Friday, June 14, 2019
Another mending project
My friend showed up the other day with a blouse she had bought at the second-hand shop, which after she brought it home turned out to have a tear where the sleeve meets the body, the sure sign of a garment that's too tight between the bust and the shoulder. Could it be fixed? she wondered.
Because the blouse was mostly silk, it not only tore but shredded, and I didn't want to re-cut the entire bodice of the blouse, so I needed a patch that would be strong and stable enough to prevent further shredding. Fortunately the shredding was only on the bodice, not on the sleeve, so I would only have to use one patch before re-stitching the seam.
The blouse didn't have a turned-up hem or turned-back placket with enough material to yield up a patch, but it did have a breast pocket. I unstitched most of the pocket, cut a hunk of fabric out from underneath, and closed it back up with a double layer of organza, a lightweight-but-strong fabric that makes great mending material.
Opened up the armhole seam, cleared away all the thread bits, trimmed off the shredded fabric. Started to get the patch ready to sew, when -- klong -- I noticed that there was a twin tear/shred on the other sleeve as well! We hadn't noticed that in the initial inspection.
It was exactly like the first tear/shred, except a little narrower. Easily patched -- except that I had only the one piece of fabric. The pocket was already mended and sewed back together and I was NOT going to go back and do that again to get another patch!
So I cut the fabric piece in two, one side a little wider than the other. I sewed each one just barely covering the shredded area, as much as I could spare from my salvaged fabric. Clearly these patches couldn't constitute the entire repair; the seams were only an eighth-inch wide, and they would pull apart under the slightest bit of stress.
But I had several minutes of cussing and self-flagellation when I discovered that second tear. There are several morals to this story: If you find one tear in a too-tight garment, keep looking -- there may be others. Don't close up your surgical incision until you're sure you don't need anything else in there. Organza is really good to have around. But most important, don't give up!