neighbors and friends are always asking me to "mend" things. i don't mend. i am a quilter. do u get that too?
can u make curtains for me
neighbors invited me over for a glass of wine. while i was there,
they said, show mandy the comforter.
she brings out this king size down comforter that has an L-shape rip in it and it's all frayed.
can u fix it? is it fixable?
i just said, not my expertise. i am a quilter.
but can't you put it on the sewing machine?
the wine stopped flowing and so did the conversation. are u kidding me?
yesterday they showed me a pillow they had bought. the guy ripped off the manufacturer tag. well he blew out the seam as well.
can u fix it?
best buy a new pillow. they are going to try to return it. yah good luck with that buddy. i don't know how it happened, it just happened.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: mandylifeboats,
I often hesitated to take on "mending" when I was still working, because if you do it once you get asked to do it over and over. Just like you I declined saying that I might make the area worse instead of better they made a hasty retreat! I broke my sewing machine mending my DH's pants. I could have bought at least 4 new pair for what it cost to repair my machine. Never again.
I get that once in a while, but I have no idea how to mend. I usually explain that quilting is basically a straight line, sewing is not.
I had made a purse once and a lady at the Vet's office was hinting that maybe I could make her one. She was shocked when I told her how much money I had into the materials. I told her that didn't include anything for the time it takes spent on making it. I told her that she would probably be better off buying a Vera Bradley! That was the end of that!
I hate even mending something for myself!!! Only other person I ever mended for was Mama. I'm not a seamstress for hire.
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
Not a problem -- all my friends sew, and that's why they're my friends!
Oh wait - I take that back - one friend doesn't sew but she loooooves to shop. She would toss something ripped in a heartbeat, grab the car keys, and head straight for Kohl's -- then call me while she was there.
DH occasionally brings something to me that needs to be fixed, but I don't mind. It's a labor of love. And then I say, "Look how much money my machine just saved us!" I don't have to justify my hobby, but it's nice when I can.
DS sends or brings me his old jeans, I fix them, and then I leave them in his former closet here. That way, when he comes to visit, he basically needs to bring only a toothbrush, if that (I have spares of those in his former bathroom, too).
I can mend but i only due it when I feel like it. Hate to tell you how long I have had things hanging on the back of the door waiting to be fixed.
Do it for anyone else. You have got to be joking. That is what dry cleaners are for.
I did mend a couple of things for my son when I was in Colorado after Portland, but he asked me before I was coming so I could bring the correct color thread and a needle. Considering he got to enjoy the fixed items for less than two weeks... Chris
Jeans are tough to fix! More power to ya, girl.
My neighbor wanted me to take in her jeans. She said,"Can't you just fold them over and sew up one seam?" I looked at the thicknesses of the pockets plus decorative stitching plus back and front and said, "no,". "It's just one seam" No wasn't an option with her, she wanted to use my machine. I finally said that I didn't want to break it. sheesh...
"It's bad to supress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips."
A friend said to me last week, "Oh you're a quilter aren't you? I needa dress taken up for a wedding...." Sorry.
I think I finally have convinced my DDIL that shortening jeans into shorts every summer for my DGS's can be done without me hemming the bottom of the cut offs.
I'm such a good mom that I even mended DS's jeans by hand when we were on vacation together. He arrived there with a suitcase of jeans losing stitches. Of course, I had brought sewing supplies with me. Have needle & thread, will travel!
My mom did the prettiest hand sewing. Her hems put in by hand were a work of art. She used to somehow re-weave my father's sweaters if he got a hole (in the days when sweaters came with extra yarn), and darn his socks. Now that's where I'd draw the line with mending for DH.This message has been edited. Last edited by: StarrySky,
Mending- ugh! But earlier today I put a zipper in a pair of shorts for one of my sons. Actually I removed the zipper from a pair of my husbands worn out shorts - LLBean- so the zipper was a good heavy duty one and it would have been a crime to throw it away. Lucky both shorts were khaki color.
