Tag Archives: mending

Macro Monday: Mending Question

One word describes my darning abilities:

Heeelpp! 😱


silly saturday

PSA! (Public Service Announcement)

Watch your Spam folders, Lovelies, as they’re having a field day.

And now on to the chronology of my Thursday mend project.

(The silly part)

Remember the placement, Lovelies…

Thought this was the tip of at least half a yard…

Oops. The cut out bit was my first piece… phew! 😳

Between Silk & Synt– hope that’s ok…

Remember that bit???


Let’s try this again


unpicking pockets (aka, refashioning)

This has become a somewhat muddled accumulation of maybe too many things, and if I ever get all the old links linked properly it will be a minor miracle, which is why I’ve been putting off writing, but here goes . . .

Sewing terminology:
  • Refashion – To make changes to an existing garment, such as cutting a dress to make a skirt, or blouse; or combining pieces of fabric from several different garments to make a new garment.
  • Seam ripper – A small tool used to remove stitches.
  • Unpick – To unpick is to carefully remove stitching, frequently, a seam or seams.

This summer—still considering it’s summer as we’re still having some 80 degree days— I’ve been doing more refashioning than new fashion.

Must say its felt like an obstacle, like an unending pile of repairs to be completed before going on to the fun of sewing something new.

Thus, it’s been surprising to read online that refashioning is so current. What? I’m on-trend?! 😳

What’s being/been chopped up? Basically, dresses made roughly five years ago. I hadn’t been inclined to wear them at all this summer, and needed more tops, so . . .

Also several hems were raised from the waist instead of re-hemming as there were hem features I didn’t want to disturb. Oh, and several pockets got added to existing items. Plus two pockets removed from a dress-that’s-now-a-blouse.

Then along came Love to Sew’s Refashioning podcast, including great suggestions I can use for a certain very holey linen knit. (Intentionally misspelt because it’s faaar from “holy.” 🥴)

Do popover and at least scroll through all the wonderful examples listed. Just looking at them should give you ideas. It did for me.

Then The Fold Line included a very intriguing BBC programme about forecasting trends…

“When the distinguished trends forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort provides her vision of the future in her General Trends Books, her pronouncements are eagerly awaited by those working in the worlds of fashion and design. She talks to Mary about the reasons behind the one forecast she’s made that the fashion world hasn’t wanted to hear – Fashion is dead. However it’s not all bad news as she shares her thoughts about the trends she thinks will be influencing what we’ll be wearing in the very near future…”

Her web site mentions concepts of forgiveness, understanding, comprehension, and compassion.

Li Edelkoort: “We need to trust our instincts to build a better future, full with genuine love towards ourselves and others, even those at fault. . . Desire needs to be embedded in empathy.”

In keeping with her thoughts, I do feel good about my summer’s very different kind of sewing, partly because some old favourites are “new” again, and combine with other pieces for more use.

Now for the refashioning thus far . . .

The rayon top (used to be a dress) works well with the cut offs made several summers ago. I’d like to make another set or two like these, as they are in constant rotation. (Click pic to go to 2013 dress.)

This green cotton print was originally made in 2013 and got a lot of wear. When I decided to cut it off I cut it a bit longer, because of the neckline gathers. They make the waist wider.

That meant I needed to cut into the two side seam pockets. That meant I needed to unpick those pockets. (Now the title makes sense. 😉) However, that wider waist is making me a tad nervous because it can get windy here… we shall see how it works.

The black linen skirt I’ve paired with this is one of the skirts shortened from the waist to save the skirt vent. It was originally a full length RTW dress I cut into a skirt and blouse. (Click pic to see original green dress; no photo of original RTW dress.)

Phew. If you’ve made it all the way you deserve a treat. Your choice! I’m opting for dark chocolate… 🍫

a winter purge ?

We left off with crossed appendages and plans for non-electricity-needing projects. My neck of the woods fared well—many thank-you’s for everyone’s good thoughts. 😘😘

Not so for other folk, and if any of you spot organizations accepting clothing for them, please let me know. I’d be delighted to send things along to those who need literally everything.

Have spend time both increasing and working on The Mend/Refashion Pile whilst listening to P.D. James’ Murder Room on cd. Excellent story, and am so impressed with the author!

I seem to remember Adam Dalgleish being on TV years ago, but cannot remember the name of the series. Does anyone else remember? Roy Marsden in “The Sandbaggers” comes to mind, but I’m not sure that was P.D. James.

Going back to the M/R Pile… Finally decided to add the second pocket to these, and only had to rip one side out once. An improvement!

Am having a heck of a time with my wardrobe planning, chiefly because I cannot figure out what descriptive words to use. As I am no longer office-bound that professional suit stuff can finally be ditched… except for maybe one navy pants suit. Just in case. 😉

The rest of my Dream Wardrobe is nebulous. The heat down here lasts about nine months of the twelve, so I’m trying to accomodate that. But my heart has always belonged to “a good piece if wool” as mum used to say.

Deep sigh…

I think more trousers are needed, but weight and style is very undecided, as are tops to go with. And dresses, for some reason, which I am finding difficult to even consider. Veddy strange for moi.

