Why candles and wool coats do not mix.

I did it! I did it! I did it! With the help of others of course. Firstly, I'm going to post a story about why I mentioned 'fires' in my teaser blog last night. Some of you who are my facebook friends already know this, but my darling, brilliant, handsome, intelligent, kind, helpful, boyfriend did something very very very stupid Thursday night.

His coat was finished except for the lining. I have no patience for sewing in lining and I just rushed through it as quickly as I could because I had button matters to attend to on his waistcoat. So when he tried on his coat like..on Wednesday, we noticed how badly the lining pulled his coat in wonky ways (all my fault). I was too tired and fed up with it (when I'm done with a project, I'm done.) With that Fredrik volunteered to do the lining for his coat.

Side note: Once his actual sewing skills improve, Fredrik will be extremely talented with construction, sewing, and tailoring. He's naturally very gifted, and he has that careful quality where he can fuss with one thing for hours and hours, and I just dont have the patience. Thus that's why my gown has a wonky crooked hem, but as my old boss used to say, 'Who can see a crooked hem on a galloping horse?' (or on a train for that matter).

Back to the story: It's Thursday night and I'm sewing buttonholes like a mad woman, and Fredrik is working on his lining to his beautiful wool coat. His mother and I are watching 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' (It's been years since I'd seen it and can we say, 'OMG amazing 17th century dutch costumes?! Though Scarlett's bodice jacket thing fit her really badly at times, but I'll wager that was intentional to show class or something)
Anyways, I'm sewing and Fredrik takes his coat and lays it on the dining table, where all of the sudden I hear, 'shit.............oh shit.....OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT!'

I didn't react. I took in one deep breath and said, 'What did you do?'

Fredrik, 'Baby, I'm sorry..I'm so so so sorry! I'm so sorry!'

Me: 'Fredrik, what did you do.'

Fredrik: 'I burnt a hole in the coat sleeve.'

Me: 'What.'

Fredrik: 'Baby, I'm so sorry, I love you so much, please don't be mad I me. I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry.'

(His mother is sitting there the whole time by the way)

Me: 'Let me see it.'

Fredrik walks over with the coat (which reeked of smoke and burnt hair) and I see this:

These photos are post fixing, so there are 2 holes about the width of my thumb on either side of the seam. Sorch marks along the sleeve and around the edges. Through his wearing it's decreased in its burntness appearance.

I sobbed. And wailed. And sobbed some more. It was heartbreaking to see, but luckily for Fredrik I was too stressed and exhausted to get angry with him. Plus, his mom was there and I really didn't want to lose it in front of her. She just held my hand while I cried and Fredrik sat next to me apologizing. His coat and the seams were beautiful in the back, and to me, it was one of the worst places he could have burnt his coat. If it was on a piece of fabric on the side or near the end, I could have done an easy patch and no one would have known. I was completely at a loss about how to fix these holes while still sewing buttonholes, buttons, trim, hems, and a dozen other things that needed to be done before Saturday afternoon.
I mean, I was so proud of these seams I took pictures before the accident. They lined up perfectly to the shoulder seams...it was beautiful.


So to make a long story short, Margit and Fredrik convinced me to not hack into the cuff of his coat to selvedge some wool to mend with (as I did not bring any scraps because I did not take into account setting clothes on fire into my packing list. This is now fixed. Always pack scraps. Always.) I contacted my friend Neal who is the 18th century Taylor Apprentice at Colonial Williamsburg (since I knew he checked his facebook more than Mark does) and asked him his advice...after Neal's initial WTF?!=!=! reaction he suggested I just try and take the seam in. I did not have time to re do an entire sleeve seam and reattach it to the shoulder, etc. So Fredrik and I just pinned the sleeve to hide the holes and tried it on to see if it worked. It definitely worked, but it did pull a bit. However, I also know that no one would really see that or notice it due to the dark lighting that would be at the castle. So 2 rows of backstitching later, we have a mended coat.

The moral of the story is, don't sew near tea lights...or any candle for that matter. It's a bad bad bad idea.


  1. Ouch, ouch, ouch, OUCH! *insert horrified emoticon here*

    This is totally something I could've done. But I suppose, in a way, it's easier to bear when you're the one to mess up, and not the one you (mostly...)love. I wonder how I would've reacted, mother in law present or not...

  2. I reacted exactly like Madame Berg here.

  3. Yes...it was very traumatic. Fredrik thought he was making it better by trying argue that he'll wear the coat with the holes so I don't have to fix them...that was almost worse than him burning the holes..like hell I was going to let him walk around in this coat with the holes showing.

    I don't know how I would have reacted if I had done that. I'm a lot harder on myself than I am on him. I didn't feel like I could really get mad at him...because he didn't have to help (well...he did, but you know what I mean). Where if I had done it myself, I probably would have been beating myself up over that for days and days.

    But that nightmare is over now :)


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