Knocking on [a] Hollow Door

“Knock, knock knocking on Heaven’s Door…”

Once again I have forgotten to take pictures of the ‘before’ and ‘during’. But it’s a pretty quick and simple one so I don’t think you’ll miss them. Indeed I will steal a picture from one of the projects I have yet to write up, in order to help illustrate this wee job.

As a follow on from yesterday’s door painting, I needed to hang a hook on the back of my newly-painted door, for my dressing gown (it seems people nowadays call these bathrobes: am I too Northern, too British, or just too Common, calling it a dressing gown?)

Anyhow, these kind of panelled doors are not solid wood, but hollow, filled with a foam-like substance. The thickness of the actual wood is not so very great, and so to drill screws straight into the door panel, especially if you’re about to hang heavy clothing off the hook, could easily pull the screw right back out of the panelling; shredding the wood on either side and creating a nasty hole.

So the thing to do is to make a hole with the drill, insert a rawl plug specifically designed for hollow doors, which have special tags on the side which anchor the plug to the back of the wood. The plugs are also designed to expand as you screw the screw into them which also helps lock them tight.

So first I had to decide which screws to use, that would fit and match my hook; then make sure I was using the correct sized rawl plugs; and then finally choose the correct drill bit which would match the rawl plug size. The easiest way to do this if you’re not sure? Buy a kit! I had taken my hook with me to be sure I got the correct size. However be warned these kits come with the actual drill bit included. Don’t let this fool you! Once I got home and opened the kit I realised the drill wasn’t sharp enough to drill through warm butter. With a power drill. On its highest setting. Complete with hammer action.

Fortunately I already had a 5mm wood drill bit, so was able to use that.

img_7207

The tags on the rawl plugs, but beware of any included drill bits!!!

I have an old compass which I use to make the very first guide hole in which to settle the tip of my drill. So I decided where I wanted my hook, got a sharp pencil and penciled dots where the screws should be, and then marked those dots into small holes using my compass point.

It was only at this point that I got my drill out, and making sure it was on a low setting, slowly began drilling into my door. A wood drill bit has a guiding spike on the end, which marks it apart from other types of bits. I used a bit of washi tape to mark the depth to which I wanted to drill, so I didn’t drill straight through!

img_7109

A wood drill bit has a spike at the end (You have to love washi tape!)

Once I’d made the hole, I pushed the rawl plug into it, using a hammer (lightly!) to gently tapped it in flush with the door. Once both rawl plugs were in place, I could then get the matching screws and screw my hook onto the door.

img_7050

It’s an octopus with an Elvis quiff…

 

Making sure I used the correct size drill bit for the plug size; the correct plug size for the screw; the correct screw size for the hook; and most importantly the the correct plug type for the material to which the hook is mounted, means I can sleep easy knowing my dressing gown will not fall onto my bathroom floor any time soon.

Because I knew you were worried for me on that score.

PS It’s also really important to get the correct size screwdriver bit for the screws used, otherwise you can chew the screw head: but that’s something I’ll be looking at another day when I get another round tuit and write up another of my jobs I have completed.

Posted in DIY, Household | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Painting Panels

“Just need someone painted, aha..”

Okay so today’s task has actually been spread out over several days, as I’ve had to let the layers of paint dry fully before adding another coat.

I had my bathroom refitted and redecorated several years ago now, from a nasty dark greenish colour to clean white on all the walls and laminated splash boards.

This small room is now much more airy and light, except for the back of the door which somehow missed the memo and consequently did not get painted. It has been a dull off-white colour ever since.

Until now that is! I have finally got a round tuit! Hurrah!

Right then! To paint a door you will need:

  • Some paint
  • A brush
  • A stirry thing
  • A thing to open the paint pot
  • Lots and lots of newspaper (if you’re anything like me)
  • A plastic bag and masking tape
2017-01-11-13-28-38

R-L paint, paintbrush, screwdriver, dowel and newspapers

In my case this equated to a pot of gloss paint, a brush, an old screwdriver to open the paint pot, and a old length of dowel to stir the paint. I really do think it’s worth investing in a good-quality brush and making sure it’s kept clean and dry with the wrapping around the bristles to keep them straight and undamaged. My gloss paint is a water-soluble type, which also minimises faffage, as the brush can be cleaned in the sink with water, rather than outside with jars of turpentine.

