Of Winter Coats and Summer Harvests

Friday evening I came home to a notice in my mailbox that I had a package being held hostage at the main post office. I had no idea what it would be, but I hightailed it there in the sluicing rain on Saturday morning (after a stop-off at the cleaners). It was fabric I had ordered for a new winter coat.

In the right light, there are flecks of blue in this.

In the right light, there are flecks of blue in this.

My old coat is closing in on twenty years old and has been relined a number of times. It is hard to find a coat long enough for me. I am not a fan of winter, so I want a coat to reach mid-calf. I am 5′ 8″, and even if the coat purports to be long, often it isn’t.

LL Bean, you need to offer this coat again!!!

LL Bean, you need to offer this coat again!!!

I loved this coat, it’s shape, the pattern and color of the material, but it had lost its nap (someone else might say it was threadbare) and even though it still got lots of compliments, I had been looking unsuccessfully for something like it for two or three years. I have long used Highland shoe repair and alteration shop in my neighborhood and I asked Lina, who has taken up many of my dresses and slacks over the years, if she would consider taking my old coat apart and using it for a pattern for the new one. She was amazingly agreeable, especially as she’d have the whole summer to work on it off and on. I used part of the rainy Saturday to run to a fabric shop and pick up shoulder pads, thread, and trim material. Now it’s all in Lina’s hands, along with the lining. I’m already plotting what I might make with the old coat material…

Nap-less wool coating, but it may make some lovely felt...

Nap-less wool coating, but it may make some lovely felt…

Earlier on Saturday, I boiled some beets from my garden. Heaven only knows what I planted this spring; they are all colors, even white!

Here they are, scored and nesting in their cooking pan.

Here they are, scored and nestling in their cooking pan.

When I was done and all their jackets were off, I made beet salad, adding scallions and parsley from my garden.

Look at the colors:  everything from deep red, to boiled tomato, to peach, to white.

Look at the colors: everything from deep red, to boiled tomato, to peach, to white.

Sunday I got into the garden and harvested even more. More beets, more carrots, the first basil and parsley, kale, and…believe it or not, some salad greens. The rabbits must have had their fill.

Some of that basil got used tonight at dinner.

Some of that basil got used tonight at dinner.

I’m also incredibly pleased with my garlic bulbs, which are drying in their new basket home.

Ah, garlicked up until at least February...

Ah, garlicked up until at least February…

Cucumbers, squash, okra and beans to come! Tomatoes are ripening. Woo hoo!

After all the rain we've had, it definitely is lush...

After all the rain we’ve had, it definitely is lush…

This entry was posted in Community, Crafts, Local Food and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Of Winter Coats and Summer Harvests

  1. I see the rain coat I am so familiar with peeking out from behind the old coat …… happy times! Your garden is looking so lush and the harvest is so rewarding isn’t it -which reminds me to enquire, how are plans for the 4th coming along? I am glad the rabbits are leaving some for you too – most benign of them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      The little devils! They have so much to eat now, the lettuce is not as tasty…Goodness it has been hard to wrangle guests, but I do have five, so that will be party enough. I’m starting to plan the meal and hoping for good weather. They may get some beet salad!

      Like

  2. The white beets are great – they don’t bleed all over the cutting board and plate and napkin and clothes and… ! I always grow them and they seem to taste the same as the red.

    Like

  3. What a great idea having a coat made with the original and beloved pattern. I’m glad you were able to source a nice wool that you like and have a seamstress working on it this summer. At 5’10” I can relate all to well to ill fitting (read too short) coats, dresses, tops and the like. My favorite ‘find’ in recent years is Athleta. They sell exercise clothes (tops and bottoms) along with dresses in tall!!! It’s wonderful!

    Your garden looks fabulous! Things are really under way.

    Like

  4. I love that your new coat will be copy of your old one. I hate it when a beloved and comfortable item of clothing wears out and I can’t find a real replacement, but your approach stops this from happening. The new fabric looks lovely.
    Sadly my garden is still full of builders, but they should only be here for three more days and then I can get on and plant some late vegetables. We did have the first of the raspberries on Sunday… now that’s real summer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      So glad you’re getting raspberries in any event. And think of the early start you’ll be able to give some plants next year (not to mention having a lime tree). I’m very pleased about the coat. It took some doing to find fabric I liked, but let’s hope this one lasts 20 years as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Anne Wheaton says:

    How lucky you are to find someone to replicate your coat. I hate it when a loved piece of clothing finally wears out and I can’t find anything to replace it. At the weekend we ate our first completely home grown supper of this year – roll on summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Entertaining text with beautiful pictures, Particularly liked the parcel ‘held hostage’, and Lina/lining. Bruce has a good point about the beets. I don’t suppose the white ones turn your pee a scary colour either.

    Like

  7. KerryCan says:

    I have a coat that I wish LLBean would offer again, too! Mine is a long black watch plaid that looks like a blanket thrown over the shoulders–it even has fringe running down the front. It is threadbare and beat up and I cannot get rid of it! I love the fabric you chose for your new coat–gorgeous! I hope to see a side-by-side photo of old and new someday soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a cozy post!! I see why you kept that coat in good order for so long, it is beautiful. Good for you to repurpose the fabric. The new fabric is gorgeous. I am just over 6 foot, and not exactly curvaceous and I love clothes…so indeed a little challenge there ;0) I was so happy last weekend, when on a church garage sale , one of the kind ladies there brought me a brand new high quality 100% woollen coat, beautiful red and reaching to my ankles!!!!! The sales tag of the store was still on it…it was never worn! All volunteers had tried it on but were left wondering what giantess could fit that…and then they saw me scurrying amongst the furniture;0) Even the sleeves are long enough…only 5 dollar! I donated extra to sooth my quilty feelings ;0)
    have you tried beets combined with goat cheese…it is so good!! xo Johanna
    ps you will show the new coat???

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      So glad to hear about your coat find! I am quite terrible about wearing things until they are shabby, so I had to do something this year. Oh yes, beets, goat cheese, and walnuts–and over a small bed of arugula is ideal! I WILL show the finished coat…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Robin says:

    That’s a beautiful coat. I like the fabric for your new coat and hope you’re going to show us the finished product. Your vegetables all look so yummy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. reocochran says:

    I like the way you got great participation here and your sharing how it feels to have a (beloved) special coat that just made you happy in its appearance and fit. I have sometimes circled back to buy “perfect” shoes I really liked, knowing I would regret it if i didn’t. Shoes are to me like your coat is to you. . . Once you find some you like their fit and look, you hate when they get worn out.

    Like

  11. Pingback: The Cold Frame Returns, Along With The Jerusalem Artichokes | arlingwords

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s