Saturday, January 21, 2017

Make do and mend.

I have taken up my needle and thread to mend clothes rather than running right out to buy replacements for stuff that is a little worn. As such, I have been doing things like letting out hems on pants as the boys get taller and patching worn out knees in blue jeans (on an almost weekly basis). I also have been fixing the hems on my dresses as the stitching starts to wear and reparing Beloved's slacks when they have issues.

I started out using those iron on patches. They are an ok temporary fix. I then started using the patches that are sewn on. I tried sewing from the right side of the fabric and from the wrong side of it. I tried doubling the patches over. They kept ripping out. I tried fabric glue, but that doesn't work too great.

Then I started darning the holes in stuff with some of my yarn remnants from the last year of crafting. As a result, I am finding that the mending actually is lasting longer. I did one with dishcloth cotton yarn. And I have done one with double knitting weight worsted acrylic. The dishcloth cotton was worked on the right side of the fabric and the acrylic was worked on the wrong side of the fabric. Of the two, Snuggle Bug has yet to pick a favorite.

I also repaired one of my favorite pairs of mittens. It is a commercially knit pair of mittens that are partly fingerless gloves and they have a flap for the mitten part to go over the fingers. The join where the thumb meets the back of the hand was coming apart. So, I took out my red acrylic yarn (the one with the smooth texture rather than the scratchy one) and darned that. I learned from when I had to darn one of the boy's mitten's last winter, when I do the weaving go over it initially in that plain weave of vertical and horizontal. Then, do another weave through it at a 45 degree angle before weaving in my ends. It makes for a much more solid fabric.

All of the darning I have been doing this evening has been done with a blunt tapestry needle. It was a bit more work to push it through the denim but I think that the long term pay out of having the yarn for the patch rather than thread is worth the passing frustration. Also, doing my mending by hand right now is cost effective. I have a Singer and an off brand miniature sewing machine (intended for kids). The Singer needs to get repaired. The off brand miniature machine doesn't have the strength to punch through multiple layers of felt. I don't think it would have the gusto to go through denim, never mind the additional work I would have had to do in opening up the seam, the repair, and then restitching the seam. So, I am darning things by hand.

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