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This is a story about sisterly love. It is also a story about optimism. And one of a bonding experience between siblings…and among threads!

This is the story of Ki’s signature coat and…and her sister Karla’s magic touch!

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First, some background. Ki appropriated this Army surplus jacket from her son, Tyson, when he was 17. He bought it, used, in middle school. This is the year he turns 30.

You do the math!

The jacket is Ki’s uniform; and she is easily identified as she threads through crowds from flea to flea to her vintage market, the Junk Bonanza!

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“Ki’s jacket has been only patched twice by me,” says Karla, who lives in Florida, cross-country from her sis, and who works her magic from a well-appointed sewing room.
“Ki likes the fraying, stringy, well-worn look.” The recent repair list included patching holes on all four pockets, repairing a separating hem from an earlier fix and darning several holes with the sewing machine. Karla also sewed separating cuff and collar edges and trimmed loose threads.

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“After some brainstorming about how to reinvent/ jazz up the jacket,” Karla said,
“we went through my stash of patches and decided vintage Scout patches would add color and fun to the jacket, and fit Ki’s personality to a ‘T’.”

And so they do!

While Ki and Karla are both self-taught seamstresses (“Ki is capable of mending and light sewing,” Karla says), Ki turns to her sister for all her sewing needs!

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“I have sewn off and on since 1972,” Karla said. “I don’t sew clothes to wear. Lately, I’ve been sewing fleece coats for the greyhounds to wear on cold days, besides half-aprons, makeup bags and cart liners.”

Another project Karla recently completed?

Ki’s jeans!

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“The jeans have finally been retired,” Karla said. “I had patched them at least four times. It was to the point the jeans were getting threadbare and there was more fabric patches than jean material. I was happy to see them retired as it was getting more difficult to sew the fabric patches on those skinny leg jeans without having to open up the seams.”

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That’s some fancy zig-zagging!

Ki is not ready to concede retirement for these jeans, however, nor is she ready to call it quits on her jacket, which she said makes her feel “like me.”

“I realized at some point in my life, trying to be fashionable and on trend with my wardrobe was annoying and unnecessary. Plaid shirts, tees, jeans and sneakers fill my closet,” she said. “Life it too short to try to emulate someone else. I like me just fine.”

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Karla’s conclusion?

“I would estimate the jacket still has another 15 years in it,” she said. ” For the wear and tear that this jacket has endured with at least three owners, I’d say it’s holding up pretty well.”

We’d say: sew, sew wonderfully!

Kim

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