This is the first post in a series on repairing clothing. I chose simple repairs, that you can do at home with either a sewing machine or by hand.
Narita-san of Brown Tabby explained and showed me how to repair worn-out garments. First thing is the design. We dug through his collection of vintage rags some rare Levi’s scraps. We are of the same breed, and we both believe that if you aren’t using it you’re wasting it. So instead of just looking at or collecting vintage clothing we are giving it a new life.
Narita-san chose a scrap and started trimming off the excess fabric and thread. He pointed out that he wanted to keep the worn edge so it blended with the with the wear on the jeans.
Next he went to the machine to start sewing the patch on.
Cotton thread is the best to use in a well-worn repair because the thread will naturally fade and shrink and give a more natural, imperfect aesthetic to the repair. Polyester won’t fade, and definitely won’t look as good as cotton.
Narita-san folded the edges over by hand as he sewed them down. Puckering the fabric and shaping the patch is important to keep the vintage aesthetic and to avoid putting stress on one point of the fabric. This will avoid additional tears and rips from the stress of the stitching around the patch.
Once he sewed one side of the patch he quickly stitched up the rest of it with a buzz of the Juki.
He ran the stitching around again this time making the stitch lines uneven. The purpose for this is to keep the fade uneven to maintain continuity with the repair and the base denim.The puckered patch also looks more natural and the imperfectness brings out a very unique character to each repair.
Personal preference will be a major factor in your repair. The most important thing is to choose your patch fabric to suit your repair.