Monday, June 3, 2013

Mend It Monday: torn shirt

I think this might be the sweet spot in the life of my style. When I was in college, I tried to dress young but not too slutty (if I had to TRY to dress young when I WAS young...then I guess I had problems!) When I got married, I thought "I'm somebody's wife now, time to be extra modest in my clothing". When I had a baby, I thought "I'm a mom but PUHLEASE I don't want to look like one". A year into mommyhood, with 30 breathing down my neck, I think I've come full circle. These days, I don't give a flying fig what anyone thinks about how I dress. I don't know if it's my age, or my ability to sew my own clothing, but it's freeing not to care. I'm a wife, I'm a mom, I don't have a job, who in the world would I be trying to impress? Nobody. I still have a good 10 years before AB will be embarrassed to be around me. Time to take advantage of this freedom!

(And yes, I do like dressing to impress my husband. If he compliments my outfit, it makes my day. But I have clothes I LOVE that he HATES, so I learned a long time ago not to live and die by his opinion. Doesn't mean I don't love him!)

By the way, make sure you vote in the poll for Friday posts! Look over there in the sidebar! ----->

All of that just to talk about this shirt for Mend It Monday. A zillion years ago, I bought a jersey blouse from Old Navy on a total whim. It was that time when loose, breezy clothing was coming into style, and everybody was wearing off the shoulder t-shirts ripped at the neckline. I barely wore it because I thought it was a touch too revealing. Now that I no longer live on a college campus with 15,000 drunk 20-something men (boys), it's not so bad! But sadly, it did get a tear in it.

And here's a photo showing the shirt on me. I have another shirt on under it so you can see the tear more clearly.

It's a strange bit of damage. It looks like someone took scissors and cut a line. Most of the repairs I make come from worn out clothing, but this literally came out of the washing machine with this tear in it. Maybe I washed a pair of scissors with it?

When confronting a mending project, you have lots of options. I considered the most simple one, stitching up the tear, but I thought it would look obvious, and not in a good way. Maybe if it had been a print and I could hide the sewing, but not on a white shirt. I decided to patch it with some scrap fabric.

I had a ton of scraps to choose from, but it was important to pick something of a similar weight. I also wanted  another knit fabric, since the shirt is made from knit jersey. This fabric is a waffle knit and it's from a shirt I bought at Goodwill. I love the fun print and I used part of the shirt already for a diaper for AB. I definitely want to use the rest for a dress for her at some point, or maybe some jammies.

I chose a part of the print I wanted for the patch and placed it over the tear to get an idea of size.

I centered the "ROCK" part directly over the tear. The rest is just there for stability at this point. Now, more decisions! Did I want to put the patch on top of the shirt, or underneath? I decided to sew it on top, because the tear wasn't big enough to actually see through. I could have cut it further, but I didn't want it to look too forced.

You could sew a patch on using your machine, or by hand. Back when I read Mend It Better (a great book!) it talked about using embroidery thread and stitches. I had some grey embroidery thread, so I used that. I made some quick X-shaped stitches all around the ROCK portion, checking to make sure I was going around the tear. Five minutes later, viola!

I trimmed around the part I wanted to keep, and since it's a knit, the edges won't fray.

I wasn't feeling very photogenic, sorry! It's not a perfect solution (it kind of looks like I'm wearing a button), but I'm fine with how it turned out. I like this shirt a lot now and didn't want to lose it over a stupid rip in the fabric. I may even try to copy it one of these days.

Any mending going on in your neck of the woods? Too bad I didn't have some of these flowers from Pick Your Plum, then I could have just tossed one of them on this shirt and been done with it!


  1. With the location of that tear, you could have made a little pocket, that might be cute too! I just mended 4 items for my neighbor, but it was a good trade - she baked me cookies and sent over a bottle of wine as a thank you =)

    1. Wow, you're so right! Why didn't I think of that haha? I might take the patch off and rework it :)

    2. Beth, you are such a sport, thanks for sharing!

    3. Notice that in the first pic, the tear is on the opposite side to the rest?!

    4. Some of the photos were taken in a mirror :)


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