My Paris Coat ~ Mending My Life

I have a favorite coat I’ve been wearing for at least 12 years. It was made in Paris, but I received it second hand. I have a favorite life. It’s the one that I’m living every day. Like my coat it’s become worn with stains and riddled with small holes over time.

My coat has been mended before. As I got older and my body changed, I had to make the coat roomier. This was around the time I moved to San Francisco.

I suppose it will be easier to clean the stains and mend the holes in my coat than it will be to get my life in order. In fact the coat is already back from the cleaners. It looks better, even though some of the old stains are forever, faintly present.

After moving four times in the last six months, I had a good start on mending my life. I began eating better by cutting out sugar and eating more vegetables, cooking more and eating out less. But ever since my car was torched last week, recurring cycles of fear and anger, and general instability have been sapping my energy. My resources are running low, my relationship with my boyfriend is pending, and my dreams of building a life in San Francisco seem a shamble. On bad days, when these thoughts take over, my life feels too shabby to wear in public. It’s time to spruce things up.

It’s a comfort to think about how little is needed to mend an old coat – thread, a few small scraps of fabric, a small dose of creativity, a large dose of patience and determination.

If you have some mending you’ve been putting off, I invite you to join me this fall as I spruce up my Paris coat. Dig into your mending basket and choose a favorite jacket, or a pair of jeans, an old sweater, and let it stand for something deeper, something inside that needs a little repair. There’s no shame in addressing the thread bare places in our lives. We will let the craft of our mending guide us. Feel free to share anonymously if you like.

This is the first post of the series on Mending My Paris Coat.

This entry was posted in Craft Therapy, Mending, Personal Heritage and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to My Paris Coat ~ Mending My Life

  1. Jacy Wall says:

    Very interested in your mending project, i.e. mending my clothes, mending my life. I am an artist in the UK, and have been making work about mending for a while now. I am also embarking on curating an exhibition about mending. in 2008 I had some research money to enable me to visit textile collections in the UK and find items that were mended. I wrote a report about this period of work, which is on my website:
    Keep on mending! Best wishes, Jacy

  2. Victoria says:

    Once, when I was selling my work at an artists market, I happened to be patching a pair of favorite jeans, that most folks would have thrown out many holes ago… A woman stopped and looked, then told me what I was doing was an act of love, and I never forgot that. I think your mending project is wonderful. xo

  3. Claire says:

    I just linked to your lovely earlier post about mending. I’ve been wearing a heavily mended cardigan that was my grandmothers all week, and had to add to her darning with a few patches of my own. It feels like a good connection. Love your blog. x

  4. Heather says:

    “There’s no shame in addressing the thread bare places in our lives. We will let the craft of our mending guide us.”
    Such a wise and beautiful statement. I think it could be a mantra!

    Love to you from way up north.

  5. Amy says:

    Hi Sherri! I was gutted to hear about your car; so sorry. If you ever need a place to get-away to, you have an open invitation to come stay w/ us in Portland. As an added enticement, I now work in a fabric store ( – crazy, huh? In any event, you are a great inspiration to me, and I’d love to catch up with you sometime soon. Lots of love from an old Durham friend.

    • Sherri Lynn Wood says:

      Wow Amy – a long lost friend. I’m so glad to hear from you. I know you are an expert sock knitter and I’ll have to visit for a few pointers. It’s my new passion! By the way – Mary Yordy gave me this coat.

      • Gwen says:

        I’m knitting again after a very long pause. Have almost finished the second of a pair of socks — the first was finished about two years ago! They aren’t exactly the same size, but they both fit!
        Glad to hear that Amy from Portland is an expert sock knitter. I may have to visit her at Bolt, even though I’m not a quilter.
        Hope things are going better for you, dear Sherri. We love you.

  6. Janet says:

    I’m working on some mending myself. I’ll have to find the symbolic representation for it. I hope your repairs are coming along nicely.

  7. Lynda M O says:

    I am sending healing energy over the bridge (the Bay Bridge) from Point Richmond to you in hope that you will feel the contentment that I want to share with you. I read with dismay of your car; we have had damage to a much lesser extent, and yet very unsettling, too. I hope that you are able to find what you seek to make your life more bearable. Meanwhile know that there’s a woman here in the East Bay who wants to reach out to you. This sounds so awkward on reread, but I will let it stand. Peace.

  8. Brenda says:

    nice post, and lots to think about. I’ve been feeling a bit threadbare lately myself. good luck with fixing your coat, and recovering from all the changes in your life. and I’m also wanting to make your liberated wedge quilt. thanks for sharing all of this with us.

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