An Unintended Holiday Stitching Project

I have just got back from a great holiday in the Dominican Republic. It’s a wonderful country, populated by the friendliest people you have ever met, and with beaches like this:

The beach at Bayahibe, early morning

However, I wasn’t so impressed with the baggage handlers at Manchester Airport, who managed to wreck my suitcase.

My damaged suitcase, with broken zip and squashed corner

The staff at our hotel suggested that we let them send one of their staff to a local chain store, to get prices for suitable-sized new suitcases, and then they’d buy one on our behalf, so that we didn’t have to waste our holiday time doing it. But when they gave us the price , they were so expensive that we said we’d prefer to try to mend it ourselves.  ‘No, no!’, they said,’Let us get our hotel tailor to mend it for you!’

So, we left the case with them for a week, then enquired about it.

‘Come back tomorrow,’ they said. When we did that, they said ‘Come back at five o’clock.’

By now we were not very confident that they would get anything done. We only had two days left before going home, and no suitcase. When we eventually talked to the head of Guest Services, he owned up. ‘The tailor has been off sick for a week. Now that he’s back, he’s got a backlog of work. He’s looked at your case, and he thinks it’s beyond repair. Sorry.’


So, we asked for the case back, and said we were going to attempt to fix it ourselves.

‘Can’t be done!’ they said. ‘The tailor said so. It’s beyond repair.’

Several members of staff later, we got the suitcase brought back to our room. With the aid of a tiny ’emergency mending kit’ provided with the toiletries in the bathroom, my husband Chris managed to backstitch the zip back into place, using all six shades of cotton provided in the kit.

Chris fixing the suitcase
Chris’s backstitching

Despite the hotel staff’s disbelief, the suitcase held together all the way back to the UK (including through baggage handling at Manchester Airport).

One of the hotel staff offered him a job as hotel tailor, but he turned it down, as he reckoned the commute to work would be a bit long from Staffordshire.


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