Tag Archives: Mending


Machine mended 3-corner tear

Have you ever done darning on a sewing machine?

I have a feeling the White can do this too, but as I was perusing the manual that came with my spanky “new” Pfaff 360 (yay, manual!) I happened on the page about machine darning.

And, well, I was feeling sewing-deprived after a week visiting home. Generally speaking, I enjoy mending about as much as alteration. Which is to say, not at all.

So on the Pfaff, at least, you don’t need to clamp your mending in an embroidery hoop. This makes it much easier to darn stuff like, say, pant legs. The darning foot is this cute little round nub, the presser-foot equivalent of a peg-leg. It isn’t as long as a regular foot, and doesn’t reach all the way to the needle plate when the foot is down. Well, it does sometimes, but it hops up and down as the needle does, pogo-sticking across the fabric.

You darn with the feed-dogs dropped, so you control speed, length, and direction of stitching by moving the fabric by hand. This means you can go back and forward and side-to-side without needing to rotate the fabric. Also a big win for fixing, say, pant-legs.

After a bit of experimenting, I dove in: loaded up the blue jeans-sewing-thread I picked up on a whim ages ago but never actually used, and pulled out some of my failing pairs of jeans.

To start, something simple: the three-corner tear my computer desk inflicted on my most recent pair of jeans a few weeks before Christmas. I threaded the  jeans over the free arm, started on the back-and-forth part of the tear, and stitched up and down the length, back and forth, and then side-to-side on the vertical part of the tear.

It was startlingly easy. I don’t think these jeans will be back on the A-list, but they’re no longer stuck in bumming-around-the-house land. Win.


Guess Jeans (taken last year, pre-tearing)

These skinny jeans are two years old, originally from Guess. The left knee is gone (typical) but a little more troublesome was the state of the rear yoke just below the belt-loops. This is a high-stress area, and holes had pulled where the bottom of the belt-loop attached.

Stitchy-stitchy magic! Back and forth, side to side.

Guess jeans mending

I still need to topstitch down the loops themselves again, but the holes are closed—my underwears will no longer be poking out! Yay!

Darning white jeans

My final masterpiece was a frayed side-seam on a pair of white jeans Osiris scored at a thrift store back in the summer—everything about them was absolutely perfect (and unworn) except for this one strange flaw. He’s been wearing them (as you can see by the grubbiness in the photos) as is, but a repair was pretty welcome.

It’s not exactly pretty, but it’ll do, and it’s not a hole!

Just yesterday I did a bunch of darns on another of Osiris’ pants, a goth/industrial pair of black cargoes that came complete with patches and a veritable forest of studs. I didn’t photograph (black, people) but repairs included the edge of one patch where it had ripped out, several worn spots in the seat and on the front, and that weird thing on the waistband with a zipper that isn’t actually a pocket. Even bought at Winners these are some of the most expensive pants he owns (not to mention his favourite) so WIN. I find myself eyeing my children’s wardrobes to see if they need any prophylactic darning…

… yeah, I’m probably in sewing withdrawal. I should have a bit of real time later today to work on my Bird on a Wire tee



Filed under Sewing

A Me-Made Week in Review

Ok, so last time I included my Me-Made June outfit in a post was on the 6th (aside from some of the sewing-room pics on the last post). Yikes! I have been getting them up over on Flickr, though.

Anyway, before I dig into that, a cute and teensy bit of mending I did over the weekend.

70s Peasant crop-top (Pre-re-elasticizing)

This is a “vintage” (my guess is 70s, it was kicking around in my dress-up clothes from the early 80s and I presume it wasn’t new then. Also it kinda screams 70s.) peasant-top that somehow I’ve never been able to pass on, although I doubt I’ve really worn it since I was fourteen or so. Maybe sixteen. Anyway, at some point in the last fifteen years the elastic has gone to that great sewing studio in the sky, or at least its springiness had, so the shirt has been kicking around in the mending for quite a while.

Me being about as good at mending as at cleaning. I’d say I was turning over a new leaf this week, but really, I can tell the energy won’t last. 😉

Anyway, it was a matter of moments to open up the elastic casings and pull out the old elastics, and only a few more minutes to thread in new elastics, hunt down Tyo to snug them to the right size (Syo’s expression when I asked if she wanted to try it on was, shall we say, unimpressed?), and sew them closed. Then I soaked in a bowl with some Oxy-Clean for a couple of hours in the hopes of brightening up the colour a bit, which I think was successful although it’s hard to tell in the photos.

Some drying later and, voila:

Tyo in the mending

I noticed a couple of interesting things about the construction of this RTW piece. First, observe, regular RTW tag, Made in Canada, even.


Next, observe side seam. Completely unfinished. And remarkably unfrayed after more than 30 years of wear, too. Anyway, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen unfinished seams in old RTW garments, but I feel like it’s an interesting thing to point out…

Unfinished side-seam

Me-Made June Review:

I’m thinking I’ll do these three at at time until I’ve caught up. I’ve really enjoyed some of the longer reviews other people do (like with a whole week of outfits) but I don’t think I can stand hunting down that many links, sorry.


June 7. I’m a ninja!

… or that’s how I felt in this outfit. Probably less stealthy, though.

Kimono Lady Grey
skinny cargoes again.


June 8. Also the day this photo was taken. A comfy, practical, and thoroughly unremarkable outfit, although I do love getting to wear this coat.

Springy Coat
Raglan knit top
Skinny jeans



June 9. The kids and I played hookie to take my brother and his girlfriend to the Tyrrell Museum of Natural History. Not the best picture ever, but somehow the only one of the hundred-some taken that day of me. 😛 Poopily, the “button cufflinks” I made for this jacket have popped off and/or broken. In any case, disappeared. Poopy.

Cropped Jean Jacket
Cowl top
Well-loved jeansWhew

Whew! Ok, that MMJ’s me out. Will catch up one of these days…


Filed under Sewing