On 100th birthday, Martha Mabe is on the job — sewing on embroidered patches

Working at London [OH] store each day is her ‘fountain of youth’

By Gary Brock – gbrock@civitasmedia.com
This month’s Patchplace is an article from the Troy Daily News in Troy, OH

 


Martha Jane Mabe works on a London High School jacket at the Mabe’s Clothing and Athletic Apparel store on South Main Street in London. (photos by Gary Brock | The Madison Press)

LONDON, Ohio — Martha Jane Mabe sat in front of her Consew sewing machine, carefully applying the school patch to the London High School jacket.

It was Wednesday afternoon, May 17 at Mabe’s Clothing and Athletic Apparel, the downtown London business that has been a part of her family for almost a hundred years.

It was a special day for Martha, and she said she was determined to be on the job that day of all days. Wednesday was her 100th birthday.

“I wanted to be able to work on my 100th birthday … if possible. It is very important to me. I wanted to make sure that no one made me do it, not my kids — nobody. I wanted to do what I want to do,” she said. “I did this all on my own.”

Carefully turning the London track and soccer varsity jacket on the sewing machine and applying the sports letters and patches, Martha talked with pride about her family’s business and her desire to work each day.

Born Martha Jane Moody in Madison County, she has lived here almost all her 100 years. “I was born on Xenia Road just outside of town and lived there practically my whole life.”

The business has been part of their family since 1919, just a couple of years after she was born. Her husband, Robert, was a partner in the company with founder Wilber Hume. Martha’s children are: David, Robert, Rebekah, and James, who has passed away; 10 grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.

On her 100th birthday, Martha didn’t hesitate to discuss her years of working at the family business. But all the while she continued to work on the London High School jacket. She said that sometimes threading the needle can be a challenge when she starts her work. “I sometimes have to ask Dave (her son and owner) for help,” she said. But on her birthday, her eyesight was sharp. “Well, I was lucky. I got it on the first try,” she said, and started work on the many patches that adorn the cloth and leather jacket.

All the time she talked, the sewing machine continued to whir and she moved the jacket around, taking care to get the patches and sport letters in the right locations. “You have to pull the lining and everything. It can be bulky.” She pointed out that she once sewed and embroidered a 5XL jacket. “That’s the largest jacket I have ever done.”

She says all the jackets she sews and embroiders are different. “It usually takes three to four hours for each one.”

She has been doing the sewing and embroidery work from about 1970. “I do this because I enjoy doing it. I used to do all the embroidery work by hand, on the hand machine. But not any more. I just don’t have the time.”

About a month ago, she took a fall and injured her back. She was off a few weeks, but said her time away from the daily routine of work took its toll on her. “I can see people staying at home and getting stagnant. But that wasn’t for me.”

She said she would never consider not working as long as her health allowed.

That’s no surprise to her son David, who runs the South Main Street business.

“She is very down to earth. She appreciates hard work and loyalty,” he said. “She tries to help people out as much as she can. She is very sharp. Physically she is in very good shape. She comes here to work about three hours a day.” He said she just gave up driving her car a few months ago. “It was her call. She just didn’t think she had the strength in her legs to apply the brakes. She had a pretty defined path or home to here (the store) and back.”

He said he is very proud of his mother. “Not everyone has a chance to work with their mother for 43 years. I see her about 300 days a year. She is just a wonderful person. She helped me with raising my kids. She was always there for all of us, helping in every way she can.”

He said it is her daily sewing and embroidery work at their store that has “kept her going the last 20 years or so. My father passed away when he was 69, and the work has kept her motivated.” He said working at the store has always been her call.

“It is her fountain of youth, her magic elixir. Instead of sitting at home, working has been good for her physically and mentally. She worked all of her life, there wasn’t much time for vacations.”

He said she is, “One of a kind. I’ve never known anyone like her and I don’t think there will ever be anyone like her,” he added.

When asked about the future, Martha paused and thought a moment.

She said she may stop coming in to work every day, “Probably this fall.” But she don’t want to call it a retirement.

“I just do as I feel. I come when I feel like it, every day,” she said.

