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Dec 1, 2014

Mending



I love to sew, obviously.  What I'm not a big fan of is mending. 

 With the exception of a turtleneck shirt here, a knit watch cap there, I make everything I wear and I can be hard on my clothes: I walk a lot, bike a lot, and go through periods where I'll wear a single pair of pants almost every day (laundering as needed, naturally).

I noticed recently that the back crotch of my blue twill pants -- one of my go-to garments for the last year -- had begun to wear through.  I think this is primarily caused by bike riding.  The flat felled seam acts like a (very dull) knife, cutting through the adjacent fabric.



I have never patched a pair of pants in my life but fortunately I still had a scrap of the original fabric.



I measured the size of the worn out area and cut out a patch, pressing the edges under with an iron.





Then I simply edgestitched the patch on, topstitching 1/4" away from the edgestitching.







Nothing fancy but it's nearly invisible -- certainly not something you'd notice if you weren't looking for it.  This is another reason why it's occasionally a good idea to keep fabric scraps from one's sewing projects.

I also need to repair the lining of my Donegal tweed peacoat from last year as this garment is also getting a lot of daily use.   I didn't do a very good job of slipstitching the lining originally, which is why this is happening.  (By the time I'm hand-sewing a lining on, my energy is flagging and I just want the whole thing to be over with.)  I also have to repair an armhole.





The coat itself, now in its second year of use, has held up beautifully and, believe it or not, is a great garment to bike in.  I've also been toying with the idea of replacing the buttons with something darker that would pop a bit more, but it's not urgent.



On the subject of mending, my mom is coming along.  She has a full week of rehab ahead of her and is scheduled to be discharged on Saturday.  Rehab is especially challenging because currently (and for the next month) she's not going to be able to put her full weight on her right leg.  The plan is for her to stay with my brother and SIL for right now.  We'll have to see how she comes along once she's out and how strong she feels.  She definitely seems more hopeful, her appetite has improved, and she's more accepting of what has happened.

And that's it.  Still not sure what I'll be sewing next but I'm feeling ready to jump into something soon. 

Have a great day, everybody!

Meanwhile, doggie dentistry is scheduled for this coming Friday!

29 comments:

  1. I, too, dislike mending.

    I'm glad to hear that your mother is healing and that her spirits are lifted. I hope that this progress continues.

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  2. Congratulations on your ability to wrangle that crotch patch under your presses foot! I don't think I could do it.

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  3. Have you tried sashiko mending?

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  4. I hate mending and alterations, because they're a chore and a bore. I'd be too embarrassed to take them to a tailor now, though, so I do break down and do them as needed. My husband, however, can fend for himself.
    Glad your mom's coming along.

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  5. Mending and alterations are just a part of life. Aren't Alterations the main reason you purchased your first sewing machine if I am not mistaken: to hem a pair of jeans/trousers.

    I'm lazy when it comes to holes like that, I just use an iron on patch. It holds it together. Sometimes I break down and do proper free motion daring with the machine with the patch on the inside and darn from the outside in a matching thread. For some jeans, i just let the holes get bigger and bigger, for character until its too much, then time for a new or another pair.

    Good luck with your mom, I hope things work out for her.

    btw the lining in your jackets, you should try bagging the lining where everything is machine stitched, just like rtw, and very secure, no handstitching required. Palmer/Pletsch have a great book on "Jackets for Real People" covers everything you need to know including bagging your jacket lining.


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  6. Even in a seated position, your readers would celebrate a photo or two featuring the effortless exuberance which has always been Sonia's stock and trade.

    Does any of this warrant making another dress for your SIL? [If so, my vote is cast for a slubby sleeveless white linen dress - preferably cut on the bias].

    A friend with a toy poodle swears, "the old dog comes back", after doggie dentistry. I'll refrain from asking for a before and after close-up on their chompers, but don't think it didn't cross my mind.

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  7. I do lots of mending for my daughter and husband so I guess I'm used to it and just do it although it's not as much fun as putting together a garment from scratch.

    I am glad your mom is better.

    Good luck with the doggie. I will be taking my dog in for a general checkup later this month…she hates it.

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  8. I have a love-hate relationship with mending. I love to get more wear out of a garment - even when it's a purchased item. And I feel a great deal of satisfaction when I mend a garment seamlessly. But actually sitting down to do it... that's the problem. I'd so much rather make something new.

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  9. so glad your mom is getting better.

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  10. Peter, I'm so glad to hear your mom is improving and getting out of rehab. As helpful as it was there is no place like home and my mom was so happy when she was finally able to leave. Have you heard of the book - Mend It Better by Kristin M. Roach? She gives great tips on mending and how you actually make the mend part of the look of the garment. Your mending you pants makes me think of those type of pants that have a gusset at the crotch area. Have you seen those pants where it looks like a semicircle patch is used as a gusset?

