Slow Craft: the tale of the perpetually patched pants

In the third installment of the ongoing saga that is patching my well-worn and heavily-mended Lucy and Yak dungarees (here would be part one and part two)…

I squatted down to adjust the height of the lawnmower and the entire butt of my pants split right out! Down the middle and to the side in the shape of a crooked “Y” – I wasn’t mad, I look forward to big mends like this.

EK standing outside showing off a new patch on the seat of her pants

I used a pocket from a retired pair of light blue linen pants that belonged to my husband and a handful of colors of linen thread. The pocket was a nice upgrade from a regular fabric patch; now I have a good place to tuck my gardening gloves in a pinch.

I loosely reinforced the edge of the hole with running stitches before pinning the pocket over top, edges folded under and pinned flat. I worked the perimeter of the pocket with hand-stitching until satisfied. Simple enough!

Close up of a blue pocket patched on to the seat of EK’s overalls with colorful hand-stitching

Below is a recent picture of the original knee patches after about a million washes and rough wears…

EK’s legs clothed in patched pants outstretched next to her dog Stevie, a half full glass of apple juice rests precariously on her shins

On an average day I’m wearing an outfit like this: heavily patched pants, long sleeves to protect my arms from the sun, no-frills Casio watch, wool socks with sandals or boots (depending on the tasks of the day) and a me-made wool sun protection hat. It doesn’t get more “me” than this look right here. 🙂

EK posing outside in mended overalls and a large floppy wool hat

These pants have developed a spirit of their own. I can’t head out into the yard to work, or pack my bag for a camping trip without them saying, “Hey! I want to play, too!”

And who am I to deny them the rigors and grit they so crave?

Shucks… a pair of pants after my own heart ❤

With love! ~ EK

Hand-mending and an iced lemon loaf cake

This morning I began a massive mending feat: stitching two large Sashiko-inspired patches on to the knees of my well-loved, worn-nearly-into-the-ground Lucy and Yak organic cotton twill Dungarees.

Sashiko is the traditional Japanese method of decoratively mending or reinforcing textiles with cotton fabric and white or indigo-dyed thread. Sashiko is an expression of the traditional Japanese aesthetic Wabi-sabi, which is characterized by the appreciation of “imperfect beauty” and impermanence.

Faded black cotton pants slung across a coffee table with two large brown patches over the knees tacked down with several metal T-pins

I plan to sew each patch down by hand in a grid pattern of small stitches using linen thread in a few different natural tones that remind me of wildflowers… the resulting mend should reinforce the knees and lower legs for at least another year of abruptly kneeling in dirt to spot cool bugs, and scooting across the living room rug while “playing dogs” with… the dog. Don’t ask, I’m an adult and this is just how I live my life.

I’ve had this same pair of dungarees since the early days of Lucy and Yak, and I have worn them more times than I could possibly count. I envision them 10 years from now, held together entirely by clever little hand-stitches and assorted patches cut from long-since-retired-yester-clothes.

Close up of a freshly baked lemon loaf cake cooling on top of a piece of parchment paper on a wire rack

In current food news ‘round these parts: I baked a lemon loaf cake today using this recipe and it turned out great, really great. My only deviation from Maria’s recipe was that I opted for a quick vanilla bean icing to douse the top instead of the suggested lemon glaze. Smash hit. Well done on the recipe, Maria. 🙂

Close up of the cut end of the lemon loaf cake. The cake is moist and yellow inside with a golden brown edge, encased in a thin layer of vanilla icing

I’ll continue to share the process of mending the knees of my dungarees as I go.

What was the last piece of clothing you brought back to life with a thoughtful mend? I’d love to continue the discussion in the comments below.

All the best ~

Bette

Just listed: hand knit 100% Peruvian pima cotton camisoles

This camisole is THE elevated wardrobe staple for spring and summer. Hand knit using 100% ethically sourced pima cotton from Peru, which is considered is the Cadillac of cotton fiber. Luxurious, extremely soft and supple, lightweight with excellent drape.

Currently available in Vintage Rose, Dusty Green and Blood Red.

– EK

Just listed: deep coral knit Tencel shawlette

This cool and airy spring/summer shawlette is the perfect accessory to keep the sun off your neck and shoulders while adding a rich pop of color to any outfit.

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::::: About Tencel :::::

This shawlette is hand knit using Tencel (Lyocell) fiber ethically sourced from eucalyptus trees, produced using renewable energy and is considered a “fiber of the future”. Tencel fibre is manufactured by Lenzing fibres in a closed-loop system, which means resources like water and solvents get reused instead of ending up as pollution and waste.

 

Click here to view the full listing.

– EK