When she is not doing the store’s sewing and embroidery work, what does she enjoying doing? “I used to love getting out and mowing. I do a lot of thinking while I’m mowing,” she said.

Her advise to those wanting to live a long life? “Always stay busy. That is what has been best for me. It is very easy to get stagnant and not do anything. If you enjoy what you are doing and you are helping someone, then do it. I can see people saying that when they retire, they just don’t do anything. But I don’t want to be that way. I want to be self-sufficient and do as much as I can and take care of things,” she said.

She said she never smoked, never drank any alcohol. She added that longevity ran in her family, with a number of siblings living into their 90s.

“I have worked all my life. I feel work never hurts anybody.”

She said the London community has been very good to them and their business. “I always to try to buy everything I can from London businesses,” she said during an informal birthday gathering Wednesday that included Mayor Pat Closser and members of the Downtown London Association, who brought a cake to celebrate her 100 years.

Son Robert Mabe echoed his mother’s feelings about the London community. “We owe this community a debt we can never repay.”

 

Martha Jane Mabe sits at her work station at Mabe’s Clothing and Athletic Apparel in downtown London Wednesday (May 10, 2017)on her 100th birthday. She said she wanted to work on her birthday, a job she says she’s been doing almost every day since about 1970.

 

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From Alia Bhatt to Parineeti Chopra: How celebs are wearing the ’90s embroidered patch

This originally appeared in Indian Express, showing the embroidered patch as a world-wide fashion phenomena!

If you are a follower of trends, then you probably know by now how fashionistas around the world have rekindled their romance with the ’90s. We are nearing the end of 2016 but crop tops are still big and so are chokers. Another trend which has managed to make waves is the embroidered patch. Considered as an emblem of one’s individuality, this trend which initially started as a DIY tip is still preferred to give a quirky and youthful spin to an otherwise sombre look.

Considering how updated young style icons of Bollywood are, it’s not surprising to see them embracing this trend. Lead by the bubbly and vivacious Alia Bhatt, other celebs like Parineeti Chopra, Esha Gupta and Amy Jackson are following suit. Here’s a look at how they rocked the trend.

indian-jacqueline-fernandez21Jacqueline Fernandez in Ikai by Ragini Ahuja. (Source: Varinder Chawla)

Denim-on-denim is not an easy combination to pull off but Jacqueline Fernandez did more than well with the wide leg trousers, a denim crop top and a beautiful denim duster jacket with whimsical patches. She picked this look from Ikai by Ragini Ahuja.

indian-alia2-bhatAlia Bhatt in a cute patchwork dress. (Source: Varinder Chawla)

Alia Bhatt has been seen flaunting applique patches on her jackets, crop tops and shorts on several occasions. Here, the actress is seen in a comfy denim dress to beat travel blues.

indian-esha-1-ghuptaEsha Gupta shows us how to look sexy in denim patchwork shirt. (Source; Instagram/Sanjana Batra)

Esha Gupta gave us a masterclass on how to look chic by teaming a patchwork shirt with a pencil skirt. Perfect for a casual evening or even, a lunch meeting!

indian-amy1-jacksonAmy Jackson rocks an embroidered patch denim from Koovs. (Source: Instagram/Amy Jackson)

Amy Jackson was seen working really, really hard on her street style and we can easily say that she has taken it to the next level! The red bomber jacket from Adidas looks so good with those quirky denims from Koovs. Maybe, because that patch-work jeans is a thing of beauty but still, she wore it well.

At The Chicago Embroidery Company, we can help you create quantities of patches in your own custom designs.  Visit our website at http://www.c-emblem.com, send your image to sales@c-emblem.com or call us at 312/664-4232.

