Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Young Reader at the Berkeley Bowl

Young reader in her bike trailer turns a page in We Are Monsters by Mary Packard


       A Little girl enjoys her book in the Berkeley Bowl Parking Lot 
     while Mom loads her groceries onto her bike



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Vintage Jeans Repair

A pair of my old (vintage) jeans had been relegated to the back of the closet for possibly fifteen years, too damaged to wear but too loved to throw out. On a recent review I realized that they were super stylish distressed denim jeans and they still fit; even better they rested mid-waist, the low-rise style having come and gone. The only problem with putting them back in the rotation was that the rips widened every time I put them on. Somehow I just  couldn't avoid poking a foot through the knees and enlarging the holes. I desperately wanted to wear these jeans but they needed to be repaired and I knew I couldn't do it.




Then two things happened: I discovered Boro, the age old Japanese art of mending textiles, and I found out that my sister Lucia was coming for a visit from New York. My sister is an excellent and enthusiastic seamstress so I warned her that I had a sewing project lined up for her visit


Jeans mended in the Japanese boro tradition

I found a DIY site with clear instructions for  Japanese boro denim repair, I sent her the link  Boro Here and she agreed to give the new technique a try. This would entail sewing fabric beneath the holes and stitching around the repaired areas with sashiko thread which I bought for the project.

stitching the jeans with sashiko thread

But in the meantime I found a picture of the jeans below and I thought patches would better reinforce my fragile pair and they would be easier and faster to make. We only had four days and this was supposed to be a vacation not a sweat shop.


I love these jeans

In preparation, I traipsed to three fabric stores in Berkeley and at Stonemountain and Daughter Fashion and Quilting shop I fell in love with a bundled set of three cotton remnants. I bought the pieces, hoping that we could use them for the patches. Then I waited for Lucia's arrival.




The morning she arrived we dug out Dean's old sewing machine, I baked a batch of my favorite peanut butter cookies to encourage her and she set to work. Here's the recipe




Energized by the cookies she tackled the hole below the back pocket which I hadn't even noticed. She finished in a flash. What a pro! I loved the result.






Next she fashioned the patches for the front of the jeans and pinned them on. We consulted about size and placement and after some adjustments she sewed  them on. For the final touch she ironed on denim patches inside the legs, cut the threads and removed the pins. My jeans were beautifully restored!

The finished product

Here I am wearing my new patched jeans on a rainy Sunday afternoon with Allie streaking by


      Thanks sissy Lucia for a great job well done. You were a good sport and fine companion