I forgot to take photos, but before I did anything I carefully unscrewed the door handle away from the wood, so that I could slip a plastic bag behind it. I then wrapped the handle in the plastic and then taped it up, so that no paint would get on handle, and so the paint would continue smoothly under the handle. I similarly used masking tape on the door hinges, taping each part of the hinge separately, so that opening and closing the door would not loosen the tape.

When painting wood with a grain, such as a panelled door, it’s best to start with the smallest parts and work your way out to the larger areas of wood.

img_7051

Starting with the smallest inset panels

I began in the centre of the smallest inset panels at the top the door, making sure I had an even cover of paint all over the centre of the panel, before working my way out to the edges of the panelling. Once I felt the area was evenly covered with new paint I drew my brush along the grain of the wood so that no brush strokes could be seen. It’s important to work pretty fast when doing this as the paint will get tacky quickly and your brush strokes are more likely to be seen.

Once I’d finished the first inset panel, I then moved quickly to repeat the process on the other five inset panels.

img_7532

This picture was taken later, but you can see here two of the large inset panels

Once I had finished painting all of the inset panels, making sure the brushstrokes went along the grain of the wood each time, I then began painting the main door panels. Again I started with the shortest, in this case, those lengths running horizontal between the inset panels.

img_7052

Oopsies, I missed a bit! A small area where I hadn’t finished the paint along the wood grain

Again I worked quickly making sure that there was an even cover of paint across the whole stretch, before then making my final brushstrokes along the grain, careful to avoid the inset panels I already finished, as this paint was, by now, tacky and I would have left brush marks in the paint.

Finally, only the three long panels to the left, right, and middle of the door remained, running vertical up and down the height of the door. Once I finished the door I left it overnight, before returning and doing the exact same thing again: to give it a second coat. I left it at that but it would have happily taken a third coat without looking like the paint had been plastered on. The trick is to have many thin coats, rather than fewer heavily daubed coats which will lose the texture and grain of the wood.

I said I was painting the door, I didn’t say anything about the door surrounds! I’ll do those when I get another round tuit…

Posted in DIY, Household | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Girls who are boys..

“Girls who are boys…”

Be glad! You almost got the Cheeky Girls, until I realised from the alternative title that it was even less suitable than the above song!

Another shorty today and I’m carrying on the run the 41st birthdays, this time it’s another old friend, with whom I travelled around South Africa. She now lives and works in China, and I’m sadly proud of myself not only for remembering to get a card and sending it, but also for posting it on time!

With my “make do and mend” hat still on, I went back to my stash of 40th birthday cards, now with even less choice than before. I decided it was best to try to use one of my intentional/unintentional* BOGOF cards:

img_7286

It seemed harmless enough on the outside…

It may not have been the most girly card in the world but then as an engineering student and now a maths teacher, my friend isn’t the most girly friend in the world either so it seemed to suit!

I duly dug out my gold-coloured gel pen (I get all tingly with excitement when I’m in a stationary shop) and carefully added an “ne” to the 40 already printed. Again not the best job in the world, but she’s good friend and she too believes in sustainability and concerns over environment, so I knew she would totally get it!

img_7287

I just kept writing over the ‘ne’ until it was darker

Pleased enough with my effort, I then opened the card ready to write my message, only to have a nasty surprise greet me. Bloke? Bloke? BLOKE?

Ah darn and blast it! I wasn’t expecting that! However I was not to be deterred, so after a pause to gather my wits and come up with a solution, it seemed honesty and humour were my best tools. As usual.

In the end I scratched out “bloke” and inserted “lass” instead. Hah! She’ll never know…

img_7288

Whooooaaaaa!!!!! Now that was a nasty surprise!!!!

Finally, as I closed the card, turned it over, and slipped it into the envelope, I realised the massive hint had been in front of my face all along:

img_7508

To be fair the blue of the envelope had been mostly hidden when the card was wrapped

The envelope was blue. Presumably with the colour-coding of life blue still designates male and pink still designates female. Who knew we were in 2017 rather than 1917?

Edited to add: Turns out she was 41 yesterday not today. We’ve only known each other for 24 years. It’s the thought that counts though, yes?

*Who knows?

Posted in Mending | Leave a comment

There is a light and it never goes out…

“There is a light and it never goes out”

How many musicians does it take to change a light bulb?
None. They just steal somebody else’s light

Ah! It never grows old! <grins>

img_7461

How many musicians does it take to change a light bulb?

Todays DIY job was a simple light bulb change. Gone are the days of Edison screws and bayonet fittings! Now is the era of the myriad fittings, voltage, wattage, sizes, and shapes.

