For Christmas, I made my daughter Sophie a bag out of brown furnishing fabric lined with brown linen. I made the handles out of linen also as I had more of it. However, the bag is being used daily, and the loads it's carried have taken their toll on the handles, linen not being a fabric that takes hard wear. Sophie brought it around last night for me to take remedial action.
Linen is a lovely fabric to work with, but the same can't be said of furnishing and upholstery fabrics, which are much heavier. I decided that the new handles would need more batting inside, and this made sewing them a bit tricky, so I stitched the first seam down as it wouldn't stay in place with ironing.
Then I folded the other side over with the edge tucked in, and pinned it seriously. Those decorative stripes make it thicker to sew. The handles also have a seam in them to make them the right length, and an emergency trip to the quilting shop to buy jeans needles was called for after I snapped a needle on the second one.
There. As good as new. Now I have 2 tops to alter - Sophie bought them in a sale, but both have bindings on the sleeves that no Western size 12 woman could possibly put her arms through. A teeny tiny Chinese woman, perhaps, like the ones who made them. They're a bit harder so I'll attack them another day.
When my son Cass was here for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, he produced a couple of pairs of jeans for mending. Nothing unusual there. I've been mending his jeans since he went to university at 17. He is now 29. No, I don't know how many pairs of jeans I've fixed in this time, but some of them I mended more than once. He likes to buy expensive jeans because they fit better, and it would be crazy to discard them because of tears or worn patches. I have become quite good at patching which is all done on the inside.
Sewing machines. Aren't they a wonderful invention?