05 November 2008

Plaid as Hell, Part 3 ( or How To Save $90)

The outside of my Barbour jacket may as well be made of iron, but the lining is getting all torn up behind the pockets. It must be the keys I carry in them. Recently, when I brought the coat in for wax treatment, I asked about repairing the lining. They could do it, but they wanted $90. That's a pretty hefty sum of money for a non-essential fix, so I decided to live with the rips.
Then one day I randomly came across an old twin bed sheet in nearly the same plaid for $1.99 at a thrift shop, and I decided to buy it for patch cloth. I realize the two plaids don't exactly line, but Barbour devotees are always talking about the pride they take in their coat having 'battle scars', so this doesn't bother me a bit.Every man should know how to do some light sewing, such as this. It took me about an hour to cut the patches, iron over the edges and sew them in. If I had taken this to a tailor, it would have cost me $30 and would have been without my essential jacket for a week, and the weather looks like rain for the next few days. Plus, there's also that good old 'do-it-yourself' satisfaction.Here's another hidden potential thrifting secret of mine: When you come across a pair of pants with a plain hem that are about an inch too long, you can easily make cuffs on them. Simply fold the cloth up, steam into place, and tack stitch at the four points where the seams meet. If you look at tailored pants with cuffs, that's really all they've done anyway. You just need enough cloth under the hem to do it.


Pitboss12 said...

DIY all the way!

The Duck said...

I like it. I like it a lot.

It adds character that you could never find in a Barbour.

Well Done

Turling said...


Anonymous said...

That coat lining looks great! Nice work.

Anonymous said...

I'm not worthy.

Anonymous said...

Ney, ney. Our tailor is our friend. Treat him nicely, and you'll never regret it. If you are a stingy DIY type, he won't be as motivated to perform tailor-only miracles when you really need them. And believe thee me, a tailor miracle can save hundreds of dollars.

Penny wise, pound poor.

Giuseppe said...

Matthew Nelson,

I agree 100% that a good tailor is everyman's best friend.(see the post from 1 november) In fact the Tartan slacks from the previos post were saved by what you call a "tailoring miracle", having been initially cut as bell-bottoms.

I do believe though that a healthy dose of DIY is a good thing, when you know you can do it.

Anonymous said...

But when you DIY, and screw up, which will inevitably happen, even with a "simple" patch or a button -- then you've got to take it to your tailor and he is going to know what happened. Moreover, he'll probably treat you like the cheap skate you are.

So, DIY had better be a do or die thing. If you screw it up, throw away the garment.

Penny wise, pound poor.

Giuseppe said...


There's stingy DIY, and there's broke DIY. I'm unemployed with children and the economy is in the sh*tter. Humor me a little old fashioned home spun penny pinching, will ya?

Anonymous said...


I was speaking generally. Of course in exigent economic circumstances, all bets are off. I usually affect a threadbare, broke Aristocrat look in these situations by refusing to mend anything.

If it is any consolation, I am in dire straits too. I hope and pray we booth pull through this temporary tribulation soon!

Giuseppe said...

Mr. Nelson,

No hard feelings, and thanks for the reply comment.

You'll notice a four day gap between posts a few days ago. The reason is because very time I started to post it turned into either a rant or a whinig session involving the economy, the job market, and a general lack of money. I don't want this blog to get off course and become too serious. After all, it's kind of my release from thinking about all of that crap.