Valentine’s Day Love

valentines, the velveta aubergine

I confess, entirely and without shame, to being a romantic. My husband and I eloped. What's more romantic than that? However, despite being the sort of person who loves to be in love, I'm inherently suspicious of any gesture that seems pre-packaged, mass-manufactured, or trite.

Unless it's widely thought to be cheap/tacky, in which case I am all for it.

My youngest kid is not in pre-school or daycare and my oldest are in high school, so the above valentines are leftover stock from when I would pick them up at yard sales and thrift stores. I'm surprised at how few are left! I remember having so many good ones (and by 'good' I mean, of course, 'cheesy').

Al and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day, but when we were at the record sale, all alone without our kids, we exclaimed that that was pretty much like being on a date. A Valentine's date, even, since it was less than a week to the day.

And yesterday, I saw an online tutorial that I recognized - immediately! - as the perfect gift for Al.

I repaired his winter coat.

I know, I know, this isn't a perfect gift the way that making him a new shirt or buying him a really nice album would be, but it is a romantic gesture. Al wears his clothes until they fall apart, but his definition of "falling apart" is sometimes a little lax, especially if he really likes the item.

He has this nice, tweedy (but somehow also houndstooth?) vintage coat that he's worn for the past five or six winters. I mended a tear on the outside bottom edge of the pocket this fall, but I noticed at the time that the pockets themselves weren't exactly functional. It wasn't so much that they had a hole in them, but that they were holes, surrounded by pocket outlines. The lining (which is some kind of lovely, thick, slippery stuff, was stitched down everywhere and I didn't think I could get to the wrong side of the pocket.

Until yesterday, when I saw this amazing tutorial by Lynette at Running with Scissors.  She patiently explains (with pictures!) how to get to the pocket by opening a hole in the sleeve lining and turning everything inside out. This morning, I had a go at it and successfully created two functioning pockets.

I used a thick knit material, which I assume is not strictly a good idea because it stretches and might not hold up to wear and tear. I didn't have a lot of plain material in my stash though and I figured I could always replace them again if it was a real problem. (I shortened the pocket bag to make up for the stretchiness - hopefully that will help heavy items like keys from sinking all the way to the bottom of the coat.) It turned out great, though!

pocket in pocket out

The knit, though probably a bad idea, is cozy on the hands and I do love the colour.

cord thing

While I had everything out, I also repaired this little coat hook hanger made of cording (one end had come out).

arm pit

And I sewed up a hole in the underarm.

Though I started this post a little tongue-in-cheek, in a society where it seems we replace things rather than repair them, mending loved clothing really is a great Valentine's gift.

Thanks again to Lynette, whose tutorial instructions were spot on and who, very kindly, quickly answered a question I had. Running with Scissors underwent a revamp a little while ago and, though always a favourite, I think it's better than ever.




2 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day Love

  1. This is super romantic! I love putting love into well-loved garments!
    It's like wearing a hug all day:)
    I also agree. Running with Scissors is better than ever now that there are two of them sewing.
    Glad you tested this method. I may need it one day!

    1. Post author

      When I went back to grab the link, I saw that you had commented too! It works great. Such a 'duh' moment for me. I've made lined blazers before and I've done the pull through the inside sleeve thing to get it all right side out. why did it never occur to me to do that in reverse to get back to the lining?


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