High Flyers

This time of the year we have a wall of orange berries on our Pyracantha bushes. This time of the year, and no other, we have hoards of marauding birds called cedar waxwings who devour these berries. So you may wonder…what is the big deal?


Well, the more berries the birds consume, the drunker they get and they fly into buildings and can kill themselves from a concussion. See the yellow tips of his tail feathers…this may be where they got the name. Not all birds who crash into fences and windows die, if you leave them for the day to “sleep it off”, they will be gone and off scavenging with their friends the next time you check.dead-bird

Besides walking over stoned sparrows, Mr. Mole has planted some winter veggies…lettuce and Swiss Chard and beets and things. The cage he made keeps the hungry birds away.

But back in the sewing room…

Lots of folks find me on Yelp and Google and while I limit my business to wedding gowns and refer everything else to other seamstresses I know, sometimes you just have to get stuck in and do something unexpected.

Here in the Pacific Northwest we have huge forests and huge summer forest fires that require many firefighters on the ground and those in the air to drop water and survey the spread and damage. This client needed some extra room in his flight suit while carrying out his helicopter duties in the field.

He bought extra fabric at our JoAnn’s and tried on his 2 sets of clothes so we could determine how much was needed.  This jacket needed 3 extra inches down each side seam and the Velcro moved over for the belt.p1210487

The pants had the same story to add 3 inches with a wedge.


Before opening up the side seams, I noticed that a previous seamstress had added a football shaped patch and serged it with white thread on the inside.


You can see from the outside, it was inadequate and was starting to tear away and fray.

The opened side seams were placed on the new fabric, yes, it is not a proper match nor Kevlar, but it works OK. Then a chalk line was drawn and seam allowances added.


A pair were cut and serged.


The side seam edges were cleaned up and serged and the patch added and Velcro re-positioned.


The patch edges were double stitched after being flipped to the jacket sections.

The pants got a wedge as well and the back belt loop was re-attached. The seam allowances were double stitched after being flipped all one direction.


He can wear these comfortably and do his job now.


The other jacket needed wider wedges as it had been worn in Afghanistan and he had expanded a bit more since his service there. Once again, the side seams were opened, serged edges and patch attached and Velcro re-positioned.


It looks good hanging up on both sides. Even though this took time away from my bridal sewing, it is always a pleasure to work for hard-working, dedicated men and women who have served in the military and continue to serve now that they are back home.


Now, I know that I am just adding Kona cotton to his clothes and not Kevlar but this is what was brought to me and I’m working with it.

The pilot just picked up his garments after being in San Diego, California  fighting fires down there. The valuable work they do in the sky assists the workers on the ground with water drops and search and rescue.

For those of you who still need a bridal “fix”, you can check out Anne’s post with some daring bridal fashion!    https://prttynpnk.com/2016/10/12/wearable-wednesday-meets-the-brides/

Have a great week everyone…run through the falling leaves!

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25 Responses to High Flyers

  1. Bunny says:

    This is awesome. I totally get the need to work “outside of the box” every now and then. Years ago my husband walked in the house after a week in California. In his hands was a firesuit out of asbestos type stuff, but technically I really don’t know. All I know is it wouldn’t catch fire. Seems my husband met one of the racers for the Busch racing team and told him his wife could put on the patches from his advertisers. Of course he also bribed my husband with a pass into the inner pit area to sweeten the deal. I knew my machine could not handle this and what’s to sewing a patch on by hand? So I did it and now look back on what a fun project it was. When he came to the Speedway in New Hampshire we went to the race that day. I was pretty fluffed seeing him out on the track with all his patches and badges. He came in third. Wish I could remember his name. Hubby does, I’m sure but is not around right now. I am off to check out Anne’s post and thanks for the link.

    • mrsmole says:

      Oh Bunny, some days men can be so easily satisfied with our sewing skills whether it be sewing on patches or sewing up a ripped pair of gardening shorts. Hanging out with the racing team…now you are talking! I imagine the smell of fuel and tires burning and the sounds and actions of the pit crew would be intoxicating for a man! It sounds like the perfect Halloween costume too!

