Monday, June 20, 2011


(Or:  possibly the most boring blog post ever...)

Since the weather was somewhat less than inspiring Saturday as far as gardening was concerned, I decided I would spend the day sewing.

My original plan was to work on my current quilting project but in order to set up my sewing space I needed to move the mending piled in my sewing chair.  I started to move the rather large pile to the sofa but in the process decided that instead I just needed to just sit down and get this task done and out of the way.  Besides, I was tired of looking at the clutter piled up by my sewing desk every day and feeling guilty for not getting it done.

So I set up my trusty Singer 403 and got to work.

My Singer Slant-O-Matic 403 (check out the groovy '60s styling!)

I started in with the plain darning mending so I could avoid learning how to replace a jeans zipper for just a while longer...

I located a pair of donor jeans that I'd saved for just this purpose (these were too far gone for even me to consider mending), cut some patches, fused them on to the shredded tears in my son's jeans and used the darning stitch to reinforce the area with thread.

inside with patch (pre-trimming)

outside with thread darning

Using the same process (but with plain cotton fabric instead of denim) I mended Mr. CPA's favorite pair of garden work shorts and a pair of khakis he wears for doing chores.

mended shorts and khakis - this is some exciting stuff, right?

At some point with the khakis, I clearly wasn't paying close attention, because I managed not to notice when I turned the pants around on my sewing machine that the pocket flipped down and got under the needle.


I started to undo it with my seam ripper but I had very enthusiastically sewn back and forth over the same spot with a closely spaced darning stitch (a three part zigzag stitch) and that task was clearly going to take more time than it was worth.  So I performed some surgery on the pocket instead.

let's just consider this extra-strength patching, shall we?

Yes, the pocket is crooked.  I suppose I could have taken a bit more time to do it nicely but these are very old work pants so I decided not to really stress over it.

All that was left at this point was the two pairs of jeans needing new zippers.  I'd never replaced a zipper before and I suspect that this was the reason I'd been avoiding this mending task all this time.  I followed the instructions from the Threads Magazine tutorial (with no small amount of trepidation) and, surprisingly, it wasn't all that difficult!  I can't believe I'd put it off for so long.  Interestingly enough, the first zipper was the best one.  I'm not sure what I did differently on the second pair but the zipper just isn't quite as nice looking.

well, that was easy!

I know most people don't mend much any more, but here at casa del chaos, we seem to have a regular need for clothing that is suitable for hard, dirty work and mended old clothes that are no longer suitable for polite society are just the ticket.  It just seems so wasteful to throw out clothes that are perfectly functional with the addition of just a small repair. 

And let's face it, I need to justify the accumulation of all these old sewing machines somehow (besides taking Mr. CPA to the sewing shop to see the price of new ones that is).

Sunday, June 5, 2011


This has been a really busy time for the garden so there hasn't been a lot of crafty activity going on.

I haven't really felt motivated to work on my knitting projects so the Sommelier sweater remains in it's 'to be sewn up' state.

I have been doing a bit of work on my ongoing quilting project, mostly cutting out the remaining squares for piecing. I did take some photos but I was using my little Canon point-n-shoot instead of my larger Nikon and the battery died. Unfortunately, the charger has gone missing so I can't upload them.

Mr. CPA reminded me the other day that I had promised to mend his backpack quite some time ago, so yesterday I set up my newest vintage sewing machine find and got it back in working order.

Singer 301A shortbed

This is quite the sturdy little machine and didn't have any trouble stitching through the zipper tape and backpack material. I used some hand quilting thread and a jeans needle and now Mr. CPA's backpack should be able to be useful for awhile longer.