My library bag has looking rather pathetic, with holes wearing right through the quilted fabric. But I’m fond of it and I’ve had it many years----I don’t want to give up on it yet. I spent some time over the weekend patching the holes with bits of gingham left over from my dress, and now my bag is ready to take some books to the library again.
When a favorite cloth bag or garment starts getting holes, what is your solution? Does mending/patchwork add beauty and character to an object, or do connotations of poverty outweigh what interest visible mending might add?
Mr Rat has been in need of a warm robe, so I made him one as a Christmas gift, using a current Simplicity pattern, D0588/1021. I made it in a size medium out of navy blue cotton flannel, bought on a deep discount at JoAnn’s Black Friday sale in November. The pattern is simple to follow, and easy enough for a complete beginner, I think. It took me one day to cut out and two days to finish sewing. Mr Rat was pleased to open it and put it on, even though he had seen me making it, so it wasn’t a surprise.
The only adjustment I made to the pattern was to not interface the front binding that goes around the collar and edges of the robe. The binding gets doubled as it wraps around to the inside of the robe, and since it is meant to be a comfortable garment to lounge in, I didn’t want it to be stiff.
Inspired by the monogrammed handkerchief I gave Mr Rat for an anniversary gift, I also made handkerchiefs for my whole family, embroidering each person’s initials and hemming them by hand. My parents, most of my siblings, and their spouses attend the Mormon temple very frequently, and everything in the temple must be white, because it is a holy place, so I made all the gifts pure white in case they wanted to use them there.
Our anniversary was last month and I wanted to make Mr. Rat a personal token to go with his other gifts. I thought of making him a handkerchief embroidered with his initials, since he often borrows mine. After consultation about the style and color, he chose a cursive script in cobalt blue. It took me only one Sunday afternoon to embroider his initials after I had drawn them carefully with pen on the white cotton scrap I had left over from one of my shirt sewing projects, and only another afternoon after that to hand-stitch a rolled-hem around the edges. He was very pleased with his present.
I had some scraps of black wool left over from making a cape using Vogue 8959, and decided to make a purse out of it using vintage 1980s McCall 7695. McCall 7695 has several vest patterns, and the purse is a little bonus extra. It was simple to sew, so after I attached the black flannel lining by machine, I did the rest by hand. The edges are bound in twill tape, the cord is sewn into the top of the purse so it stays firmly in place, and the little tassels are re-purposed from an old shirt of mine that wore out. It reminds me a little of the YSL Russian-style purses from the 1970s. It is just large enough for a wallet and a handkerchief, for when I need to go on a quick errand and don't want to be weighed down.
This the larger 'Replica Bag' rucksack from the Green Pepper pattern F735. It is essentially a big brown lunch bag of a backpack with deep pockets on the sides (one open and the other with a flap). I made this bag out of brown cotton duck and three web belts I found at the local thrift store. The two shoulder straps are thicker web belts with adjustable D rings. The thickness of the fabric, along with attaching the web straps, required a fair amount of hand stitching with a thimble and a sturdy reverse stitch. I decided to finish the seams with a rust colored binding for the top and inside seam edges. The size of the bag is a big advantage. I can easily fit my emergency bike tools in the side pockets while leaving the larger compartment free for my folders, lunch bag, laptop, book, cell phone and glasses. I am very satisfied with the result.
Mr and Mrs Rat
Mr and Mrs Rat like to sew