Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Hardest Working Jacket in Punk Rock

There was a song by the Seattle punk band Presidents of the United States of America called Jennifer's Jacket. Seems that Jennifer's jacket was falling apart, was held together by safety pins and string, and it needed a hundred dollars in alterations. Morgan's jacket came to me in much the same state. I think it's quite a lot better now...

Perhaps unbelievably, above is the after picture.

This is what it looked like when it came to me.

There were heavy duty holes in the neck, back and sleeves, caused not by slam dancing as one might think, but by battery acid. (Morgan has a backhoe now. And a bulldozer. Always had a chainsaw.)

My repairs included inserting denim patches in most of the holes (I could get away with darning the smaller ones), adding a leather collar, cuffs, and front placket trim, and patching the holes in the lining. Faced with the impossibility of restoring the garment to a "like new" condition, I focused instead on just making the jacket wearable again.

I left the ragged edges on the holes. Hey, the kids are paying big bucks for factory-shredded jeans these days - at least these rips and tears are authentic.

I mostly hand stitched the repairs, saving the machine just for the leather pieces. I re-sewed the buttonholes with waxed heavy cotton thread.


And I know it might not look like it, but the jacket was soaked and washed before I began the mending. Thirty years of ground in dirt does not release easily (and I suspect was holding the fabric together in some places.) One might ask, "Why bother?" By rights, this jacket should be in the Vancouver Punk Rock Museum - but I think it might have another decade of guitar playing and automotive repair before it retires.

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:44 PM

    Hi... just loved this one... I so enjoy checking up at least once,well maybe a tad more, every week... also enjoy your lovely photos... the jacket looks wonderful, good for you...
    Eileen

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great jacket repair. My boyfriend has been asking for knee replacements in several of his jeans. Maybe for Christmas...

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a task, and what result. Your mending inspires me, I have a teeshirt very dear to my son that needs serious mending, I will see what I can do out of it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. oh, oh---I hope Morgan is suitably impressed! and tell him to keep the "new" jacket away from the battery acid.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great job - it has lost nothing of its character and has been resurrected for another long life. life. Some classic Canadian boro perhaps? I'm sure Morgan appreciates your fine stitching - well done!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Howdyy. Pard Dutchman here say 'wow'.
    I played bass in Chainsaw Running and had the identical jacket only on leather but it got stolen out of my car a very long time ago. So its so fabulous to see this wondeful reminder of a band full of a great group of guys. Well done.

    ReplyDelete

Please forgive me for using word verification. The spam robots got to me.