After the outbreak of COVID-19, a global pandemic that has seen most of us locked down in our homes, we created the BOROntine Home Repair contest. If there is anything that this deadly virus has taught us, it’s to appreciate what we have and make do with less, so, we wanted to give people an incentive to get stuck in with fixing, reinforcing, or simply decorating an old garment to give it a new lease of life.
Safe to say, the incentive of a $250 Heddels Shop gift card for the best entry gave rise to some solid submissions. We’ve got sashiko-style stitching, gnarly patches, and even calendar patches. But it’s not down to us to choose the winner. That part is down to you guys!
So, please take a good look at the submissions chosen below and use the voting form at the bottom of the page to let us know whose work you think is worthy of the $250 Heddels Shop gift card.
Dominic's Levi's 501 STF
Name: Dominic Frost
Location: Piedmont, California
Description: Because all of the vintage shops are closed, I wasn’t able to find a pair of jeans that needed repairs. Instead, I opted to turn some Levi’s 501s, which I had previously worn while painting, into a new pair of pants. With some fabric scraps that I got from the good people at Standard and Strange and a generic sewing kit from a drugstore, I tried to incorporate as many design elements as I could into the jeans. On the tops of the thighs, you can see some hand darning, layered patchwork, sashiko stitching, and manual distressing. I took inspiration from the internet’s archives of authentic boro garments, as well as from our beloved Kapital, where they seem to have nearly perfected the art of pre-distressing. While this contest may be over, I look forward to getting some authentic wear in addition to the work that I’ve done, and imagine that I will keep repairing and adding to these as needed.
Michael's Nudie Jeans
Name: Michael Lundin
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Item: Nudie raw denim jeans
Description: I’ve worked some with sewing machine before, but never tried out Sashiko-stitching, which I’ve wanted to try out for a long time. So I decided to try it out on my broken thigh on a pair of well-worn selvedge. I wanted to combine the stitching with the classical art-piece, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”. It took so much longer than I imagined, but it was really nice to get a task that stimulated my mind during the current time.
Sketched it up roughly with chalk, then ball-pen. Afterwards, I started with the black contours, and then the white filling. I started off March 29 and finished up April 6, worked for at least 10 hours with this piece.
Will's Gap 1969 Jeans
Name: Will Story
Location: Seattle, Washington
Description: I had a back pocket blow out shortly after soaking these old Gap 1969’s (these iPhones keep getting bigger and bigger but my pockets stay the same size. I keep getting bigger too!). I’ve been skating in these jeans for about 2 years now and they’ve seen more crotch and knee repairs than I can count.
I took off the back pocket, cut a piece of 14.5oz blue line selvedge from my first pair of selvedge jeans (UB301s) and began stitching to the backside of the pocket. I am a big fan of the principle of wabi-sabi – especially with anything denim or indigo related! So I decided to patch from the backside letting the original hole remain visible and exposed to the elements for further decay. Then took a dark navy thread and attached the pocket back onto the jeans. Keep it simple, stupid.
Stephen's Okayama Denim PBJ002 Kakishibu Jeans
Name: Stephen Snider
Description: I have been wearing my ODPBJ002 Kakishibu’s everyday since 31 July 2019. Two weeks ago, getting ready for a big glacier exploration, a worn section of my crouch area finally gave way, results in a massive rip. I repurposed a 2019 Momotaro Denim Calendar to help strengthen the area, and tried out sashiko for the first time ever. I also took the opportunity to repair the back left pocket, where my wallet had worn a large hole. I used the month of July from the Calendar to repair the hole, which also showed what day I began wearing the pair.
Elmer's Evisu Jeans
Name: Elmer Richard Sentillanosa
Location: Davao City, Philippines
Description: I patched the fly, the knee rips and tears and repaired the cuffs of these Evisu jeans.
Justine's Vans Authentic
Name: Justine Uong
Location: Clichy, France
Description: I mended an old pair of vans. Getting the needle through the sole was not easy, but here they are.
Then I patched a pair of Levi’s commuters pants.
Both repairs have Sashiko-like stitching but of the same color of the linen that was used.
Pants were started on March 29th, finished on March 30th.
Vans were started on March 30th, finished on April 1st.
Robin's Tellason Fatigue Pants
Location: Richmond, California
Description: There was a hole developing on the back pocket of my pair of Tellason fatigue pants. I removed the button, put on an adhesive patch, covered the adhesive patch with a piece of matching fabric (thanks @tellason), and then reattached the button.
Repair started on 04/01 and finished on 04/02.
Jordan's Vintage Levi's Type III Trucker Jacket
Name: Jordan Andlovec
Location: Portland, Oregon
Description: I picked up this ’68-’71 Levi’s Type III jacket from a kid selling mostly 80s and 90s surf culture wear who didn’t know what he had. It has a few holes in the body and the collar and cuffs were both ripped, so after cleaning up the damage (removed frayed threads, etc…) I did some sashiko stitching and boro-type patches. I used plain white sashiko thread and various patches and scraps of cloth I had, some from Kiriko here in Portland.
Tyler's Levi's Jeans
Name: Tyler Tranguch
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Description: I patched up the knee blowouts and also reinforced the thigh area.
Ryan's RRL Cap
Name: Ryan Sullivan
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Description: Old RRL cap I was given about 10 years ago. I over-dyed with indigo and did a small discharged pattern on it. The cap is repaired with a variety of hand-dyed thread /yarn and patched with a vintage floral indigo fabric.
Alex's Penney's Denim Jacket
Name: Alex Myers
Location: Denver, Colorado
Description: I guess just a lot of reinforcements. Not a ton of holes really. Just catching the heavy wear spots before they go. The jacket belongs to a friend so I’ve mostly just been going down the list of highest priority wear spots
*Special Mention* Edwin ED-55 Jeans
Name: Antoine Petitdemange
Location: Lyon, France
Description: To be perfectly honest, I started repairing these jeans at the beginning of March 2020 and finished during quarantine, so I know I can’t fully apply for the contest… but this project means much to me so I thought I could share a few pictures with you, and maybe have your opinion on it.
These are my first raw jeans, a pair of Edwin ED55 bought in 2013, the first piece of a major change in my style and wardrobe. It took a few years to get nice fades, but after three years the fabric started cracking on the knees, so I couldn’t wear them anymore.
But I couldn’t give them away either… so I kept them folded in my wardrobe with plenty of good memories.
I discovered your article about sashiko earlier this month and I was really excited, so I spent a few hours repairing these jeans, and really had a good time stitching.
I hope you like it!