Thrifty Thursday: make do and mend

Nothing makes me swear, tut and roll my eyes, quite as much as sewing. Yet, when the top I wore for my birthday meal this year (also dubbed as The Shameless top in our house, as one of the characters spent most of the last series wearing it!) met with my diamond engagement ring and developed an unsightly hole, I didn’t hesitate. Out came the trusty sewing kit and I made a just about acceptable job of it.

Being made of such flimsy material meant it had frayed and was, well, to put it blunty, a ballache to repair! I ended up unpicking my stitching at one point and was close to chucking the top, more out of frustration than anything else. But I perservered and whilst it’s not the neatest it’s salvaged one of my ‘date tops’. Hurrah!

Babe’s top sewing tips

1.) If you’re anything like me and sewing frustrates the pants off you, make sure you choose a time when you feel calm and serene to commence your sewing session. Otherwise you’ll (literally) end up losing your rag!

2.) Ensure you’re properly equipped. You won’t need much for a simple repair job. Colour coordinating cotton, a needle, a couple of pins, a pair of scissors and a dollop of patience should do it.

Tea and biscuits

Tea and biscuits

3.) Again, one for those for whom sewing doesn’t come naturally, bribe yourself with a treat for when the task is completed. I get a cup of tea AND some chocolate bourbons afterwards? Bring it on.

4.) Consider what you’re sewing. How are you going to tackle it? Does it need pinning to hold it together whilst you sew? Do you need to trim any fraying from the material to give you a clean line to sew? Is there anyway you can conceal your (not so) handiwork?

5.) Cut off an appropriate amount of cotton for the job you’re doing. Too much you’re going to get in a tangle. Not enough, you’ll be casting off half way through which will make you feel as though you’re doing the same job twice. Yeugh!

6.) Thread the cotton through the eye of the needle (licking the cotton often helps with this). Pull the cotton through so some of it overlaps with the main bit of cotton.

7.) Tie a double knot in the end if the cotton and you’re ready to start sewing. If, for example, you’re stitching up a hole, start a small distance away from the hole to give your repair job some strength.


8.) And off you go! I couldn’t tell you what type of stitch I use, it could possibly be the bodgett and scarper method. All I will say is try to keep the stitches as small as possible to disguise your repair job.

9.) When you’ve finished the stitchy stabby bit, do a few back stitches and tie the remaining cotton in a knot.

10.) Remove the needle. Trim off any excess cotton and either admire your work or concede it’s rubbish, unpick it and start again.



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