Fortunately, in the UK at least, all types of lighting should state bulb type and wattage somewhere on the fitting or as a sticker on the cabling. Hence I knew that I required a G9 type bulb with a maximum of 33 W.

Not only is there a cornucopia of bulbs, but also whole host of fittings. This particular light fitting came with its very own tool to attach the shade. It was a simple case of slotting the tool over the bulb and unscrewing the shade which fitted behind and around the bulb.

After removing the (doesn’t-work-very-well-as-a-screen-but-looks-very-pretty) shade it was just a simple job of carefully pulling out the old bulb and carefully slotting in the new. The most important part of this whole process (other than making sure the light switch is off so you don’t electrocute yourself) is making sure that you don’t actually touch the bulb with your fingers as the salts and oils on your skin will transfer onto the bulb*

So I carefully pushed my G9 halogen bulb into place using the cunningly provided bag that came with the bulb, presumably for this very purpose. Once properly in place, I climbed down from my ladder and tested the bulb worked, before climbing back up again and screwing back the shade.

I know what you’re thinking; there is never a dull moment in this household…

img_7482

Tada! It’s the small things in life…

 

*A halogen bulb such as this reaches much higher temperatures than a ‘normal’ bulb. The slight amount of grease and salts from your fingers will create an uneven temperature distribution on the quartz (halogen bulbs use quartz rather than glass) creating weak spots which will shorten the life of the halogen bulb or even make it shatter.

 

Posted in DIY, Household, Mending | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hold on tight

Hold on tight…

Today’s “make do and mend” is tight in many ways.

It began last night when I was running late before meeting some of my family for a meal. As usual, in order to get there in time, I needed to leave on the hour. As usual I realised at 5 minutes to the hour, that I still need to get changed; brush my hair; clean my teeth; find my car keys; and put my coat on. I was leaving it tight!

And so it was I found myself in a rush trying to put on a pair of tights. This is never a good combination. Even when faced with several hours to complete the task, I can still manage to click them with a fingernail, and/or push my thumb through them. You can already see where this one’s going can’t you?

A nice and perfectly thumb-shaped hole in the calf of the left leg of my tights. At this point I must stop my tale and apologise to you all as, given my tight schedule, I took very few photos. Errrrr, none in fact. Well, not until after I returned home last night, post-meal.

Pre-meal, however, found me running to my sewing box praying I had a needle already threaded in a suitable colour. Undeservedly, luck was on my side and I was able to sew up the hole with a very quick overstitch, incorporating the beginning of my thread within the overstitch to lose it, and work the end of my thread back through my stitching before cutting it.

img_2411

Using a bit of thread and nail varnish to mend a hole

This however is not the end of my story, as often at this stage the stitching itself will become the new weak spot in the nylon and further holes will form. To stop and to seal my stitching and the nylon together, I used a good dollop of clear nail varnish all over my stitching and for a good quarter-inch or so around my stitching.

I made sure I did this while wearing tights so that the varnish dried to the correct size (given that the varnish will not stretch once dry!). Whenever I do this kind of mend on tights I always make sure I have a piece of tissue between my leg and a nylon, so the excess varnish can soak into the tissue.

img_7440

Melted tight

I’m not sure if all nail varnishes do this, but mine is very old and very cheap and it actually seems to melt the nylon, so that once dry it becomes a nylon ‘weld’. Hence why I always make sure I have tissue between the nylon and my leg!

To answer the question I know is now popping into your minds, yes it is still visible when you’re looking for it! But only really as a darker smudge on the leg, rather than a hole that shows the colour of flesh underneath.

Given my style (and my family) it’s a look I can get away with!

PS. The above is not the only mend to these tights, and earlier attempts at wearing them had me creating a massive hole at the waist when trying to pull them up too quickly (now stop it; it was only because I was in a rush. No I mean… Oh never mind.)

img_1499

An earlier attempt to write-off my tights

 

Posted in DIY, Household, Mending, Recycling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No more cold feet

“For no more cold feet,
Cold cold cold cold feet”

Okay so it’s true, I admit it: I am an old woman: I wear bedsocks in bed.

Well actually they are old walking socks which are now relegated to bed socks as they are too thin for hiking.