Also turned two pair of pants to shorts for myself...had already cut the legs off and pressed for hemming so that went quick.
What I keep putting off is altering some 3/4 sleeve tops of mine and making short sleeves. Knit tops, so it won't be easy.
I do feel a little sense of accomplishment for getting that zipper in. It,s only been two weeks since he brought them over!
I've done that -- I think most of my current jeans are on their 2nd zippers. I can't find new jeans that fit nearly as easily as I can find a new zipper!
I also save the zippers from clothes that are headed for the rag bag. And buttons, and pockets, and linings, and any other piece that looks like it could be used again.
Oh - one other mending trick I do: DH often wears out the bottom edge of his pants hem before any other place. His hems rub against his shoe heels & that causes wear. So I take the existing hem out, patch the worn areas from inside with iron-on tape, and re-hem the pants, pressing the hem up about 1/16 of an inch more that time -- just enough that the frayed/patched place is inside & can't be seen. I can't count the number of extra months or even years we've gotten from pants this way! Much cheaper than new, and DH never misses that tiny bit of hem I had to press up inside.This message has been edited. Last edited by: StarrySky,
Starry, it sounds like you have developed some super mending skills.
It is a shame to pitch out a good garment when there's just a small fixable problem. Especially with all the talk of reuse,recycle.
My mother used to do a wonderful job patching my dads work pants (carpenter jeans). She would take the backs of the legs from old jeans and sew giant rectangular patches onto the fronts of jeans that were getting thin. The jeans were all the same brand and color and she did such a good job it was barely noticeable.
One time I went too far with the whole thing and tried putting new elastic in my husbands underwear,lol. . He really liked the fabric - some sort of microfiber or something and they were no longer available. That was above and beyond reason!
Quoting Alex Anderson, when asked to sew something for someone...."I don't do zippers."
I've mended socks...but they were pretty lumpy
I often take the collars off my shirts with bands..less fuss around my neck. Sometimes I cut off the sleeves, too, to 3/4 and add contrasting fabric for the turn-up sleeve...with a matching tuck in "hankie" for the pocket.
I have turned hubbs collars when they've frayed.
What I do love to do, though, is mend rag dolls. Have returned those to their owners restored to health.
Fixing a ripped pillow is no problem...send them over...I'll mend for chocolate or dinner on somethings...
"It's bad to supress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips."
I'm forever mending cat toys that my kitties rip apart. Toldja I was a good mom.
This is so cute! from "Sarahbella3 on Flickr"
It needs to be a bumper sticker..
LOL! When I first read the title, I thought of all us quilters who had been having health problems and were now "on the mend"!
But got a good bit of chuckles at the stories. Yes, I confess, I am the family fixer. Can't tell you how many new pairs of jeans DS has snagged on car fenders and other miscellaneous sheet metal. Or how many belt loops DH has ripped out because that's how he pulls his pants up. And I've turned collars for him and patched tails on shirts since he insists on trying to put them in his pocket with his keys. I've taken in pants, fixed the hook and eye thingies on them, hemmed, repaired ripped seams, for not only DS and DH, but for my neices, brother and sister, too. But I don't do jeans zippers.
I just hate it when the elastic wears out of your pants, fabric is still good but elastic is gone. Taking out the old elastic is a pain in the butt, usually five or six rows of stitching. Has anyone come up with a better solution?
Kim - I absolutely LOVE that picture! I was going to hit my 'like' button!!! Thanks for sharing!
Yep i was just asked to make curtains for a friends camper. luckily she found a white thin soft blanket, cut it in half and all i had to do was so the top so it would hang over the doors in the cab, driver side and passenger side. worked like a charm and not much work for me.
LOL, mcpatches, I thought the same thing.
When asked if I mend I say "Oh my G*d no" and shudder. Get the point across!
I do hem my daughter's pants- poor kid is so petite that all her pants come too long. And I'll fix seams on the grandchildren's clothes, but that's it!
