Silks & Socks: Visible Mending

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Silk cut on the bias with cap sleeves, slits for movement at the hem of each side seam, bust darts that hit me just right, side zipper, french seams, back darts: This Silk Tunic. I’ve had it for over 10 years, which is long enough that I have no memory of where I got it. In some ways it is so simple, but the details are just so exquisite.

When it started to wear through in a few places, I though it was time to take it apart and pattern off of it, but then I started reading about visible mending, and wondered if I could make it last a little longer.

It’s wearing through at point of pressure, obviously, so here we see the dart pulling, and on the back behind my arm. I found a similarly-colored silk dress at Goodwill, so I used part of the interfaced collar facing to lay behind the weak spots–I hope it doesn’t prove to be too heavy for the light silk.

I used DMC floss in a very similar color as the silk. I thought about doing  a more dramatic color, but considering the location of the repair-ahem-I figured I don’t need any more attention there, just a subtle texture.  Plus, it intersects with the net overlay. The stitch is a variation on the Cretan Stitch, and had to keep adjusting to get the angle more leaf/feather-like, and filled in the gaps at the end.

leggings with hole

When I fell down rollerskating I bust a hole in the knee of my favorite thick leggings (no roller derby for me!). Rather than tossing them out, I decided to try mending them.

I layered a lighter knit behind the hole for support. Again I opted for a subtle texture, black floss on black knit, but in a radiating stitch that evokes the collision that caused the damage. Weirdly, I like the pants more now with the repair. ❤

These socks are my other rescue mission. They’re SmartWool socks that I wear all the time, and have already lasted three times longer than all my other socks. Before I got these socks, I didn’t know that wearing socks could be a joy! I love how warm the wool is, and the festive striping makes me smile. There was a time when I would have laughed if anyone had predicted that I would be using my time and sewing skills to repair socks–how unglamorous! But my attachment to their prolonged existence is twofold: They were all gifts, and…do you know how expensive these suckers are?! It seemed a betrayal on all fronts to just scrap them or turn them into rags.  This is still a work-in-progress (WIP), so I’ll post more pics later.

When I think of visible mending, I hear the name Tom of Holland most often. He does amazing work! Who else is out there? Share in the comments or tell me about some of your own visible mending!

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