Patching

Patching

Bigger Holes? No problem!

Maybe you have a hole or a rip too gaping to darn. Or your favorite jeans have worn dangerously thin and you risk putting a knee through every time you wear them. (This happens quickly with distressed or faded jeans because of the chemical processes used to make them look worn.)


Let’s discuss a number of techniques used to patch holes and sagging rips. There are two major types of patches, overpatching and underpatching, and several different ways to attach the patch that will change the final look.

 

Overpatching

Overpatching is what most people picture when they think of a patch: a piece of fabric covering the outside of a hole. Common methods of application include:

-sewing or serging around the edges,

-using iron-on patches

-using fusible webbing around the edges of the patch.

 

Underpatching

Underpatching is applying a patch to the inside of a hole, so the fabric shows through. This method shows the ripped edges of the hole but hides the edges of the patch. Many people use a patterned or colored piece of fabric underneath for visual interest, lace also works well. Iron on patches don’t work well with this method, but fusible webbing does.

 

Sashiko

Sashiko is a sewing method that works well with both over- and underpatching. Originally a Japanese method for mending kimonos, sashiko involves covering a patch with a repeating pattern of stitches. These stitches hold the two layers of fabric together, disguise the patch’s edges, and look decorative. Sashiko ranges from lines of running stitches, to elaborate geometric patterns.

 

To apply a patch, first pick a piece of fabric and either baste it or use fusible webbing to hold it in place.

Then, sew through the patch and the garment around the edges of the damaged area.

Trim the edges, and, if overpatching, turn them under to create a hem, sew in place.
Lastly, add embroidery or sashiko as desired for extra stability and decoration.

Written by

W R I T E   T O   L A D Y   M

Have a fashion question or a fabulous and frugal tip you’d like her to share in this column?
You can email Lady M directly at
LadyM@TheImpostersLtd.com

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How to Darn

How to Darn

Does a Hole Spell the End?

It always makes me sad when my clothes develop little holes in them, since I know how fast those teeny-tiny holes can grow into unseemly, gaping ones. And it always seems that the most comfortable clothes wear out first.

But that doesn’t have to happen! Instead of throwing away your favorite shirt or regulating it to the stay-at-home clothes pile at the back of your closet, you can quickly and simply solve the problem by darning the hole.

What is darning, you say? Well, it’s not just an exclamation, it’s a time honored method of mending small holes with a needle and thread, a real wardrobe saver.

Darning is easiest on holes less than an inch in diameter. To darn a hole, you’ll need:

  • the article with a hole
  • a needle, preferably with a blunt tip
  • thread, that’s similar in weight to the fabric which you’ll be using. I’ve found mercantile crochet cotton to work well on thicker fabrics like denim or thick socks, and standard sewing thread on t-shirt cotton and other lightweight fabrics.
  • scissors or snips. It’s handy to have a little pair of scissors or snips on hand for cutting threads, so your fabric-cutting scissors don’t become dull.

First, thread your needle with about 1-2 feet of thread, depending on the size of the hole. There’s no need to knot the thread. Not knotting it keeps the darn flat, and avoids irritating bumps on the inside of your clothes.

Keeping a close eye on the tail of the thread so you don’t pull it through, sew a running stitch in an outside circle around the hole. This stitched circle should be close to the hole, but in fabric that hasn’t frayed or worn yet.

Next, you’ll lay down the warp. You do this by sewing a row of parallel threads running across the hole. Tension is important here. If these threads are too tight, they’ll pucker the fabric. If they’re too loose, the fabric will sag. Don’t worry if you mess up, though, it doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect. It’s beautiful because it’s functional.

This last step is the most fun. It’s called the weft or the woof, depending on where you live. This is a very basic weaving technique. You run another set of threads parallel to each other, and perpendicular to the warp threads from the last step. As you sew the weft, you will go under the first warp thread, over the second, under again, and so on. When you reach the other side, you’ll turn around and come back. This time, any threads you went under, you’ll go over now, like a checkerboard.

You’ll finish up by tucking the end of the thread into the darn and trimming both loose ends close to the fabric.

This is one of my early darns. I used white for the warp and sparkly blue for the weft. It’s a little loose, I’d sew it tighter if I was to redo it,  but it works!

Written by

W R I T E   T O   L A D Y   M

Have a fashion question or a fabulous and frugal tip you’d like her to share in this column?
You can email Lady M directly at
LadyM@TheImpostersLtd.com

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