Am considering trying a pattern with different cup sizing, just to see if there’s a difference, as I seem to be on the lower edge of all that. Just to try something different.

Above A.L.L., everything has to be comfortable. After spending too many years in offices wearing things a little too tight and heels with pointy toes, have had it with anything not totally comfortable.

So, how to express that in two or three words eludes me at the mo. But am trying not to allow that to stop me from going through the three rather large containers of cold weather clothes.

A good sort out is definitely in order. Give me strength! And maybe additional dark chocolate rations… hehehee! 🤣 🥰 🤪

Monday, monday

First, the BIG news: That cold front from Canada is pushing into the area.

HUGE THANK YOU ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 😍🥰😍

And so we go from 100 plus to low 80’s (or from over 40 to 20’s).

The Not So Good News is the heat seems to have migrated over to dear U.K. and European regions. That is seriously NOT a Good Thing. 😾 🤬 😾

Opened my curtains (thermal blackout fabric to keep heat/cold out) for the first time in almost two weeks. See here, here, and here for more information on blackout cloth and some photos.

An update on mending…

I dug out my book on mending and discovered 12 pages on mending knits. TWELVE pages! At the very end I discovered another suggestion, which seemed more practical (meaning a lot less hassle than reweaving).

Deciding that cotton embroidery would be too heavy for this light weight knit, I remembered ribbon embroidery and did a quick search for some books at the library. Nada. 😳

Then I remembered I had a book on ribbon embroidery from ages ago (1995). Surely I hadn’t tossed it out…

Nope, found it and started working through the endless bits of a large unsorted collection of ribbons and laces and such. Spent lots of time pulling out bits of lacy stuff and placing on green knit. Just for effect, you know… and didn’t like any of it.

I did manage to find two ribbons that might look okay, then wondered if I had enough for the repairs.

Time to get serious and count how many holes there are:

  • 3 on back right shoulder
  • 1 on back left shoulder
  • 2 on lower back toward center
  • 11 on lower front right


I think a lot of the joy just left . . . . .

fixed frays

Thought you might like to see frayed stuff mended, so here are a few piccies.  Hope they inspire someone else to work on their pile!

And did another neckline job, just to get this definitely-only-a-house-dress onto both shoulders. Just too difficult to scrub the tub with one sleeve hanging!  Yes, this is shapeless, but it’s soooo comfy I just love the soft fabric.  Makes cleaning up more of a treat… well, sort of!

mending + buttons

Being reminded of a certain dress neckline that’s too large and has troubled me since making it, I decided to try out some of the suggestions I’d bravely given, in an attempt to take my own advice.

I tried on the over-the-head problem dress and finger-measured about how much to take in that gaping neckline.  Guessed it would be about 2 inches, all the way round.

Hoping for once I was guess-timating rightly, I pinned in 4 equi-distanced finger tucks, two in front and two in back.  Note that I got out my special safety-pin pin cushion.

I didn’t want to get stuck by pins when pulling the dress on or off.  Even worse would have been loosing a pin. Where would it go? Would I find it only after stepping on it?  Sitting on it?  The opportunities seemed endless, and painful.  So I took the itsy extra step to use safety pins. Glad I did.  (No problems, they were fine.)

All the sewing gods & goddesses were smiling, and the quick fix seemed fine.  There were four little pleats, front and rear sets pleated toward the centre.

I was feeling pretty cocky about now, because everything had worked out so well thus far.  Well . . . . .

You’d think after sewing down so many pleats in all my summer dresses that these would be easy.  I certainly thought it would be the easiest part of the project.  No. The second pleat, in the front, went wonky.  And I had too much angst to unpick it and do it right.  Neeext idea?

BUTTONS!  I love them.  I love playing with them, looking through them, trying different colours… that sounded like a fun extra/next step.

Perfect!  Not only did I find two shiny ones, but I think they mirror the record disk that’s centered (more or less) between them.

Ta-da!  One job completed, tested by wearing, and definitely approved of!

weekly photo challenge: fray

Such a gift!  Thank you, WordPress Photo Gurus!  Just what I’ve had hanging at my elbow for several days, and am about ready to tackle: mending a bit of frayed fabric!  Once more into the mind of a sewer!

FRAY, n. [L. fractura, from frango, frico.] 1. A boil, quarrel or violent riot… This is the vulgar word for affray… 2. A combat… 3. contention… 4. A rub; a fret or chafe in cloth...  from the 1828 dictionary, down at the bottom of the linked page

As I hope the photos illustrate, there are different kinds of fraying, and some cannot be avoided in certain kinds of cloth, like denim.   Ever wonder why the jeans are so stitched up around seams?   Anyone remember the fad for cutoff jeans, and how they frayed so nicely at the cut-off point?   ‘Nuff said.

There’s also fraying-that-becomes-fringe, as a decorative element.  Chanel used this sometimes, as part of her iconic jacket styling.  It’s also seen a great deal in wool scarves, and other fine woolen garments… wool can fray so nicely, and create a soft addition that still lends warmth to the garment.

More comments on fraying, Dear Sewing Readers?

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