I have to laugh, because I have a great old sewing machine(affectionately called “The Dinosaur!”) Oh, it has had quite a work out over its lifetime, but one reason I am especially happy to have it is for patching things.Why? Well, I would much rather save the money than go out and buy new shorts just because there is a tear in them when I can fix it. Call it frugal. Call it cheap. Call it whatever you want, but I call it resourceful and I just saved a bunch of money.
It does get used for other things, in fact you may remember a post I did around the holidays about making napkins. I also posted recently over at Sincerely, Emily about being motivated to sew and I mentioned 5 pairs of shorts that I patched. I won’t tell you how long those shorts have been waiting. What I will tell you is that they were hardly missed or there would have been a need to patch them a lot sooner. My husband has enough shorts to last at least 3 weeks without needing to wash them. Same goes for things like underwear. I tease him, because he has so many t-shirts that he could wear one each day for the next 10 years and still not need to do laundry, but I can’t change that and each time he leaves home for an air show or trip, he will always come home with a minimum of 2 new t-shirts. You get my point. Anyway, I finally got around to patching his shorts.
First up, a sheet – its side hem had come out. For this I used a simple straight stitch – that is about as easy as it gets. I back stitch as each end to ensure it won’t come undone. Now, I know the sheet pattern is dated, but any sheet I can patch to save is better than worrying about fashion. It will be used as a top sheet over the beds to help protect the better sheets from cat hair and other cat related things (fur balls!)
Next up was the shorts. The first pair needed the waistband re-attached. Fairly easy, but the stopping and starting at each belt loops slowed the process down. After I repaired the parts that needed it, I also continued around the waistband to reinforced the rest of it so we wouldn’t need to re-visit that anytime soon. I always go a bit overboard, but I was there and it went quickly and it was the right thing to do.
After that I focused on the other shorts. They all had rips and tears in different spots. Years ago I used the iron on patches and they would last a while, but not long enough. Then I used the zig-zag stitch in different lengths and widths to mend these things. This time I decided a few spots needed some additional reinforcing (like the one you see pictured on the left.) I grabbed a rag (used to be a pair of short) that had some good weight to it and would hold up to the patch as well as hold the shorts together for a little while longer. In fact, I think the patches will outlast the shorts now. Like I said earlier, I tend to go a bit overboard.
All the shorts are patched and put back on the shelf to wear. Some have been patched more than once. Those will be worn around the house while the others are still good to wear to work.
I am glad I have my trust old sewing machine. It has done well over the years with regular tune-ups and no repairs of any nature. After 30+ good years, I get a bit worried because most of the major parts are no longer available and a day may come when something major happens and it is not fixable. Well, I increased my odds…. I bought another one – same model and everything.
I found it at a garage sale. It works well and has been recently serviced. Whatever happens to my Dinosaur, I either have another one for parts or to use if it comes down to that. For $40 is was far less than a replacement machine would cost.
Do you find you use your machine a lot for patching things? Do you have any techniques you can share with me?
You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.