I used to hem my daughters' jeans/slacks when they lived at home. Still have to altar DH's pants (shorten and re-hem) and mine too.
My 2 darling great-grand-sons went through thier "wear out the knees of your jeans" phase, and , yes, I happily ripped open seams so I could machine sew on a new patch. Some jeans even got patches on patches. (Of course I saved all the remnants cut off DH's and my jeans). They didn't care that the new patches didn't match the original color (blue jeans come in too many different hues of blue!) and proudly told anyone who asked, "My Grandma fixed my jeans!"
But I also do NOT replace zippers!
Sometimes I laugh so hard tears run down my leg! Lois
OH I GET THAT ALL THE TIME.....I WILL ONLY EXCEPT THE EASIEST OF ITEMS --- HEMMING P.J.s..
AND YES I CHARGE IF I DIDN'T I WOULD HAVE PEOPLE KNOCKING AT MY DOOR 24/7.....
YES I DID LEND MY MACHINE OUT TO MY BEST FREIND ONCE GUESS WHAT HAPPENED...YEP $75.00 REPAIR BILL -- BROKEN TENION KNOB (QUOTE:I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THAT HAPPENED????)......NEW MOTTO.....NEVER EVER LEND OUT YOUR SEWING MACHINE OR YOUR TENT EVER....AND I HAVE HAD TO TELL PEOPLE NO AND I HATE SAYING NO TO PEOPLE......PERSONALITY FLAW?....BUT IT IS MUCH EASIER AND CHEAPER THAN HAVING TO FIX IT AFTER THEY HAVE BROKEN IT AND THEN DON'T BOTHER TO TELL YOU.
SORRY BUT IT IS SO TRUE
My brother ask me to hem some jeans for him. I told him I'd give him the name of a good seamstress LOL. He hasn't ask any more. BIL told me to start making canvas boat covers and tops LOL. I told him I had no desire to work for someone they always get to picky. I never do any for money I just do them to give away to people that appreciate them.
thats exactly the way i feel. i would be a wreck trying to fix something for someone.
i take hemming to a tailor in our shopping mall. he does beautiful work and of course, i dont mind paying for that!
How many shirts to I have hanging that even just a button sewn on?.. And a few that need seams fixed and hems done.. Mending.. not until absolutely necessary.
I have a friend that does this type of work for people, does alterations and she still makes clothes, gowns, etc. Excellent work - I think it's a lost art - but so glad she's around to do it. And she is a hand piecer/quilter.
@ EBGO, about the elastic on pants, I would make a casing over the elastic and thread new elastic in it, not having to undo anything.
I was just asked if I do hems on bluejeans. Someone asked my DH to ask me. My exact words were, "His wife has a sewing machine, why can't she do it." I only sew for my own enjoyment and I make things for the grandkids which I enjoy also.
I'll take alterations on my "good" clothes (special occasion stuff) to a tailor, because I'd be afraid of goofing up those kinds of fabrics. One wrong snip, and I'd ruin an expensive outfit. Plus I don't like to mess with lined sleeves in jackets, and it's almost impossible for me to mark a skirt or dress hem on myself and then get it to come out right. So much easier to have another seamstress help me.
But other clothes fixes, I'm OK with tackling at home. One of my favorite "tricks" lately is to take shirts or shells and make the side seams split at the hem. I'm short & short-waisted, so sometimes even Petites are a little too long. (Part of this problem is that clothing manufacturers don't seem to have standard sizes any more! ) Knit tops like shells often seem to be just a tad too long & too narrow or tube-like to fit me nicely everywhere. I've found that opening the last 2" or so on the side seams alleviates any fit problems. I carefully remove the existing seam stitching, then roll back the seam allowances to make a very narrow hem on each side. I re-sew it, making a bar tack at the top where my new split ends and the original seam continues.
