Wholesome and necessary are words that describe two materials known to humankind for thousands of years; linen & shell. I shouldn’t crave these things, these essential objects as I do, but I do love the little unworldly things in life… like ice cream, linen, and shell buttons.
Let me begin with my love of linen. This is not just a fondness, but an intimate part of me, and the way I dress. I could happily wear a fine white linen blouse every day of the year. I hardly can begin to describe why, or when this became so.
So in my limited & dwindling number of linen shirts, there have been more given up to the linen shirt graveyard than I care to face. I am a thrift shopper, and take the time to sleuth out fine linen shirts for dollars, alter when I must, and have cause to celebrate when I find one perfect just as is. I have come to face another fact, that I’ve been long overdue in learning to use this odd wooden thing . . .
In above photo is my first attempt at darning, and I am so pleased with myself I can’t even tell you ! After two darned ‘holes’ , and switching from off-white to white thread, I started to get the knack. I managed to close up and fill in the underarm disaster areas which my favorite shirts began to show, after near constant wear, and the final darning jobs were alright by me.
Satisfied that my work is pretty much unnoticeable when not back-lit, I decided to try the small holes which happened to riddle my favorite shirt, one with a label that reads the beautiful words “100% Irish Linen”. I managed to darn all the wee holes in it, ‘it’ which is my favorite linen gig shirt which has not been worn, but hanging in the closet for a couple of years now. I was floating for a whole day from this darning epiphany !
But sometimes one must surrender a great linen shirt , in the end, to the scizzors (as I had in this post ), for it becomes too thread-bare. I made a fine linen hand kerchief, and I even got to collect the lovely shell buttons from it. Those pearly surfaced little treasures are put in a little jar , a present-place destination, an artful limbo, for buttons of linen shirts past and future.
My Good Things,
unworldly, and essential.
Absolutely Beautiful. I love the look of delicately darned patches. Precious.
I know you do, you and I both absolutely worship our best worn linen blouses, don’t we? 🙂 xx
A beautifully darned garment is a thing of beauty and gives respect to the garment.
I love this.
Lizzi, I am posting the link you just wmailed to me about Tom Of Holand, the Artful Mender ! So everybody, here it is ~~~ http://tomofholland.com/about/
Beautiful linen. I happen to have a monastic shop nearby with so many treasures in linen. And buying something support the monastic community well. I like the recycling and mending of old things. It gives meaning, and in a way it gives respect to the one who first made the object and to the object itself. I am not a good mender, though… Thanks for the link to Tomofholland.
Lucky you to have the linen so handy ! Like anything, pride tempered with pracetice makes perfect. 🙂 Good luck on your darning skills, we who have so few teachers as mothers , but only the internet now to teach. 🙂
BeautifuI. love things that are worn and mended.
Lovely job. Mending is becoming a lost art.
I used to darn socks! Still do, when they finally wear through. I love linen, and its good to see you do also, and can darn the linen, too which is a truly lost art. I don’t know many who would take the time to “fix” things anymore. To me, its a respectful way to live, of the earth and of the items themselves. Good job on your mending! Looks beautiful. I’ll check out the website also.
Martha, how great that you darn your socks and your linen ! I personally think in the modern throw-away age, we have just lost a sense of value of a piece of clothing, myself included. Its really a whole new conscience for me to gather up the worn things and figure out what to do, recycle, repair, or tear into rags at least. I now save buttons from Jeff’s old shirts… because when I make new… buttons are so expensive! Great of you to speak up, I appreciate it so much ! 🙂 xx