a thing of shreds and patches

a thing of shreds and patches

something made up of scraps of fabric patched together. literary
In the third act of Hamlet, the prince describes his uncle Claudius, who has usurped the throne, as ‘a king of shreds and patches’; this description was parodied by W. S. Gilbert in The Mikado as ‘a thing of shreds and patches’.
See also: and, of, patch, shred, thing