Lace Mending Technique – Save Your Favourite Clothes
Ever have that favourite old cardigan, or perhaps a new one, that despite acquiring a few holes you just can’t throw out? Well this may be the post for you! It’s January Make Do and Mend on the blog, so here is my first mending tutorial, the lace mending technique.
I have this cardigan, it used to belong to my mom. It’s a dark grey and perfectly slouchy. I wore it a lot. But then I noticed a hole. And then another one. Unable to part with it, I resigned it to the back of the wardrobe.
But, seeing as January I am resolving to Make Do and Mend, I thought it would be the perfect project to demonstrate a technique that I have long been keen to try. It all started when my aunty, my hand-stitching guru, turned up in a lovely light grey cashmere cardigan with tiny squares of delicate cream lace sporadically stitched about it.
A unique and stunning piece. Yet the lace was not purely decorative. It served a very functional purpose. These tiny, intricate pieces were covering holes in the cardigan. They embodied the notion of beautiful mending; that is that mending itself does not have to be a discreet practice, but can enhance and evolve with the garment itself.
It is a practice that is not new to anyone familiar with traditional methods, such as Sashiko, that make a feature of the mending process rather than trying to conceal it. More importantly, it allows you to take that favourite item, give it a new lease of life, and re-incorporate it back into your wardrobe.
I call this article a tutorial, but there really isn’t a lot to the ‘technique’ at all.
What you’ll need:
- A well-loved, but holey, cardigan, jumper, or other garment
- lace – scraps or remnants will suffice
- needle and thread in an appropriate colour
So I had a dark grey cardigan, and, being ever so slightly fascinated with the Gothic, of course I had black lace. I started by identifying the holes that needed mending; a good tip for this is to hold your garment up to the light.
I then took my lace and checked what would fit comfortably over the holes. None were too large in my cardigan, so I could use smaller pieces of lace, however, you can adapt this to whatever size repair you might need to make.
I cut around the flower motif that was repeated in my lace and carefully placed it over a hole. I then took some black thread, to match the lace, and used a simple stitch to sew around the edges, attaching it to the knitted fabric of the cardigan. Once I had sewn around the edge, I then flipped the garment to reveal the wrong side and carefully stitched the lace to the now concealed hole to add a little more stability and prevent further fraying or damage.
Then simply repeat this on each hole you come across in your garment. Believe me, once you start looking for them they seem to multiply! Then enjoy your newly revived, and beautifully mended, garment.
It is a technique that can also work for T-shirts:
Give it a try. Let me know how you get on in the comments! And if you have any other tips, techniques, and advice for beautiful mending ideas please share, I’d love to hear them.