Sunday, 5 December 2010

My little tweedy pie

Apparently, rules are meant to be broken. Today I have broken several vintage clothing "rules" and all in connection with one item.

Saw an overpriced, moth-eaten, stained tweed piper's jacket at the fleamarket this morning. My market companion looked wordless askance at the manky garment I waved in front of her, but I was smitten. Fitted shape reminiscent of Vivienne Westwood (are you SURE this is a man's jacket?), beautiful cuffs with raised darted details, complete set of original horn buttons, pocket flaps set just so on the hips, two back vents and the most lovely colour.

If pieces of vintage clothing have a history then this had been in a fight at a wedding (where its owner was playing the bagpipes), in the course of which it got blood on it and the sleeve lining tore, and has been but away for moths to feast on ever since.

On inspection, I discovered more and more moth damage, no matter: hey, I can sew, I can darn. Quiet words with the seller secured a hefty discount. Stains (blood?) on the lovely duck-egg blue tweed fabric an awful lot more difficult: so it's in the washing machine (aaagh!)

Golden rule: never wash a jacket - if the fabric doesn't shrink the interfacings will, it will go horribly out of shape and the colour will run - but I HAD to, dear reader. Although the remedy for moths is to put the garment in the freezer, mine is too small and too full of Quorn - yes really - Quorn mince, Quorn pieces... So it's in there on the cold woollen cycle with baby shampoo instead of detergent and my fingers are crossed.

I did do one thing right: I darned the holes before washing it. If you don't do this, a hole you could get the point of a pencil through beforehand you can get your head though afterwards. I might be looking at a mangled wreck of shrunken, bleeding, felted tweed in half an hour, but at least there won't be any holes in it.

P.S. Readers, it worked! One of my most successful salvage operations. I only wish I had taken some "before" photos to go with these "after" ones…


  1. Edge of the seat stuff. What came out the washing machine? Can't wait for the next instalment!

  2. It was a triumph of salvage work Claire! Almost unrecognisable - in a good way. Think I am going to have to re-line the sleeves though.