Blogmas Day 3: Frayed

spools of different coloured thread in a box
This sampler of 100% Polyester Coats Drima thread was purchased in 1971. I bought it to make samples for bulletin board displays, and for classroom demonstrations, when I taught Home Economics in the public school system in Ontario, Canada.

Today I am mending my 25-year-old parka, worn every winter, all winter, since it was purchased in 1993, on sale, but still expensive. I am mending my 25-year-old parka with my 48-year-old sewing machine, a machine purchased in 1970 to use for my “Haute couture” class at Ryerson University, which was Ryerson Polytechnical Institute at the time of my attendance. The first machine purchased was an inexpensive Singer, which wasn’t up to the job, so it was returned, and the Lotus Elna was purchased, specially priced at a trade show in downtown Toronto. The thread I am using to mend the 25-year-old parka, with the 48-year-old sewing machine, is 47 years old, purchased in 1971 when I was teaching Home Economics sewing classes in the public school system in Ontario. The thread was used for making samples for bulletin boards, and for classroom demonstrations, and was purchased at my own expense, because I wanted more colours than my tight classroom supply budget would allow. The spool of thread is one of the 70 spools of thread that came in a box. Every colour is different. It is Coats Drima thread, 100% polyester, and still as good as the day I bought it. There are about 50 spools of thread left.

The cuffs on my parka have worn to the point where they are frayed. The cuffs have been fraying for a few years now, and I have been ignoring that. Now though, the frayed threads are getting long and getting in my way. Various methods of repair were considered, but in the end a simple zig-zag stitch along the frayed edge was chosen. Two rows of stitching were sewn, one to secure the edge, the second stitched further into the sleeve to add support and stability to the edge stitching. It doesn’t look beautiful, there are very short and jagged threads along the edges of the sleeves, but it is functional and will probably last another 25 years, because I plan on getting another 25 years out of this parka if possible. After that, I might buy something more fashionable than functional.

frayed parka cuff
The parka cuff is quite frayed, but not too bad for a 25-year-old daily-worn garment.
repaired parka cuff
The repaired cuff, not all that pretty, but super functional. No more frayed threads will be catching in my gloves or on objects when I am using my hands! This parka is good to go for another 25 years, I am game for it!



Date: 1:00 PM EST Monday 3 December 2018
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.4 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 0.4°C
Dew point: -1.4°C
Humidity: 87%
Wind: NNW 24 gust 35 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“Seek not happiness too greedily, and be not fearful of happiness.”
604 BC – 531 BC

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I was going to ask if the thread would still be serviceable but then I remembered my own sewing box which also has threads going back to the 1970s!

If the fabric starts to give, you might comsider edging the cuffs with matching bias tape.


I think I still have some thread from the 70s, too. Good work on the cuffs! —Joan