That little trick really helps any shirt or top that doesn't fit nicely. Those 2" of split seam allows the shirt to fall smoothly over my hips & keeps it from pulling as I move. Many shirts (made to be worn "out," not tucked in) come with split sides like that. But for any shirts that don't & don't feel right at the waist or hip, try making the split. It's really easy, I promise!
I HATE mending But DH makes such a sad face when his favorite pair of jogging pants develops yet another hole from wear, frayed hem line (thanks for the tip on that one I've printed it out for the future which I am certain will occur), just plain worn out. I'd have thrown them out a looong time ago, he can't part with them. Fixed them yet again yesterday.
I did have someone from my office come to me with a leather coat she wanted completely redone...very nice coat but it wasn't something I would feel comfortable doing. Not even going to start.
The funniest was when DGD was much younger - around 3 I think, she brought me something (don't even remember what it was) that had a tear in it and asked me to please "fix it", it seems "daddy" told her Grandma will do that if you ask nice....of course she got her request filled....
Re the frayed hemline -- the only tips I didn't go into detail about are these:
Cut your iron-on mending material LONG and SKINNY. Sometimes mine is no wider than about a fat pencil. You JUST want to cover the frayed part from the inside, not make a big bulky patch that you then have to hem around. So no matter how big your patch material is, keep the bulk of it away from where your NEW hem fold will be. That patch stuff can be tough to fold!
Round each end of the patch so there isn't a corner to start lifting off in the wash. When you iron the patch on, protect your ironing board underneath, because there will be a "hole" where the old frayed hem edge was. I often grab a little piece of parchment paper from the kitchen to do that. Follow directions on the package for heat & fusing time, but make sure that what you're mending can take those, too.
Sometimes it takes a few pieces of skinny patch to repair a hem, depending on how long the fray is. That patch stuff comes small, so you're not going to get a long, continuous piece of patch out of it anyway.
Best to keep an eye on any un-patched pants & catch them before the repair job is too big. A stitch in time....
This tip works really well on those cotton twill pants like Dockers, I've found. And they're some of the worst to wear out quickly.
Edit - Oops, I just "mentally" went through the patch steps & forgot that sometimes (depending on how bad the fray is) I take some stitches through or around the ironed-on patches, to make sure they stay on. You won't see these stitches later, as they are on the inside, in the new hem allowance. I told DH that if he's ever sitting at a meeting & someone asks him what's up with his pants hem, he's to tell them to mind their own business! This message has been edited. Last edited by: StarrySky,
I swear that I am the only Person In Wal-mart who can put in a zipper. and they always need it yesterday. Plus they have no Idea how to buy the right zipper so "cn you please get the right one. I'll pay for it'.
I wish I had a picture of my son in laws favorite cargo shorts. I have mended them so many times, if I did it again, I would be sewing patches to patches. I finally gave him a gift card to buy a new pair.
I get asked to replace zippers all the time and the answer is always NO. In fact, I just bought my DD a new pair of dress pants rather than replace that zipper!!
Me too. DD's BF had his cargo pants' pocket come unstitched and I sewed it back in place. He was just going to toss them but since they were quite new DD gave them to me. His eyes were (his Mom doesn't sew) and I told him that sometimes I can work magic but I don't walk on water. Add my name to the frugal fixers.
I too have been approached and asked to "mend".
My words also are I am a quilter, not a seamstress.
Depending on the explanation of the item and the kind of damage that was done, I may take it on, but reiterate that I am only a quilter, not a seamstress so if they don't like the end product, I gave it my best shot.
Most are pleased with the job I do, but I don't care to do it. Most are willing to pay me something, but I say the first one is free. That usually hold them back.
We can have more than we've got, because we can become more than we are. --Jim Rohn
I am a mender fixer on lots of things too...I do my pant hems just like Starry too...works great,not to long of a job either.
I am a shorty ans have to hem sleeves,pants and everything.I've put new zippers in coats but I refuse to put zippers in jeans...no way. Lots of items are easy. Oh!!! I do not sew on buttons for anyone....
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