If my first week of Project Mending was all about Quick Hits, then last week was definitely the complete opposite!This is one of two big, frayed, worn-through-fabric rips in THE most gorgeous pair of vintage silk harem pants, given to me by my lovely friend J. with the words ‘you might be able to do something with them or use the fabric’. I think you can probably guess which rather vital four-way seam we are looking at here… yes: Oh Dear. But folks, this garment is TOO fabulous to be cut up. I had to at least have a go at repairing it!
First job was to trim away all those frayed edges on the main rip to see what’s going on. The silk is fairly worn in places and it’s quite fine anyway, so there’s nothing much to get your needle into. Next I tested some scraps of iron-on interfacing in different weights on the inside of the pockets to find one that wouldn’t affect the drape too much. I found a very lightweight vilene did the job, and even small pieces stayed fused to the fabric. There were also a few holes here and there in the fabric as well as the tears. Some little squares of interfacing ironed on underneath the small holes stopped them from getting any worse and allowed me to sew them up without making huge puckers in the fabric
The finished result isn’t perfect when you look close up, but on a pair of baggy silk pants it really doesn’t notice too much!For the bigger tears, I cut strips of interfacing about 1/2″ wide and ironed them one piece at a time along each of the ripped edges, with some scrap fabric underneath to protect my ironing board cover. This was rather painstaking I have to say, and if I didn’t LoVE these pants so much I’m not sure I’d have had the patience!I did consider using the sewing machine to do the seam, but it was one of those tears that kind of travels out into the fabric and I decided it would look much neater if I did the whole thing by hand. First I did some tiny backstitches on the inside to re-attach the fabric to the original seam allowanceThen for the seam itself and its ‘travel-out’ tear I worked from the right side and used a little catch-stitch to close up the torn edges. Working into the interfacing gave me something stable to sew into, and also prevented the fabric from fraying any further.A bit of a press and some steam, and Ta-Dah!I’m not claiming this to be a ‘couture’ repair, nor that my method is the best; there are some bits of white interfacing visible if you look close, and the mend has puckered the fabric a little. But y’know what? – I’m OK with that. You can’t really see any of it once the pants are on. I had to alter the bottom cuffs as well, and I’m toying with the idea of dropping the waistband as my [ahem] Repaired Seam Area is still rather low. So it’s been quite a bit of work, but overall I have to say it’s been worth it. ‘cos getting to wear these instead of consigning them to the scrap bag makes me REALLY HAPPY!!Wishing you all a vibrantly silky kinda week 🙂