However, one such pair of these bedsocks has been attacked by one of my ferrets. I have told you about my boys haven’t I? Here are three of them looking like butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths, curled up on my home-made beanbag (which it used to be a curtain, which used to be a bedspread.)

img_7409

L-R: Red, Pepper & Chili

Once again I digress. So my bed sock now has a hole at the toe which needs darned. Recently I have had a spate of crocheting slouch hats for sale and some of the wool I have used for this will be an ideal colour to use for the darn.

img_7421

Another item of mine which is “spiritual

The dark green on the crown of this slouch hat will be perfect for the sock. While it might not seem to match when both yarns are in solid colour next to each other: for the small amount of darning necessary the colour will be fine. However the three-ply thickness of the yarn was a problem and I needed to separate the strands to get a thinner darning yarn.

To separate the strands I simply worked out which way the ply was spun, and then rolled my length of wool the opposite way between my slightly dampened thumb and forefinger. This separated the strands enough that I could then gently tease one away and begin to pull it gently from the main ply.

img_7425

Teasing one strand from the piece of three-ply yarn

I carefully pulled this strand away from the main, for the entire length of my piece of yarn. At intervals I would stop and let the ends unravel themselves from the twist; not just the ends which were unravelled but also the yarn which was yet to be separated.

img_7426

Unravelling. Something I am good at!

I then took my one-ply piece of darning yarn, and threaded it through the eye of a large, flat-eyed needle. The best way to do this is to loop the yarn over the needle, and then pull the needle out, leaving you with a flat thin double of yarn which when pinched between your thumb and forefinger can be more easily pushed through the eye of the needle.

 

After that it was a simple job of threading the darning yarn through the stitching of an inch or so of good sock in order to lose the end of the thread, before then picking up all the frayed stitches and sometimes sewing back up along the stitch column to make sure I had caught all stitches securely.

Once I knew I had picked up all of the stitches I then could begin to weave my needle perpendicular to these first stitches in order to finish the darn. I made sure my weave was reasonably tight using the needle to push down the threads of the row I just woven. Again I picked up any damaged or loose stitching as I worked. Finally, I stitched the thread into the main knit of the sock to secure my work before cutting the yarn.

The finished article, while not perfect is certainly good enough to wear in bed, although it won’t be long before I am using the rest of my handmade darning thread to reinforce the heel and sole of these same socks. However in the meantime, I plan to keep them out of the teeth of certain little mustelids

img_7435

The finished sock. No more cold toes…

 

 

Posted in Darning, DIY, Household, Mending | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There is unrest in the forest

“There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas…”

I may have already mentioned where I was raised: in the wild Wannies of Northumberland, miles from the nearest bus stop or shop.

TheBurn_Northumberland.jpg

I plodged in this burn and climbed this tree many times as a child

My bedroom window looked out over a pinewood forest and there were farms on either side. I used to love watching the rhythms of the day, as the sheep in the field (of which I could see only one top corner) would start their day waking all huddled in this corner but then slowly progress across the field out of my view as the day moved on. Conversely the beasts would start the day at the other end of the field and slowly work their way up to this corner for nightfall. And so the days progressed with the animals swapping roles on different days.

My parents still live there and a couple of years ago my father presented me with two beautiful wooden chopping boards he had made from some timber that he had taken from a beech tree he had felled.

BeechwoodChoppingBOardHandmade1.JPG

A chopping board made by my father from a beech tree grown in the same place as me

To me, these are not just chopping boards but physical memories: A totem of my childhood, of the countryside, and ultimately of my identity. Much of that childhood was shared with my best friend who came over often to our house, and vice versa. So much so that years later, at university, I was in a telephone-kiosk dialing the familiar number to connect me to my parents. It was only as my best friend’s mum answered the phone that I realised I had dialled not my parents but my best friend’s parents; so familiar was the number to me that I had recalled it as though it were family!

BeechwoodChoppingBOardHandmade3.JPG

Chopping board pre-treatment

Back to the chopping board then. As you may see from the above picture, it was beginning to get stained. I really didn’t want this board to get too stained and nor did I want it to warp or for the joints to begin separating. Time for my trusty Skydd* mineral oil!

MineralOiledChoppingBoardBeech4.JPG

Skydd: food -grade mineral oil from Ikea

Food-grade mineral oil such as this is perfect (mainly because it is designed specifically) for chopping boards such as mine. All I needed was an old rag to rub the mineral oil into the wood.

