Monday, April 28, 2014

Made do and mend: 50s skirt tear

Still gloating over my success with stains reported yesterday, I decided to tackle a favorite skirt of mine.

This is one of the few items that I was set to sell, then saw the photos I’d taken and just had to keep. This skirt, dating from the 1950s, is black acetate taffeta with a beautiful flocked pattern. There is an attached black tulle crinoline and the waistband is comfortable elastic with a black velvet surface.

Because of that waistband the skirt is uncommonly easy to wear...and vulnerable. The vulnerability is that when the elastic is stretched, the fabric to which it is stitched can tear. One fairly big tear had been mended by a previous owner.

I often like to imitate how an item was made when repairing, or even follow the lead of a previous mender. In this case I find the mend a tiny bit franken-skirt and I’m not particularly thrilled with the taffeta being sewn to the tulle on the inside. You can see the top of this mend has given out.

This is the newer rip that has developed for the same reason.

I am no expert on this type of repair, but I think it could use a little backing for security. I ironed on dark fusible interfacing with the help of a press cloth, then pick-stitched around the tear. Finally I hand sewed across the opening with moderately small stitches. 

I feel it is nicely secure and reasonably inconspicuous (many thanks to that flocked pattern). Would you have done this differently? It would be great to know the best mend in case I spring another leak. 

 I’m not sure how long this will last but I hope forever, because I love the skirt!


Past Pieces Vintage said...

That's such a pretty skirt, Denise, and I'm glad you were able to do such a handsome mend. Wear it in good health for many years to come.

Agnes said...

I worry that interfacing may not be strong enough as it is a fairly weak material - I might have used a light weight woven fabric with small stitches to create a patch. But if the interfacing holds up then you are good to go. If it does not, then consider using a light weight tightly woven fabric to support behind next time.

denisebrain said...

Thank you for the suggestion Agnes...I will keep that in mind!