Mending 101

It’s sad but true that mending has become a lost art. A little hole that was no big deal for Grandma, can now spell death for a favorite garment.

The Damsel understands. She used to keep a basket of things that needed mending, which she took periodically to Grandma. But now the Damsel must do her own mending, and it’s a shame she didn’t pay better attention.

We’ll take this step by step. For today’s lesson, the Damsel will tackle the easiest type of mending—a seam that has become unsewed.

The first step is analyzation, with the goal to restore the garment to its previous condition. So you need to examine how the seam was originally made, and then restore it.

Here we have a ratty old tee-shirt, belonging to Sprog #4. The seam along the side has come unsewed. The Damsel doesn’t ask why. Some things are better left unsaid.

Turn the shirt inside out and look at the seam. By continuing the seam where it broke off, the mend can be made easily. For a mend like this, it’s simple to use a sewing machine, since the affected area is easily accessible.

If the garment is worth the trouble, choose thread that matches what was used originally. For a ratty tee-shirt, the Damsel uses whatever is in the machine at the time, and tells the tee-shirt in no uncertain terms that it was an inch from the ragbag. Don’t worry too much about the Damsel talking to tee-shirts. It was only just this once.

Position the sewing machine an inch or two before the broken seam. Select a stitch type that resembles what was used before. Pin if you like. The Damsel doesn’t like. Backtack and sew the seam to just past the point where the seam came unsewed, or in this case, to the end. Backtack again.

Clip the threads, and turn to the right side. Sometimes you’ll need to give the new seam a press with an iron to get things looking cozy again. The Damsel can’t bring herself to iron a ratty tee-shirt. She just can’t. That’s one step too far.

Homework: Do you have something with a little hole in a seam? Don’t be scared. Try mending it and report back.

4 thoughts on “Mending 101

  1. I adore the fact you don’t like to pin.

    Do you by any chance also know how to mend a quilt? By that, I mean replace a square from a quilt that has a hole in it without having to take the whole thing apart? There are women who can do this, but I can’t figure out how you sew a square back in when you only have access to the front of the quilt. I’m a sewing novice, if you couldn’t tell.

  2. That’s a really good question…I haven’t done that, but I’ll as my quilt expert friend about it.

  3. with the quilt fixing, seems to me that it would be something you would have to do by hand! not difficult, either patch the hole or remove the square and sew another one in. might have to manhandle the quilt a bit to get the third and 4th seams in, but i’m sure it will forgive you once it is once again intact! it’s like sewing a pillow closed once the stuffing is in, you make a few stitches, then you pull them tight once your fingers are out of the way!

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