Saturday, April 19, 2014

Make do and mend: The 12-day challenge

In my last post I explained how busy a month it is for me and how hard it is to get to mending and cleaning of my favorite clothing with a schedule that is packed to bursting.

Now there are 12 days left in the month and 12 items are on my agenda to fix. Can I do it? I’m not entirely sure! Stay tuned to find out.

I am starting today with one of my favorite items in need of help, a relatively recent (purchased about four years ago) jacket by Anne Klein. It was radiant orchid before anyone was talking about radiant orchid, and when I wear this jacket people tend to comment on how good the color is on me.

Last fall I was on a weekend trip to Seattle and Ibeing Mistress of the Grand Gesture—ripped out a seam at the back of an armhole. I didn’t have a sewing kit with me so inquired about one at the desk of the motel where we were staying. The best color thread in their little give-away kit was closer to Seattle Sky Grey than Radiant Orchid but I made do and tried to sew up the seam thoroughly and as inconspicuously as possible.

This was meant to be very temporary but of course I didn’t go to replace the stitching until today, a few days after my hand sewing ripped out. This time I did it right, with a sewing machine. I had to unpick the lining for a short stretch at the hem in order to get at the seam properly, but once it was open I could make a sturdy machine-sewn repair.

I happened to have the exact right color of thread from a project in the 1980s (this color is not new!) and I sewed the seam twice, being the Grand Gesture Princess. I briefly thought of reinforcing the other armhole in case I might care to wave my left arm about madly in the future, but decided I’m too much of an optimist.

Then all that remained was to hand sew the short stretch of lining at the hem.

And here it is, my sturdy seam, ready for one of my famous grand gestures:

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