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My patchwork life as a sew-sew fashionista

November 9, 2011 - Burton Cole (humor columnist)

How about that. I'm fashionable again.

I read in the newspaper the other day about the latest trend of repairing one's own old clothes instead of buying new, a nod to financially challenging times.

Ha! I've modeled patched and repaired clothing all my life. I'm sporting patched socks right now.

It's like the theory about the stopped watch being right at least twice a day. Eventually, fashions roll around to something I've been wearing all along.

Hand-me-downs weren't mentioned in the article, but I've also wrapped up more than 50 years experience in those, too. I am ahead of the fashion trends.

The article was about a group called Sewing Rebellion, which started in Los Angeles and has chapters popping up all over the country. Founder Carole Lung-Bazile told The Associated Press that the group's slogan is "Use it up! Wear it out! Make it do!"

How about that. My mom was – still is – a rebel.

A great deal of my growing up occurred during the rebellious 1960s, but Mom was too busy darning socks, sewing ripped shirts, patching torn pants and replacing buttons to tune in, turn on and drop out. I suspected that she felt like rebelling once or twice. This is the first I knew she had been all along.

Carole "Frau Fiber" Lung-Bazile said, "We buy clothes cheaply and throw them away."

My mom said, "It's crazy to buy you clothes when you're just going to ruin them or grow out of them. You'll wear those blue jeans with the yellow and purple patches and like it, buster."

I'm grateful that Martha is my YOUNGER sister. If I thought patches were embarrassing, hand-me-downs from her would have been worse.

But now that I have to buy my own clothes, I've seen the light. Economics play a part, sure, but so does the relief of avoiding clothing stores. Yuck. So if my wife, Terry, can patch it, I let her.

Some day, brown corduroy pockets and red velvet knees on black dress pants – like the ones I have – will catch on. You'll see. I'm a fashion leader when I wait long enough.


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Burt's basketball fashions also are cutting edge -- or ought to be cut.


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