Playful [Embroidered] Patches Created by Friends

Here at The Chicago Embroidery Company, we’re excited that the fashion patch craze shows no signs of abating, as evidenced by this recent Huffington Post piece , a profile of a Swedish band sporting patches on their denim and an Aimee Farrell story from last month’s NY Times Style Magazine:

Fashion 1  “Patches have always been symbols of identity,” says the illustrator Christabel MacGreevy. “They’re a way of marking allegiance and signing up to something, whether it’s your school, the band you like or a 1970s motorcycle gang.” MacGreevy, 25, is herself outfitted in patches on a recent morning in London: her black jeans are worn with a baseball vest that has the word ‘chic’ stitched onto the front. She is discussing the ethos behind Itchy Scratchy Patchy, the playful line of decorative patches — and now clothing — that she co-founded with her lifelong friend, the British model Edie Campbell, a year ago. Decorated with brightly stitched marigolds, toadstools, centipedes and sumo wrestlers, her leather biker jacket, which is nonchalantly slung over the back of a chair, is a vivid scrapbook of the brand’s embroidered iron-ons, which have become popular with Courtney Love and Gigi Hadid.

For today, the elegant kitchen belonging to Campbell’s mother, the fashion stylist turned architect Sophie Hicks, doubles as the Itchy Scratchy HQ. The minimal space’s white walls embroidered-patches-19-1200x800serve as a counterpoint to the irreverent aesthetic of the brand — which began on a whim, and without outside investment, as an antidote to the samey, normcore looks that have become so dominant. The marble-topped kitchen table is littered with laptops, phones and safety pins, all the accoutrements of their self-described cottage industry. Even Campbell’s nearby West London apartment has become a makeshift storage unit for the pair’s latest project: An 85-piece clothing collection of vintage Levi’s denim and Sunspel T-shirts, all lovingly embroidered, patched and painted in their inimitable decorative style, which goes on sale this weekend at London’s Dover Street Market. It’s the first time the pair have ever produced a capsule of clothes bearing their own iron-on designs — as a way to show how Itchy Scratchy patches can be worn and styled.

MacGreevy and Campbell first met as children at St Paul’s School in Barnes — and whether they’re scaling fashionAmountains of fabric at recycling plants in search of the perfect Levi’s jean jacket or touring the meticulous T-shirt production line at Sunspel’s factory in the north of England, a youthful energy pervades everything they do. For the last two months, they have been embellishing the pieces they hand-sourced — including Levi’s jeans from the 1980s and 1990s, denim jackets and plenty of reworked monochrome Sunspel tees. Picking the pieces, Campbell says, was simple: “If we wouldn’t wear it ourselves, it doesn’t get made.” She continues: “We’ve both studied the visual arts, so we’re decisive and confident about what we like. We know what works, even if we don’t know why. It’s not like we’re trying to push the future of fashion forward — this is about having fun.”

Campbell’s experience inside the industry (she was first discovered by the photographer Mario Testino a decade ago) allows her an innate understanding of fashion that comes in handy when shooting the collections, though she’s the first to admit that styling clothes is very different from designingfashion monki-denim-aw16-8 and producing them. “There’s no database, it’s a case of calling everyone you know and saying ‘help!’” says Campbell. She credits the British designer Henry Holland with helping to make Itchy Scratchy happen. “He let us sit in on a production meeting at his factory where we produced our first patches. We may never have done it without him.”

This week, between taking the Eurostar to Paris, where she opened and closed Chanel’s fall couture show, Campbell could be found in MacGreevy’s Camberwell studio sorting out logistics and stitching on labels (every piece is sewn with its own edition number, she says, proudly). Luckily, and somewhat unusually in fashion, they’re both early risers: “If I haven’t had a text from Edie by 7 a.m., it feels weird,” jokes MacGreevy, the originator of the brand’s trademark cartoony figures, who studied Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. At times of stress, MacGreevy often finds herself furiously pinning and cutting things out. Campbell takes a different tack, seeking solace in more surprising quarters: Excel spreadsheets. “I love them!” she says, her voice raising an octave. “When everything starts getting out of control, I find it soothing.”  Itchy Scratchy Patchy, $85-$325, launches at Dover Street Market July 9, doverstreetmarket.com
___

But don’t fret fashionistas, you can create a contemporary look for your line for much less than you might imagine.  The Chicago Embroidery Company sews custom embroidered emblems, based on your design. Send image for free quote.  sales@c-emblem.com, http://www.c-emblem.com or call 312/664-4232.  NOTE: Individual patches are not sold, the company manufactures emblems in quantity.

