A while ago I discovered Boro Textiles from Japan. Boro are humble mended and patched utilitarian textiles used in rural Japan. I fell in love.
While I’m not really a “jeans” person, I started to make my own denim “rag” skirt. It is hand sewn and includes patches from my daughters pants, something from the salvation army and a second hand (really weird) Anthropologie skirt. I included ripped parts of pants and mended them while I was going along. It has 4 A-line gores and somehow, during the process, I managed to screw up all my measurements. In the end it just didn’t fit….I growled.
I was about to give up the whole rag skirt idea (hand sewing denim is also not the most relaxing thing). However, through all my cursing and 28 cups of coffee, I realized that the point was not to throw the skirt away, but making it work. Wasn’t that the point of patching and mending? That you couldn’t just throw it away and try it again? Because you couldn’t afford to get something new.
I inserted some jersey parts at the sides and made the skirt work. And while it is not one of my super fitting incredible pieces, I started to wear it and really liked it. Especially all the learning and stitching that went into it.
As I said, I usually don’t wear jeans that much. But I do own a few pairs and it seems that almost everyone I know has a pair (or two) as part of their wardrobe.
Last week I came across this CNN video regarding jeans production in China. OMG. Makes you not want to buy another jeans in your life.
Along the way here are a few more things I learned. That the word “Denim” is an abbreviated form of “Serge De Nimes”, because that’s where the sturdy cotton twill fabric originally came from. Jeans (a lighter cotton textile) comes from the French phrase “bleu de Gênes”, literally “blue of Genoa”.
The main thing I learned, however, was patience. My skirt will be an ongoing process, with patches being added as time goes by.