I’m very excited to announce a extraordinary Visible Mending Programme collaboration with one of Brighton’s finest vintage clothes shops: Wolf & Gypsy Vintage. I have been shopping at Wolf & Gypsy since they first opened their doors many a moon ago, so it was only a matter of time I’d walk in with some visibly mended clothes. Laura, the owner of Wolf & Gypsy, loved the look of my repaired French workwear so much, that she asked me to create a micro-collection for her. And that’s exactly what I did.
May All Your Dreams Be Indigo, at Wolf & Gypsy Vintage Boutique, Brighton
All four pieces I repaired are of an indigo blue, and I think they were all dyed with a chemical dye rather than actual plant-based indigo. I decided to provide a contrast by using vintage Japanese natural indigo-dyed fabrics; by only using yellow sewing and embroidery threads I highlighted all the hand stitching.
All garments have been repaired visibly, and the Visible Mending Programme logo is handstitched into each garment
Laura carefully hand picks all the garments for her shop, and I have used the same attention to detail in making the repairs. Although the fabric I used for patching is Japanese, I steered clear of employing Japanese embroidery techniques, such as sashiko and boro. Instead, I found my inspiration from my old, and very Western, needlework books.
I’d love to share some before-and-after pictures:
Being from The Netherlands, I could only ever repair some overalls originating from my home country. KLM (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij) is the Royal Dutch Airlines.
A crumpled KLM overalls in dire need of some TLC
Rejuvinated overalls: new button, fraying cuffs dealt with, small holes turned into eyelets
Overalls repairs: fraying cuffs rebound with fabric, small holes highlighted with eyelet embroidery.
Although there wasn’t any actual damage on this sweatshirt, it did look a bit dull. To remedy this, I added a colourful darn to be worn as a badge of honour. “Friendship” is the unknown-to-me label of this sweatshirt
The Friendship sweatshirt is looking for some pizzazz
A beautiful darn to be worn as a badge of honour
Sweatshirt repair: darn in multiple colours, created with my Speedweve.
French Workwear Trousers
These are very similar to the trousers I walked into the shop with and which led to this gig to start with. I’m happy with the look of the binding around the pockets (see picture above), and a fabric patch which shows fading. Most of all though, I love the tailor’s buttonholes, handstitched in a perlé cotton to make them stand out.
These French workwear trousers needed a fair bit of attention
I love the fading on the patch, which I’ve sewn in using the flannel patch method, more commonly used for, you guessed it, flannel!
I love working proper tailored buttonholes, and this commission was a good excuse to really make ’em stand out!
Trousers repairs: fraying pockets rebound with fabric, fraying buttonholes restitched, hems re-sewn, patches, waistband cord ends replaced.
French Workwear Jacket
Possibly my favourite of the series: the pockets had a lot of tiny holes in them, so these got covered up by pocket-sized patches. One sleeve had a very ugly and stiff iron-on patch. This peeled off easily, and I replaced it with a classic felled patch.
The jacket sported a really rather ugly iron-on patch and some holes were crudely sewn together
Luckily the patch came off easily, and a new patch was inserted with felled seams
Patches on the pockets, and the patches behind holes, which have been delicately outlined with a half-back stitch
Jacket repairs: buttons replaced, various patches, fraying cuffs rebound.
If you find yourself in Brighton during the month of November, then you can avail yourself of one of these fine Visible Mending Programme garments. Each one comes with a special card that details the repair materials and techniques used. I hope four lucky people will enjoy wearing these as much as I enjoyed repairing them!