mending and hemming

by longtallyarn

Mending makes me feel accomplished.  It’s not as challenging or expressive as creating, but for some reason the rewards are almost equal.  Especially sewing-mending, and especially with a sewing machine, because it speeds the process so much.

There’s something about taking an item that’s coming apart and making it right again.  A story read to me in my childhood had a main character who could fix anything but broken hearts.  In the end he found that he could even help broken hearts, and modified the sign on his shop to include a band-aid on the heart. Trimming off factory hem.

I can’t fix broken hearts, either, only time and the Good Lord can do that.  But I can mend a towel–they are my favorite thing to mend.  I refold the fraying edge, and sew along it in a straight line.  Good as new.  When I see a fraying towel, my heart rejoices, because I know I can repair it in a most professional way.

I can only patch pants if they are the wide-leg style.  It’s hard to feed the leg onto the bed of the machine if the end is tapered.  Oso has had me repair pockets on several pairs of pants because he carries too many things, or too heavy things, and the pockets wear out before the pants.  (I just sew a line on across and make the pocket shorter, since no one will ever see it.)

Last week I brought my coveralls home from work to wash and hem.  The legs were just a shade too long; I was tired of dragging the cuffs through substances I’d rather not think about at the sewage treatment plant.  So after laundering I thought I’d shorten them a bit.  I wanted to take off about an inch, but because of the way they were designed I lost about two inches.  I just wear them at the plant, so they don’t have to be fashionable, and I’m not bothered by it.

I trimmed off the old hem and sewed along the cut to stabilize it. Then I pinned and hemmed.

If I had removed the factory-sewn cuff with a seam ripper, unfolded it, and started over entirely, the process would have been smoother.  Since I was in a hurry I just cut off the old cuff, refolded, and sewed it as well as I could.  Coveralls are extremely thick, and even though my machine is capable of sewing denim, it struggled a little with the coverall cuff.  I had to sew several reinforcing lines in some places because I couldn’t sew quite the seam I wanted.  It adds to their rustic charm.  See for yourself.