Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Belated Mending Monday
I thought I might do something a little more regular on the subject of mending. Just for the sake of alliteration, Monday will be the day. However, typically, I didn't get to it yesterday. Be prepared for Mending Monday on any day of the week, but know that my intention is to post on the actual day!
My neighbour Flora gave me this little book. Full as it is of detailed mending techniques, times do change and 1925's darning is today's intricate embroidery. I will try to give a few more practical tips and techniques to help make your mends easy and durable.
One very common repair challenge is a tear at a seam. Most likely, the tear has happened because of stress at that point. It will just tear again if a patch is applied that is too flimsy or poorly sewn.
What I do first is inspect the tear to assess the damage and figure out why it happened. Then, for a mend that won't be too noticeable, I choose a firm, fairly lightweight woven fabric, often a cotton broadcloth, that is in the colour range of the garment. I cut a piece larger than the hole, and pin it it place to the underside. I might have to open up the seam a bit for the fabric to fit smoothly. Sometimes I will handstitch the patch in place, but more often a zigzag or darning stitch on the machine does the trick. (Remember to lower the feed dogs if you can.
The idea is to keep the fabric flexible as possible so don't overstitch. (This is also why I don't recommend iron on patches.) It's easier to add more stitches than pick out too many. Once I have stabilized the tear, I can restitch the seam if necessary. Sometimes I will add a strip of very light seam tape to further reinforce the seam - occasionally this is the only fix that is needed, if you catch it in time.
For a more decorative mend you can apply the patch on the topside of the garment. You will still have to sew the darning stitches as above, because the stress on that point is still happening and the tear can grow from underneath the patch. Embellish with embroidery if you desire!
Click here for Sheri Lyn Wood's jeans patch.
(I will try for similar inspiring and/or instructional photos next time.)