Turning the collar

Ok, so I didn’t take up composting.  The stuff just grew too big for the area where I felt I could dig in the apartment yard.  I’m still thinking about worms, but must check what temperatures they can live at. In the winter I set the thermostat at 60 when I am out of the house.

Instead I took up extending the life of clothing.  Remember the mantra: Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without?  I try to apply it.  I try to have things repaired instead of buying new. And I will be able to so long as the older repair people are around.

I have a denim jacket. Can’t recall for how long, but long enough that the collar is getting very shabby.  Last year it was threadbare, but I wore it anyway. This year there are actual holes. Yet the rest is in pretty good shape, so I can’t say I have worn it out yet.

My first thought was to try some of the crafty things that people make out of the good parts of worn jeans.  But then I would still need a jacket. And I don’t need any of those crafty things, cute though they may be.

My second thought was that maybe I could take the collar off and wear a scarf with the jacket. But “collar” led to the third thought: turning the collar. The concept is part of my experience, if not the action.  I remember my mother talking about it–not sure if she ever turned one, or if she was telling stories from the past as she had heard them.  And of course I had read some of those older novels for girls, the ones with poor girl heroines who are friends with rich girls whose families have come on hard times. And the poor girl teaches the rich girl all the money saving tricks.  It has been so long i don’t remember the titles, but I remember the scenes. And turning collars was one of the tricks.

I used to make some of the  clothing for family members. That lasted for a while, and some things turned out very well. But some just didn’t look like the picture in the head when they got finished.  And the gap between idea, buying fabric, and having a finished garment was too long sometimes. So I shifted to shopping at yard sales and thrift stores. I mention this to say that I do have some clothing construction know-how, even though I haven’t made many tailored collars.

So I set out to rip out the collar seams.  As   a quilter, I had plenty of seam rippers. It took longer than I expected because of the double stitching front and back and also the top stitching that caught the edge of the seam, and the edge had to be released in order to sew the collar back on.  Luckily when I pinned it, it fit.  I remember having had some difficulties at that point in previous sewing attempts. I guess these two pieces had lived together for so long that they had conformed to each others’ shapes.

I was surprised that the sewing went faster than the ripping!  And here it is, reattached. The old underside is now up and visible and the old threadbare side (I spared you the photo) is hiding under the collar when the collar is  folded down.

The dark at the left collar seam where I didn’t quite get the collar in the same place it once was shows an early color, not the original for me.  It was one of those “distressed’ items made to look like it had already been worn.  I bought it before I was conscious of the harm from that process to the environment. The jacket was only a few shades darker than the photo when i got it.

Time will tell if that handling of the worn collar will let me wear the jacket till it is all worn out.


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