Mend It Monday

It’s a perennial problem.

The Husband drives for a living. He wears a seatbelt for an average of 80 hours in his working week. It’s safe, but it’s rough on his work shirts. By far the most frequent repair I have to make is not lost buttons, split underarm seams or torn pockets, but the ‘seatbelt shoulder’.

I can’t actually keep up with the demand for orange work shirting fabric recycled from his old shirts. Mostly the backs of his old shirts become a ‘glove rag’. He has to wear heavy duty rubber gloves delivering the diesel, and once he’s done with them they get wrapped up in a large cloth until the end of the shift, when the whole lot gets washed. The shirt back is perfect for this purpose.

I know this patch is really visible. It’s because it’s come from older, more faded, but still intact sleeve cloth. Usually, I turn under the edges, but I’ve found that the raised edge catches the seatbelt even more. So I serged the edge and stitched it down with first blanket stitch and then straight stitch inside that. My mending has had to evolve over time to meet the demands of the job!

One more shirt saved from the rag bag. It’s a shame the rag bag is running low!


25 thoughts on “Mend It Monday

  1. I hate throwing stuff out especially if it can be mended and saved….
    I’ve been doing some solid darning of my son’s soccer socks as the holes in the toe is very common with him & as they were not getting their new gear for a few months.

  2. cedar51 says:

    I wonder do other drivers in the trade have someone to mend their clothing … I see many trades people with ripped gear…

    Good to have those skills 👌

    • katechiconi says:

      I suspect most don’t bother. The company pays for the uniform, so if it gets torn they either live with it (and look shabby) or get the company to provide new ones. I prefer not to waste clothing which is otherwise perfectly serviceable, and have the Husband look decently clothed.

  3. kymlucas says:

    80 hours driving a week sounds like a tough job!

  4. That is such a hard job. Had a young neighbor that did that for a living. Hard, scary work. We used to put fake sheep wool around the seat belt where it hit the shoulder. I don’t see that much anymore. Glad you saved one more. Hope he doesn’t have to buy his work clothes.

    • katechiconi says:

      He could put a sheepskin wrap on the seatbelt, but he’d have to take it off at the end of every workday, and remove it from the truck. They ‘hotseat’, which means the truck runs 23 hours out of every 24, and they can’t leave personal items in it. He doesn’t have to buy the work clothes, luckily, and there are 3 new ones on order, but when they retire from work service, they go into yard work service instead after having the sleeves shortened, so it’s still worth repairing them.

  5. The care that mending shows speaks volumes about the mender and the wearer 🙂

  6. anne54 says:

    That’s a hard job, Kate. It’s wonder that in his free time he wants to go off travelling around the countryside. I think I would fancy not driving for a while! Have you thought (and I am sure you have!) about using a patch that is more durable and less prone to tear? Fabric with a rubberised backing?

    • katechiconi says:

      Unfortunately, because it’s a uniform I can’t use anything other than approved colour and tight-weave pure cotton. He needs to be fully hi-vis, and nothing other than cotton is permitted due to inflammability issues. Delivering diesel is considered high risk, and the mind doesn’t even permit non-cotton rainwear. So we persist with approved patches!

  7. Going Batty in Wales says:

    He is a grafter! And very lucky to have a wife who loves him enough to mend his work clothes so carefully. Would it matter if you used a patch in a different colour when you run out of old shirts?

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, I’m afraid it would. It *has* to be hi-vis orange, as it’s part of a uniform AND a mine requirement. But it just has to hold out long enough till his next batch of uniform shirts comes through, and then it can retire to the ‘gardening-wear’ part of his wardrobe…

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