  2. LindaC says:

    I’m always impressed with what you manage to do with what you are given. I can’t for the life of me figure out how you get into such tight tiny spaces with your sewing machine and make the results so tidy. Nice job on the flight suit.

    • mrsmole says:

      If you make the patch big enough at the top where the join will be, it covers all the ugly bits while you sew on the pretty side and just travel up to meet the previous rows of stitching. Well, that is the plan anyway…ha ha Thanks for dropping by LindaC.

  3. sewruth says:

    Now, that’s a worthwhile job – in this case, both his and yours!
    I’m fascinated by intoxicated birds littering the garden – do they sing riotously and then have a fight before collapsing?

  4. Lydia says:

    Blessings to those who risk their lives for us. I, too, have worked on racing gear. First for DH, then DS and then for a whole team. I stayed home!

  5. mhdwileski says:

    We love the Cedar waxwings here in upstate New York! They come in a droves, but maybe only once or twice a year, and eat everything in site, and then go off on their merry way! Maybe we just can’t see them because they blend in so well!

  6. Bernadette Williams says:

    Thank you for helping this pilot, Mrs. Mole- an awesome save and pristine results. And now, your backyard is an erstwhile “Admiral’s Club” while these tiny feathered “pilots” sleep off their dinner!

    • mrsmole says:

      A couple “pilots” didn’t recover this year and had to be buried with full military honors in our garden. But I guess it is better than being caught by a neighborhood cat!

  7. I am always hopeful that the birds that hit out windows are just “winded” and will recover! Nice to hear someone else say the same. Also, very nice of you to take on this important job. The changes you made were so well done they look like they have always been there.

  8. Kim says:

    Very different work for you, but so worthwhile.
    Poor birds! We don’t have anything similar in the UK getting ‘drunk’ but the wood pigeons are so stupid they just fly into the house anyway 😱

    • mrsmole says:

      I remember the wood pigeons in Southport! I had never seen such dopey birds before and could only say they reminded me of flying turkeys. Then while visiting my Spanish relatives one summer…wood pigeon was on the dinner menu…oh my!

  9. Trish says:

    Hi, I’m in the U.K. too and we have lots of starlings who eat the ripe elderberries and can fall out of the trees! The noise they make is raucous, like a group of teenagers on a binge! They sometimes hit windows but not often, it’s mainly the falling out of the tree nearby. Often they will pick themselves up after a while if you find somewhere to put them. Wonderful work on the flying suit which looks as if meant on the jacket.

    • mrsmole says:

      Starlings were brought to the US in the late 1880’s and they are a real curse for farmers and city folks. They ravage the bird feeders here and can’t stop until the have emptied them. They are hungry bullies but at least they don’t eat the orange berries for the waxwings.

  10. Tia Dia says:

    What a nice break from bridezilla-land, and so worth it! The stoned birds are hilarious. I’ve never heard of such a thing. It’s going to keep me chuckling today…

    • mrsmole says:

      This time of year there are so many “thuds” on the windows, you have to get used to the revelers until all the berries have been stripped from the bushes. It is nice to make my brain work on something other than ivory!!!

  11. maryfunt says:

    Nice job on the flight suits. The people who risk their lives to keep the rest of us safe are much appreciated. I’m sure he was way easier to please than some of your picky brides.

  12. mrsmole says:

    Yes, he was polite as most military people are and he insisted that I “make it worth your while” with the billing. I quoted him a good price and he handed me cash in advance…nice!

  13. erniek3 says:

    My mother eventually had us pull out the pyracantha in the yard for all of the fighting and falling birds it attracted. She just could not stand the noise (she was ill).
    The lack of fireproofing worries me, but better to wear the ‘proofing on the front and back and get the job done, rather than not go out at all. A privilege to do the work!

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