As my board had never been treated before, it was pretty thirsty, but I still only put a small amount on the cloth, and rubbed it in to make sure I had even cover across the board, before going back over it again as it soaked in. I then left it overnight before giving it one more treatment of the same.

mineraloiledchoppingboardbeech1

Little and often, as the saying goes…

I have several untreated wooden chopping boards in my house (untreated in that they have not been given a varnish or similar coating at manufacture): All of these boards get a roughly annual scrub-up with a stiff brush, bar-soap, and hot water. Once thoroughly dry they get another oiling, to keep them happy and healthy into my old age.

No deadwood in this household…

PS. Are you wondering where the second board went??

*Skydd is Swedish for ‘protect’

Posted in Mending, DIY, Household | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Handbags and Gladrags

“So what becomes of you my love
When they have finally stripped you of
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Grandad had to sweat to buy you”

Whoopsies! I’ve been meaning to keep this blog up-to-date and to be honest I have been… but only in my head, … I haven’t quite got as far as typing them all up and posting them.  DOH!

I have been doing such a lot of mending and odd jobs, I’ve even been taking photographs as I’ve been going along! So forgive me, but the next few posts are likely to be short so I can catch up with myself and get my backlog written up and posted.

And so to today’s project. This was a quick mending job on a wonderful, handmade handbag I was given for Christmas one year. It has served me well but the other day, as I was pulling it off my shoulder to get my purse out, the shoulder strap caught and it ripped away from the main body of the bag, thankfully not tearing the fabric itself.

2017-01-20 15.40.58.jpg

The strap had torn away from the top seam

So out comes my trusty new sewing machine and as luck would have it both the needle thread and the bobbin thread were suitable colours and I didn’t feel it was worth changing them, it would serve well enough for my needs.

2017-01-20 15.41.07.jpg

Fortunately the fabric itself was not damaged

All that was required was to pull out the loose thread, pull the stitching through to one side, and tie off the ends, so that hopefully no more would come undone.  After that just a quick trip along the strap with the sewing machine to sew it back onto the main part of the bag.

Rather than turning the bag around to run up and then back down to create the new stitching, especially when it was only literally a few inches of stitches, I just used the reverse button on my machine, which made the job even quicker.

IMG_7404.JPG

Three or Four times over the same place to make it a strong mend

Ta-da!!! As you can see, job done! And it only took about five minutes!

Had I been a bit more concerned about matching my colours; had it been a mend for someone else, I would have taken more time and made sure I had better-matched thread. However a rifle through my thread stash didn’t produce a colour and tone which would have blended well and, given it was just for me, rather than waiting until I could buy more thread, I just used what was the bobbin already.

 

Oh go on then. Have a picture of the entire bag. It really is a bonny wee thing. 🙂

IMG_7401.JPG

The finished bag 🙂

Posted in DIY, Handmade, Household, Mending | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kid Gloves

“Put on your kid gloves..”

Built in obsolescence. That’s what’s wrong with things nowadays!

Even my trusty Beagle is falling apart. So rather than cost the NHS another zillion pounds in getting a replacement, (£14 for the brace, plus all the time involved in ordering, taking delivery, sorting, contacting me to say it has arrived etc) I reckoned it would be another quickie for me to carry out and pop on T’blog.

It isn’t that I don’t love you peeps, but with one thing and another over the weekend and with full band practice today (see my Music page for further details), I’ve not had huge amounts of time. We can have a proper languorous catch-up another time, I’ll even give you juicy details and many full-sized, close-up, detailed pictures.

This was another pretty-easy wee project, I needed only to tie off the loose ends then sew over the current stitches, matching the stitching and thread, to reinforce the whole thing.

IMG_7257.JPG

More loose ends than ‘Casablanca’

In order to tie off the loose ends, I needed to pull them both to one side of the material to the knot them together

IMG_7265.JPG

I pulled gently on the loose thread to bring the stitch through

IMG_7266.JPG

Ta-da! One stitch pulled through

IMG_7267.JPG

Using a needle to pull the thread of the stitch

As long as I had the end stitch by the loose thread, the stitch I pulled through would be simply bringing the loose thread from the back side of the material. I then tied these two together and snipped the ends.

IMG_7269.JPG

Handle with kid gloves…

I know a lot of people will ‘tut’ at me saying this is an unnecessary step if I am about sew over the top, but I was taught to do things, umm… ‘over-properly’.

Around the thumb area I tacked together the edges that had pulled apart because the neoprene is rather thick. Once I’d stitched over the original stitching a few times I took the tacking out.

