The mending doesn’t remedy any of the original defects of the garment, but that’s a pair of work pants for summer I can wear without showing off parts of me that shouldn’t be on display. I did a quicker, less dramatic mend on the other pair I made the same year to address small holes in the pockets, and that’s some big items off my list. But there are more, my friends. There are more.