Sewing - Fix It Up, Mend It



Fix It Up




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Raising A Neckline on A Sewing Pattern

Here is a tutorial with instructions for raising a neckline on your own pattern.  Please note that this method will only work for simple necklines.  Also, if the blouse, dress or jumper does not have a button or zipper opening in the back, you must be careful not to make the opening so small that you can't get your head through it!  "Lady Lydia" also shows how to make new facings to match the new neckline.  This is an important step as well in altering a neckline.

Learn to Mend

It can save you money: Frugal Living - Mending and Sewing Clothes

Patching torn clothes tutorials:
Hand Sewn Patch - This would work on other things beside jeans.
Iron-on Patch - (This guy cracks me up.  Notice how he calls the thread "string" in one place.)  This might be a good video to show you sons before they move out on their own. ;-)  In some cases, when using an iron-on patch, I have also taken it to the sewing machine and zigzagged over the the area in order to tack down frayed edges and make a stronger mend.
Overcast method for mending a seam hole - This lady can talk fast!  You will need to pause it to follow the instructions.
Hand Sewing A Rip with A Blind Stitch Part 1 and Part 2

Sewing on buttons tutorials:
Sewing On A Standard Button - If you learn this method you will have some stoutly sewed buttons. :-)  It is a thorough method and the extra room created by using the pins can be very helpful on some types of clothing especially.  However, when replacing a button on a garment you may want to sew it on in the same basic method that the other ones are sewn with so that it looks uniform.  If they didn't create a shank with thread you might not want to either.  But, do try not to sew it super tight as it can make it hard to fasten.  Match the pattern of the stitching as well, whether it be "Xs" or straight up and down.  Also, note that she used a contrasting thread.  You will want to match your thread to whatever color thread the other buttons on your garment are sewn on with.  At the end I would prefer to knot it off in addition with a real knot.  One lady I know likes to put a small dot of clear nail polish on the back to really make the button secure of coming off due to knot slipage.
Sewing On A Shank Button - By the same lady.  One word of additional advice here: Try not to pull the thread too tight so that you don't get a pucker.  This can happen sometimes.

Repairing A Hem
Blind Stitching A Hem By Hand - I suggest running the section of thread between the stitches inside the folded edge of the fabric so that you don't have all those longish section of thread exposed where they can snag or catch on something and possibly break the thread or do damage to the fabric.  Also, I would caution the overly zealous to not make the stitches in the front (or outside) of the skirt too, too small in order to make them invisible.  I have done this, and the fibers in the material may break and damage your garment.  If you are sewing a long section (or an entire hem) and you use longer sections of thread, you may want to tie off occasionally without cutting the thread (keep on sewing), so that if the thread were to break in one spot it a long section could not come undone.

Simple Fix for A Short Skirt or Dress

 Do you have a skirt that is just a little too short?  If it's suitable to this remedy, try sewing ruffled or flat eyelet around the hem.  Choose eyelet that is long enough to lengthen the skirt to a decent length and that doesn't have too many holes in it (lace would be counterproductive as it will be transparent and no service to really lengthen the skirt).

I top stitch it when I do this, but the main thing is to make sure that you pin it on so that the edging or raw edge doesn't show.  (If you are using flat eyelet, I would suggest zigzagging the raw edge first to help keep it from unraveling.  If it is cut in a zigzag, you may want to trim it so that it is straight.) Also, do not cut the end!  I have found out from experience that it's better to leave the extra eyelet on and sew toward it.  This way, if /when you get "extra" skirt hem starting to bunch up as you sew around, you will have the extra eyelet you need to make up for it at the end.  Work the extra skirt hem down as you go. When you get to the end, the excess eyelet will be there to keep you from running out before you can make a seam allowance.

Leave some unsewn space at the beginning.  When you get to the end, cut it with enough excess to make the "seam." Fold this back and place the extra from the beginning behind it so that you have a clean fold on the front.  Finish sewing it on making sure that your stitching overlaps where you started enough to keep it from coming undone. Then, top stitch the seam in the eyelet down from the hem to the edge.  Back stitch at both ends.  Trim off excess seam allowance if desired or needed.

-- Mary Stephens



graphics and background by Mary Stephens
updated 2019