last november i joined the Love what you wear project.
there are quite a few of us now committed to not buying any new clothes for a whole year.
i have suceeded so far and i plan to make a few items and refashion some others, although since i started i have sewn a lot for others but not yet for myself.
Morwhenna has started a virtual sew along on a tuesday between 7 and 9 pm so we can share what we are working on and also ask the group for advice. this is a great idea and as i still haven't started on a project for me i thought i would tackle the large repair on my guys linen jeans that i had been putting off as i wondered whether they could even be repaired!
take a look
the fabric has worn so thin over the holes and it is a pretty lightweight linen anyway. here's a close up.
Jen wanted to know how to patch. i have patched many denim jeans before and these were a little different but essentially most of the process was the same. so here is what i did for these;
first i looked in my stash for a good colour match. normally i would use a similar weight but i wanted greater stability so i decided not to use linen or cotton but i found a lovely soft wool. now i knew wool may not be great from a laundering point of view but as i plan to cool wash or hand wash these i'm happy that this will avoid any shrinkage.
Next i cut a piece of wool to cover the holes and the area where the fabric was thinning. I placed the trousers inside out over the end of my ironing board and pinned the patch on from the inside first.
then i turned over to work from the right side and re-pinned from the front (i then took the pins at the back out). It is really important to get everything flat. The wool fabric is now creating a new fabric behind the holes. please note that the holes cannot be pulled together as you risk getting an unsightly pucker and altering the drape of the garment.
with a matching sewing thread and taking small stitches i stitched around the whole area to secure the wool patch. i then took further small stitches, about 1cm apart around the holes to keep the fabric flat. you may be able to see a few hand stitched areas on the next photo.
when i was happy that the patch was secure i threaded up my sewing machine thread in a close colour match. Many people now use contrast threads and funk it up but as these are his 'posh' summer trousers i thought i would go subtle.
as i was going to 'darn' over the patch i needed to drop the feed dogs on my machine. Feed dogs are the rough teeth that sit under your presser foot and move the fabric along as you sew. on some machines you can drop the teeth and on others you cover them with a clear plastic cover. I then attached my darning foot, which is also the embroidery foot. The process is the same as with free machine embroidery (think poppy treffry). with freehand and darning you move the fabric independently to create the stitches.
i set the stitch length and width to zero for darning and then placed the fabric under the foot ready to sew. i stitched lines up and down over the patching with just a few stitches across at the top and bottom to flow one line into the next.
with darning the fabric stays facing the same way and is not turned as this can cause the needle to break. when i had finished my up and down stitches i stopped, took the fabric out and turned it 90 degrees, replaced it under the foot and stitched over the first lines up and down again to create a 'weave'.
can you see?
and another detail
so here they are finished and not a hole in sight!
i also had to neaten up and restitch the fell seam too as some of the threads where coming away.
i don't know how long they will last but hopefully most of the summer, when it finally arrives.
the final thing i did was trim back the wool patch on the inside to remove any excess fabric. usually i would turn a hem and stitch this in but as the wool is thick i haven't bothered. it's pretty secure and looks ok from the inside too. this next photo is before i trimmed it back close to the stitching, but it gives you an idea of how the inside looks.
well i hope you held with me there on this very long post and that the photos are clear enough ( i took them with my phone camera in very poor light).
i do hope that this will be of interest to those of you who wish to have a go at patching. this method is, i think is a fairly traditional one but there are also many other methods, so if you don't fancy this one, google 'patching' and i'm sure there will be lots of alternatives.