Friday, August 25, 2017

Mending: The Underwear Edition

Three Pairs of Bloomers (mended), 2017
This morning I set about mending underwear.  These bloomers are wonderful to wear with dresses and skirts. I've sewn a few pairs over the years--for winter using soft merino wool and in finely ribbed cotton jersey for summer, trimmed with lace (see photo). Good design, good material--worth mending!

The channel that holds the elastic at the waist had come unstitched in incremental sections on two pairs. A third pair of bloomers had a couple small runs in the lightweight knit fabric--leaving horizontal lines of thread like a ladder missing the vertical threads. Usually when getting dressed in the morning, extracting one of these pairs of underwear from the drawer I'd notice the flaw and reflect, "this needs repair." Meanwhile they were wearable.

Yesterday I washed three yards of navy blue linen fabric in warm water to pre-shrink it before working with it, and added the unmended bloomers to the laundry load. Hanging them to air dry overnight, the cotton jersey fabric was slightly crisp in the morning, a perfect texture for sewing. Swapping the red thread in the sewing machine to black, I alternated between a zigzag stitch to close the gaps in the elastic channel, and a straight stitch to repair the runs in the material (sewing a virtually undetectable fisheye dart to encase the fray). With a few snips of thread it was done! Kind of cathartic. 


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