Embroidered Patches Are Always In Fashion

Our friends at Gucci have discovered something we’ve always known at The Chicago Embroidery Company, embroidered patches are a unique, customizable fashion accessory.

purse patch2

http://www.instyle.com/news/gucci-diy-project-dionysus-purse

Thanks to Andrea Cheung at InStyle:

Gucci’s ready-to-wear is drool-worthy, for sure, but it’s the accessories that have turned us from sane, functioning adults to crazy bag (and loafer) ladies. Of course, we wouldn’t expect anything less from Alessandro Michele, the current Gucci creative director and former head accessories designer. When he presented his debut fall 2015 collection, he did so with a whole new range of accessories, including an introduction to the soon-to-be (if not already) classic Dionysus handbag. This masterpiece serves as a time warp between the past and the future, capturing the brand’s heritage with the iconic double-G “Supreme” monogram, but with a modern touch (an indicator of Gucci’s new direction with Michele at the helm) through hand-painted florals and whimsical embroidered patches.

Boxy in shape with a slim build, complete with a double tiger head-ended horseshoe closure (a reference to the Greek god Dionysus, btw, who transformed into a tiger to carry a nymph across the river), the Dionysus has been reinvented multiple times over since its debut.purse patches

Now, Michele has taken it one step further with the launch of a DIY service, in which die-hard Gucci fans (cough, us) can personalize their Dionysus purses (only large and medium) with a buffet of embroidered patches (including but not limited to: butterflies, bees, dragonflies, snakes, and peonies), trims, hardware, and monogrammed initials (with the option to bling them out with Swarovski crystals). It falls right in line with Michele’s design philosophy, which is “that the way you dress is how you feel, and that men and women should feel authentic and free in the expression of themselves.”
pursepatch3
With endless combos, placements, and possibilities, it’d be hard not to express yourself. The do-it-yourself attitude is also a nod to punk, a sub-culture that stems from freedom of expression. As of now, the service is only available at the brand’s flagship store in Milan on Via Montenapoleone, but it will be rolled out to major cities around the world (and fingers crossed, hopefully online). Eventually, you’ll also be able to happily customize Gucci’s Ace sneakers, the loafer slippers, and ready-to-wear pieces for men and women.

Ugh, we can’t wait. If you happen to be in Milan (lucky!), stop by the Gucci flagship store to personalize your Dionysus purse. And if you’re not, well, the least we can offer you is a scroll through some major Gucci-laden eye candy: the Dionysus purse customized in infinite ways.
— Create your own fashion statement for your clothing or accessory line with custom embroidered patches from The Chicago Embroidery Company.  While we don’t sell individual patches, you can design and we’ll produce quantities of your own emblem for less than you think. Submit your image to http://www.c-emblem.com , or contact us at sales@c-emblem.com or call 312/644-4232.

Celebs Inspire Embroidered Fashion Patch Trend

Today we learn more about embroidered patches as a fashion accessory ,

thanks to Rachel Torgerson at US Magazine:

Embroidered patches are the latest detail to take the fashion world by storm, invading the closets of celebs everywhere.

From Margot Robbie’s out there embellished boyfriend Zoe Karssen jeans to Gigi Hadid’s DIY-inspired weekender bag, we’re seeing this trend infiltrate every degree of celeb street style outfit.

Emmy Rossum played up her Topshop trench with a red, patch-decorated crossbody bag on March 21 in L.A. Whereas Demi Lovato’s Zadig & Voltaire Tackl Army Overshirt did the opposite, and made her two-piece outfit a little more casual, on March 22.

The decals on Rihanna’s leather jacket added a pop of color to her otherwise all black outfit on March 26 in NYC. By contrast, Keke Palmer’s denim number by Levi’s toned down the bold red look of her bright Alessandra de Tomaso sheath at the 2016 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

The best part about this trend? It’s a cinch to update pieces you already own in no time flat. Just place an embroidered design (like the options from 3×1.us) on a pair of jeans, cover with a thin towel and press a hot iron over the area for 30 seconds — and you’re in on the trend too.

Would you wear the patch trend?
patches jacket guy
At The Chicago Embroidery Company, we’ll make dynamic customized patches for you and your group.  Visit www.c-emblem.com to submit your design for a free quote, or call us at 312/644-4232.