How to Mend Fabrics–Vintage and Modern

Thank goodness I inherited this darning egg from my mother-in-law.   I doubt I could buy one–except in an antique store.

Almost no one mends any more.  Which is a shame.  Mending is green and thrifty.  In less time than it takes to pick out a new pair of socks and walk to the cash register, I can mend a hole and keep both socks out of the land fill.

Mending makes sense for all of us.

It’s an essential skill if you  live with vintage linens  like I do.   These wonderful fabrics have a lot going for them– but they do need occasional repair.   Here’s how I patched a worn spot  in a favorite pillow case made from a vintage bed spread.

First make a patch.  It should have wide margins and rounded corners.  Match it as closely as possible, but don’t add too much weight.  I used a scrap of vintage table cloth for my patch because it is tightly woven and light.

If you have a sewing machine, zigzag around the edges of your patch  twice.  The rest of the sewing will be done by hand. 

Pin patch on the back side of the hole.   Stitch by hand around the edge of the patch.

Flip the fabric over  and work an inner circle of stitches to anchor the two fabrics together. 

Since my hole has some threads left, I followed up with several rows of  running stitches  across the loose threads.

Knot, cut threads, step back and it’s hard to see the patch.

The whole process only took about 15-20 minutes, but saved a piece of fabric that was generations old.  Well done. 

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