Mend it Monday: Wear, then tear

And today, we are dealing with the other half of the work uniform.

Yes, that swirling mass of orange photos below is three of the Husband’s hi-vis work shirts. Orange at the top, navy at the bottom, separated by reflective strips. Tasteful, eh? You really don’t want to be looking at them after a hard night, or not without sunglasses. They’re made of densely woven pure cotton, designed to resist UVA and B, retard fire and resist sun-rot. Shame they can’t also resist the perpetual wear of the long-distance driver’s seat belt.

This example is by no means the worst. What the sun cannot penetrate, friction can and will.

And now for an entertaining assortment of patches and darns. Due to the vagaries of digital photography, my fluoro orange thread looks yellow. It’s a much better match in real life. It has me puzzled, because the camera can reproduce the shirt colour just fine. Anyway, just so you know, the patches are made from retired shirts, which is why they’re paler. Shirts that colour have to be retired because they are considered no longer hi-vis (and I’m not even going to mention the holes, diesel and grease stains, tears, splits….), which means that the good bits become available as patching material.

Clearly the sun does fade the fabric even if it doesn’t rot. The 3 shirts being mended are none of them older than a couple of years, which is why the shoulder wear is so annoying; they’re in otherwise great condition.

Those mends in the pocket corners are because the pockets are required to contain far more stuff than the design specified. Pen, phone, notebook, paperwork, mask, sunglasses, etc. Men don’t carry handbags/ purses, remember?

Hopefully this is the last of the mending for a bit. You can all breathe a big sigh of relief.


36 thoughts on “Mend it Monday: Wear, then tear

  1. nanacathy2 says:

    Certainly can’t imagine any self respecting Aussie lorry driver with a man bag! Hope he knows you are a diamond wife.

  2. Caroline says:

    Do you have to wear sunglasses when you’re sewing these ?
    I was going to say it seems like the pockets need gussets, but then the bigger the pocket the more “stuff” would be stuffed in them.

    • katechiconi says:

      Not so far, but then again, I can’t go near them when I have a migraine, so…. No indeed, no more capacity for the pockets! He has a large briefcase in the truck with him for more paperwork, tools, logbook, clipboard, etc. Pockets are just for ‘walking about’ stuff.

  3. Chris S in Canada says:

    I have somewhat the same problem with my shirts and blouses in the summer. I tend to wear cotton as it is cooler for my “time of life”. The seatbelt can make portions of the shirt a little fuzzy. I have been thinking of finding myself a scrap of satin and making a seat belt “sleeve”. I think it will be less wearing on the shirts. Wonder if that would work for your hubby too. Not too tight in the shoulder portion. Loose enough to scrunch up when the belt retracts. But long enough to cover that portion which rubs on the shirt.
    If I get to it I will let you know if it helps.

    • katechiconi says:

      I think he probably gets in a lot more seatbelt time than you do: he does 5,000km /3,100 miles per working week/8 day shift. Plus he has to share the truck with 2 other drivers, so he can’t leave anything in it between shifts. I like the idea of some sort of sleeve on the belt, but it would have to come off at the end of each drive. Also, give how tough the cotton of the shirts is, I think they themselves might wear a hole in satin! It’s a puzzle, but worth more thought – thank you!

  4. Those shirts look like they would be hot to wear. He has an incredibly hard job that many would not take on so it’s good he has you to help him. You make a good team. You have worked miracles fixing those shirts. It doesn’t look easy.

    • katechiconi says:

      They are a bit warm, but the very tight weave has the huge virtue of blocking the sun, so skin cancer is averted (60% of Australians get in some form before the age of 70). He is not allowed to have the sleeves rolled up outside, either. We are both in favour of a little warmth if that’s the payoff.

  5. Goodness me, when you say hi-vis you really mean hi-vis. As we’d say over here, you wouldn’t have a problem crossing the road in something like that!

  6. At least you know he’s wearing his seatbelt, which must be a comfort.

  7. tialys says:

    Another job well done 😇

  8. Sorry to have taken this long to comment … I was out of the house from 10am – 3pm !!!! Had a funeral Mass and then burial and then Wake … it was a very long day to say the least.
    A new life breathed into the Shirt for a little while longer 🥰

  9. Slightly but not completely off topic… I marvel that so many males who would otherwise not adopt colourful attire happily do hi-vis. Not only safer but more cheerful than the old standard blue-grey-khaki workwear.

  10. qldmaggie says:

    Why not put a patch on the shoulder when the shirt is new , Kate, to reinforce, before it wears. If allowed ,perhaps a piece of suade or something stronger than cotton. ????????

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, I’ve thought about that, but it depends very much on the quality of shirt supplied each year. Sometimes, the shoulder survives perfectly well, and sometimes not. Also, there would probably be some kind of objection from the company if I ‘interfered’ with the uniform…

  11. I think those mends on the trousers and shirts are a new definition of ‘Love is…’ !

  12. Many of the qualities I admire in a person are exemplified by mending. Purpose, resilience, creativity, care, compassion, loyalty, frugality, eccentricity, meaning. (I could go on and on.)

    • katechiconi says:

      … or simply the echoes of my Ma’s voice in her Dutch equivalent of “I raised you better than that!”. This is the woman who unpicked hand knitted sweaters, washed and rewound the wool and knitted new ones, after cuffs frayed, elbows wore too thin and garments got too small for their owners.

  13. I do like to see mending happening… we should all be proud of it.

  14. I didn’t receive a Scrappy Happy notice – are you o.k.? Wonder if all that bright mending left you exhausted!

  15. I’ve been having trouble with email since Telus switched all their email service to google but am wondering if it is a WordPress problem since I no longer get notifications when someone posts a new blog!!

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve had that happen once or twice before, and have tackled it by unfollowing, and then refollowing the blog in question, which seems to do the trick. But WordPress wouldn’t have affected your private email address, I think…

  16. btw – glad you are o.k. – I was getting worried and thinking all sorts of things.

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