I’m referring, of course, to the thrifty hero of Joseph Had an Overcoat by Simms Taback, which we’ve been reading and watching quite a bit lately. While we’re not quite ready to cut our coats into vests, we are starting to accumulate whimsical little patches that adorn our work clothes like medals of valor. Mending – I had almost forgotten all about it. Thrifting-the-new and purging-the-old has been our program for so long now that I’ve almost forgotten the importance of fixing what’s already ours. Almost, that is, until MayaMade featured a few Fix-It Friday segments on her blog that rocked my world. Maybe we hadn’t actually forgotten about the fix-it option; maybe we just hadn’t gotten there yet. Perhaps we’ve now arrived at the point of really liking our stuff, having traded out the less precious for the higher quality and beautiful things that surround us. Perhaps now we’re more attached to these things, more invested in keeping them with us, keeping them in working order. Perhaps we now have things that we actually use. Instead of running for the scissors to cut up and repurpose that which has become torn, I now consider the option of PATCHES. Oh, I love, love, love patches on things, especially vintage ones that someone long ago sewed by hand. They’re like beautiful little quilts, sprinkled on the surface of well-loved, (or at the very least well-used) clothing. They speak volumes: Here is a (shirt, pair of pants, bedsheet) that Works. Hard. A patch is a commitment to keep it working. Slowly, surely, we’re becoming more colorful as we go about our work on the Acres, as our gear becomes more authenticated.
This is a recent commission from my favorite lumberjack. I mercilessly cut squares out of an eerily-pressed-perfect pair of disgust-o never-wrinkle Dacron polyester slacks. We need no ‘plastic-y clothing-equivalent to the Twinkie’ pants, but that sturdy flatness shall keep the flannel from disintegrating. Ka-pow!
And this may be the best hand-me-down I’ve ever received – insulated Carhardt work bibs. They were replaced by a shiny new pair for the Mister and now I have my own. Now there is almost nothing I can’t do outside in the deep of winter. I am patiently awaiting the bequeathal of some magically-insulated rubber army boots that are starting to get a bit worn…then I will really be unstoppable. And fabulously glamorous in that utilitarian, farm-chic way.