Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Repairing/Patching Clothing

In an effort to save two pairs of my husband's jeans, I've been repairing/patching them. It's a little to save money, but mostly because they are really soft, and he loves wearing them.

When I was in high school, my friend Mike had a pair of jeans that were patched so much that they weren't jeans any more, but were many (many!) small pieces of stitched fabric that were holding his pants together. I wish I had a picture of them because they were beautiful. They were full of color and pattern, and the envy of any hippie.

At this time in our lives, I don't want to replicate Mike's jeans, but simply fix them by adding a little color but nothing inappropriate for a fifty-something year old man.

My solution was to put the denim patching material behind the hole (in the inside of the pants), and to do what I call "scribble stitching" back and forth over the hole and the patch material. On the pair of jeans with the black denim patch, I used black thread (shown at the very top), and on the pair with the blue denim patch (above), I used a blue-ish gray thread, that matched the jeans as best as I could. The difference in thread made the repair job look totally different.

My patching project once again reminds me of my textile/mixed media artist hero, Dorothy Caldwell. I once attended a talk of hers, where she showed images of work she's repaired, and also of textiles she's collected (from antique and used clothing stores) that were repaired by the previous owner/s. In focusing on the fine detail of the repairs she showed, you could see that the beauty in the handwork work. I tried to find some of the images from her talk on the web, but couldn't find any, so you'll have to take my word on it.

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Don't forget to visit Small Art Showcase, and The Fine Art Department.