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    Replies
    1. Maybe I should have tried a semi-circle.

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    2. Hey, it's not like you will never have another pair to mend. I do like the diamond gusset - it does look like it was done on purpose. Just don't go with contrast. Not a good look.

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  11. I'm so glad to hear that your mom is improving. As far as mending goes, its not one of my favorite sewing activities and I usually follow the Selfish Seamstress rule of never doing anything like that for anyone but myself. However, I just violated that dictum in the worse way and replaced a broken zipper in a pair of Levis.....and let me tell you that was no casual stroll in Central Park! As a matter of fact I did it over two days, the first phase spent on getting the zipper out and sewing one side of the fly and the second on the other side and top stitching! Lord knows that if I didn't have my 401a I never would have gotten through it all.......I don't know how anyone can work with denim on the plastic crap machines they make today. Sorry Selfish Seamstress, but I had to do this in repayment for the many glass of moscato wine he's bought for me at the neighborhood saloon. Actually, I'm rather proud of the results!

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    1. So you can be had for the price of a cocktail, like a salted peanut?

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  12. Test you are sooooo bad! LOL!! I will admit that ice cold pink moscato is my "Achilles heel"..... but you better have plenty of it!

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  13. Good news about your mum!
    Now, take a page from a sewing book your mum might have used, and reinforce the inside of pants you're going to be biking in while you're making them.

    The old way was to fuse knee patches and/or extra pieces similar to what you patched on the outside, to the inside of the spots that would get the greatest wear on kid's clothes. The corners have to be rounded off for this to work well, though. This works really well if the pants have a gusset in the crotch.

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  14. I will ditto the advice to bag your linings...so much stronger and faster. And also ditto to the creating reinforcement in the pants as you're making them.
    Glad your Mom is doing better. Maybe has something to do with knowing she's getting out and will be with family.

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  15. Best wishes to your mom on her recovery! And I actually love mending, oddly... it feels very satisfying to me when I actually get around to it.

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  16. Hi Peter! I used to do a lot of patching on my son's jeans. I found it a less obvious mend if I put the patch on the inside of the fabric, and then just did a little zigzagging around the worn bit and tacking down the outer edges of the patch. It worked for him as a very active teen. Not sure if that would have worked here for you or not.

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    Replies
    1. I think this would be a better approach - less obvious.

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  17. Hurrah that your Mother's going to be getting some fresh air and new views soon! It must be helping her to face the week of rehab. Would brother & SIL permit you to keep a daily visit (she must really be pleased to know you check on her daily) to see her? Or is a routine to be figured over next weekend?

    How about making a cape for Mom? Just because?

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  18. I don't mind mending... I enjoy the quick gratification aspect of it. For jeans, I used to do the aforementioned free-motion darning thing. Now I rough cut a patch, place it behind the hole, and do a strong zigzag around the edge. Then I go back inside the garment and trim the patch to fit. It's much easier and it blends in well enough, seeing as I'm usually just mending my husband's work jeans. :-)

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  19. I am not especially fond of mending but it's a necessity if you want to keep things functional for as long as possible. If I've made it myself I'm more likely to put it at the top of the pile! Also I don't mind obvious mends - they can be really beautiful as in Japanese boro textiles.

    And speaking of mending, hope your mom's rehab goes really well and that she's up and about very soon.

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  20. Just to share: I've mended several of my own jeans that have started to fail near the seam -- but usually do the patching from the inside. It can be subtle (same fabric) or funky (bright contrast with some deco or zig-zag stitching) I don't know if it's as sturdy as patching from the outside, but I've done it this way since the 70's :)

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  21. Nice work on the mending Peter! I'm not crazy about it either, but if you have worn something out it is clearly a favorite and your investment in time to fix it will be worthwhile (to a point of course). I personally don't mind the fix being obvious; it's a merit badge repudiating rampant consumerism which one can be proud to wear.

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  22. Hi Peter, Your patch mending look really good! You did a great job sewing through all the layers when you edge stitched and topstitched the patch on. I have mended denim onto denim (sometimes on the right side, sometimes on the wrong side, then zigzagging all around and throughout the patch). And it always looks messy. So I'm really admiring what a neat job you did!

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  23. Peter it looks like I'm a little late to this party. I love your site and have been reading a bunch of your older posts. The patch job looks good and will give your jeans some extra life. Mending may not be the most exciting thing to do but I would much rather see people mend their clothes than just toss them. We live in too much of a throw away society as it is.
    You might want to invest in a darning foot for your machine. Darning with a matching thread can make a repair that is almost invisible if you're skilled enough and you don't have the extra bulk of a patch.
    Rodney

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