Saturday, November 23, 2013

Mending Impulses

I've been experiencing a bit of a sewing urge and mending seemed like the best thing for what little time I have free at the moment.

I don't know how long I've had this J. Peterman nightshirt (yes, that J. Peterman), but I think it's at least ten years.  I love it, but it's started to show its age.  In fact, the description says it's made of cotton flannel, and there's nothing flannel about it now.  While the ladyfriend suggested I just buy another one, I thought I'd repair it instead.  Besides, it's made in China, and I'm looking for alternatives to that.

Some time ago I saw a beautifully patched Japanese farmer's coat at the Textile Museum in Toronto.  I loved how it was patch upon patch, which spoke not only to the thriftiness of the owner (or owner's spouse) but also to the care and attention they believed the item deserved.
Patched Japanese Farmer's Jacket
Another patched jacket
So I started fixing the nightshirt.  Here were the most pressing issues:

A tear in the sleeve
 Frayed cuffs
 Little holes at the bottom of the front placket
First I ironed the sleeve.  I put this in here because in the past I would never have bothered to iron it, but I had picked up Mend It Better by Kristin M. Roach at the library (love, love, love the library), and that's the first thing she suggested.

Then I whip stitched the edges of the tear and cut away the excess threads.
I had bought a stack of fat eighths at the workroom in Toronto awhile ago, ostensibly to make a gift for some kids, but that never happened.  So I chose one and made a patch, ironing the raw edges under.  I used a whip stitch to sew it in place.
Then I tackled the cuffs.  While Ms. Roach didn't have a section on this, I knew that making bias tape and sewing it to the cuffs would probably be the best option for me although I don't know why I thought making bias tape at home (with few real sewing supplies around) would be a breeze.  It wasn't bad actually, but next time I'd make it a little wider.  For some reason I thought 1/4 inch would be good.  Nonetheless, with a little running stitch and patience I got 'em done.

Finally, the little holes.  For these I decided embroidery would be best.  It's clear that I'm a little rusty despite my super cute (if I may say so myself) sampler I made awhile back.
I'm excited to continue to extend the life of this and other items I have.  It just feels so right.

1 comment:

  1. Me likey! In another 10 years you may have yourself a Boro night shirt.