What do patches mean to you?

Thursday 13th of June 2013
POSTED BY: Amy Warne (Earth Carers Coordinator)
A few mornings ago I had no school trousers for Quin to wear to school. Were they on the clothes line? No. Were they in a crumpled heap in the corner? No. Were they accidental put in the wrong draw? No. They were all in the mending basket. Why? Because my 6 year old prefers to get from point A to point B mainly by rolling and crawling, ninja style, which leaves gaping holes in the knees of his trousers (at least its not his knees!). I was left with two choices; Target or patching (there is a third choice here involving going over to Mum's to use her fancy machine, or even better having her mend our clothes on her fancy machine - I'd make the tea...but this was urgent). So, of course, I dragged out the old faithful Singer sewing machine. 
Often I try to patch with the fabric on the inside and then just zig zag like crazy. Its not as noticeable as a full on patch on the outside. But this time, I went for fully visible and proud pirate patches. 
And as I was zig zagging away I was thinking 'why doesn't everyone do this?'. I think its because we are too worried about what a patch means. I think we no longer value thrift or kooky creativity which a patch can symbolise. Or worse than thrift, maybe a patch means downright poverty. 
To me it means none of that. These patches, the six that I sewed over ripped knees of school trousers mean 'who needs Target?!'. They mean 'see ya later Kmart'. They say 'no' to fast fashion where billions of items are made in third world countries with un-unionised workforces, then sold to us cheaply ('Ooh lets get one of each colour!'), then chucked because its poor quality or we just don't fancy it any more. I love patches and so does my boy. 
Okay, he does look a little bit scruffy because I was in a rush and didn't even bother hemming the edges, but you gotta admit, he looks happy!
By the way if you are interested in learning how to sew come along to the Make New and Mend group who meet every Saturday afternoon at 1.00pm at the Grove Library (1 Leake St, Peppermint Grove). It's fun and only costs a gold coin donation for tea and morning tea. They are a super friendly bunch who are proud to patch!

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