IMG_7274.JPG

Tacky…

For the main part of the wrist, where the velcro attaches, I started at one end and just stitched right over the top of the zig-zags with another, tighter zig-zag stitch of similar width.

IMG_7280.JPG

Sewing over the current stitching

IMG_7282.JPG

I zoomed up one edge and back down the other, using my reverse lever to sew over my work, before snipping the ends.

The splint now restored for use on my right wrist, I may manage to type for longer tomorrow, as promised. I really do spoil you lot.

Posted in DIY, Mending, Recycling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Candle in the Wind

“Good Bye Norma[l] Jean…”

Today was the day of the Jean. Or should I say Jeans. Aaaaand also not the day of the Shirt. Nor Bra come to think of it.

2017-01-02-15-21-18

You, my friend, are bespoke…

Eh? Wha..? I hear you all exclaim, your minds boggling at different speeds.

2017-01-02 13.43.41.jpg

A mere number no more!

Well the thing is, my mother gave me one of my dad’s shirts and asked me to shorten the sleeves, to make it into a ‘summer’ shirt, for those two days when we have a summer in the Northeast (usually the two days after the schools go back for the new school year). No problem! This proved to be the shortest job in the history of jobs. So much so that I forgot to take a picture. But it also left me with some cloth from the sleeves.

A little before this, a lovely friend of mine had asked me to mend two pairs of her jeans, both worn through in the inner leg, as they so often do (or is that just her and me?), both now with large holes and frayed cotton where there should be denim.

At about the same time one of the wires in one of my bras broke (my dad tried to weld it back together (the wire, not the bra), but after road-testing, the…. errr… ‘strain’ proved too much and the joint failed). Thus I was left with a perfectly good and pretty bra, but which gave only lopsided results in its current format. Time for some cunning recycling.

For the first pair of jeans I used a double thickness of the cotton shirt sleeve, cut a piece to fit over all of the thinning area, then used some variations on green thread colours, and a zigzag stitch to mend the hole.

I began by stitching around the material patch (which was on the inside of the jean leg). I used a neutral, grey/blue colour on the bobbin thread (which becomes the outside, visible thread), so that it blended a bit better, and hopefully the eye would then be drawn to the inner stitching.

Then I chose my three tones of green for the bobbin thread for the inner stitching within the area of the patch. The greens made me think autumnal thoughts so I made a very rough outline of two leaves in the mid-tone, followed by highlighting this in the lighter tone.

2017-01-02 13.44.15.jpg

I used a neutral grey to stitch around the square of the patch

In the darkest green tone I stitched at odds to this rather abstract leaf pattern, mainly to make sure I had caught all the pieces of patch and denim necessary to reinforce the mend.

At one point I realised that my needle thread (a bog standard black) had got caught a little and ended up stitching through (my fault as I am still getting used to my new machine, and was also using an old thread which was perhaps to old and or slightly too thick really for the job). I quickly changed my needle thread to a thinner and more recent black and continued my work. I considered unpicking where the black had come through, but decided I rather liked it against the rest of the pattern!!

For the second pair of jeans I already knew what I wanted to do, and sewing the first pair had really been more of a trial-run to see how I managed in general.

This second pair had a really funky sewing detail on the back pockets, in purple, turquoise, green and red, in triple straight stitch.

The old bra mentioned above had a very pretty flower design on the fabric of the cup, which matched the colours of the threads on the pocket detail, so I carefully unpicked the bra seams to maximise the amount of material I had to work with.

2017-01-02-15-21-38

The worn threads of denim held the hole together while I stitched

I sorted out four threads which matched the original colours pretty closely. I knew I also had a similar stitch on my machine, although only double straight stitch, but good enough.

To attach the patch, I simply stitched lines up and down around the edges of the patch, zig-zagging back and forth along the length of the new fabric. I deliberately tried to stitch slightly wobbly lines, overlapping the colours carefully, while also trying to make sure I was evenly covering the cloth with stitches.

There was a lot of worn thread from the denim on this pair of jeans, which I sewed over, as the thread kept the hole sitting reasonably well while being mended. However once I had finished and sewn up all my loose ends, I decided the thread got in the way, hiding both the fab colours of stitching and underlying patch so I carefully trimmed away all of the excess fray and thread using both sharp scissors and, at times, a seam ripper.

2017-01-02-15-31-34

Zig-zags up and down the length of the patch

Rather chuffed with the final result!

2017-01-02 15.31.41.jpg

The finished result

Posted in DIY, Mending, Recycling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment