Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

Industrial Strength Clothing

Industrial Strength Clothing

I need to find a way to sign the husband up to be a field tester for clothing manufacturers. If there is a way to destroy something, he will find it, and he will usually find it quickly. About a month ago, he ordered a heated vest from Milwaukie. He's been wearing it every day because the weather has been so cold. The other night, he handed it to me and said, "Can you fix this hole?"

I should have taken a "before" picture. A hole had worn in the lining because the battery pack—which is accessed through one of the pockets—was rubbing against the Leatherman holder he wears on his belt. My first thought was that using a thin polyester lining on this vest was a lousy design choice. I would have chosen some kind of ripstop nylon or thin Cordura. The vest already cost well upwards of $100+, so adding a more durable lining probably wouldn't have added much to the cost. My second thought was that perhaps he should move the Leatherman holder to a different spot on his belt but he told me that was not going to happen. (He does carry a lot of hardware on his belt.)

The hole was about 2" square and there wasn't much left of what lining had been there originally. I couldn't really sew a patch on it due to the location and the fact that there were battery wires inside. The best solution I could come up with was to cut two identical pieces of interfacing, slip one underneath the hole and put one on top, and fuse them together with the existing lining:

VestHole.jpg

I wanted to iron a denim patch on top for extra durability, but I couldn't find my box of mending supplies. I gave it back to him and told him it was a temporary fix—interfacing isn't meant for this kind of repair—until I get a denim patch or piece of ripstop nylon to put over it. I'll handsew it if I have to.

If clothing manufacturing weren't such a difficult business to get into, I would seriously consider designing my own line of clothing for construction workers. After two decades of mending his clothing, I have a pretty good idea how to make it indestructible, although every time I think I've seen it all, he brings me something else to fix.

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My scrap bags overfloweth. I went through my low-volume scrap bag the other day and pulled out all the white and cream scraps and put them into their own bag. I've also got one bag of Kona scraps and I'd like to turn them into something. I like the Sparkling Diamonds Quilt:

SparklingDiamondsQuilt.jpg

I would use either all-white or mostly white scraps for the actual diamonds, though, because they blend in too much in this quilt. Contrast is key. This would be a great "leaders and enders" project. Leaders and enders are small pieces of fabric used to sew on and off other pieces of fabric to conserve thread. By using actual quilt units as leaders and enders, rather than scraps of fabric, you can work on two quilts at the same time. I love multitasking. The diamond blocks in this quilt are half-square triangles and the other blocks are simple four patches.

Multitasking Good and Bad

Multitasking Good and Bad

Decorated for Christmas

Decorated for Christmas