November's Sewing Machine Stories

By Alex Guerrero

Mending is better than ending. All Alpkit stores have a repair station where we hack, patch and sew kit. From any brand. And we’ve been doing so since 2004. We’re on course to complete 15,000 repairs by 2022! We want to celebrate November’s Sewing Machine Stories.

Redefining 3-in-1

At our store in Ilkley, Charlotte was looking at a 20+ year old jacket that was going to be mightily expensive to repair. Knowing the potential costs of repair, the customer asked what Charlotte could do. She decided to get creative. She offered the customer a discounted Definition to replace his beloved jacket (lucky devil!). And then she got to work.

She turned this funky irreparable Haglöfs jacket into an eye-catching dry bag and coin wallet. The customer was so pleased that he donated the rest of his jacket to the store. It has since been used to fix three more jackets since – its parts and spare fabric have been vitally useful to Ilkley! Does that make it 6-in-1?

woman holding jacket
woman cutting jacket
orange dry bag and coin wallet

Keeping Baby Warm

Rob, at our Hathersage store, likes to think outside the box with his repairs. It’s sometimes hard to believe that, until recently, he was a stranger to the sewing machine! He designed an insert for a pregnant lady’s down jacket to keep her warm in winter, even as she grew out of her coats. Extend-a-down jacket isn't catchy enough. It also means that after giving birth, she can keep her baby nice and toasty inside her coat!

A Knee-ded Repair

Betws-y-Coed Repair Hero Rosanna has patched up a couple of pairs of trousers. Her first ever knee patch was on these Arcteryx trousers. One knee was worn through, but the customer asked for both knees to be reinforced.

The Fjallraven trousers were reinforced for a lovely man who also works in Betws-y-Coed. He teaches bushcraft so the water- and spark-resistant trousers were perfect for campfires in the woods. The patches are made from Cordura fabric. And not just any Cordura – the fabric scraps are left over from our very own factory on the edge of the Peak District. Rosanna’s knee patching has become so popular that she now has a sewing pattern prepared for her repeat customers!


green patched fjallraven trousers
arcteryx trousers with hole in knee
patched arcteryx trousers

A Tasty Filoment

This was one of Rosanna’s first repairs at the Betws-y-Coed store. The customer’s hungry dog had chewed the corner of the zip and most of the internal pocket. Tasty! Rosanna reconstructed the inside, patched the outside, replaced the zip and patched the binding at the bottom. She also got a surprise treat: the biscuit the dog had been looking for. Gilet: repaired and returned to customer. Biscuit: returned to dog.


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Guess The Repair

Hathersage Repair Hero Rob has got so good at his job that the team have started a “guess the repair” game. His baffle replacement is so seamless, we couldn’t even tell what he’d changed.

man holding jacket
man holding jacket

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