Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Slightly visible mending

A quick fix for a cardigan with a hole.
simple cardigan repiar

Visible mending is very popular right now, hand stitching over patches of contrast fabric. I absolutely love the effect and I really love the principle of mending what we have rather than immediately buying new all the time.

For our daughter's black cardigan that she wears for work however, visible mending wasn't suitable, it's plain black needed all the way. Invisible mending seemed too much of a stretch so we did a quick repair that is half way between the two. I'm giving it the catchy title of "slightly visible mending", do you think it will catch on?!

This repair took about 5 minutes, it actually took longer to get the sewing machine out and then put it away after, than it did to do the repair.

The hole was near the elbow, originally I was thinking elbow patches, no need to reinvent the wheel here.
But the hole was in fact just below the elbow so unless an elbow patch was enormous it wasn't going to work. Also the cardigan is a fine knit and I couldn't think how to make elbow patches that wouldn't be too bulky and weigh the elbows down and pull them out of shape.

All I needed was a small rectangle of thin jersey knit fabric (this is actually a pair of one of the boys boxer shorts that had worn completely threadbare at the top so the elastic was in danger of falling out, just don't tell anyone I used underpants for this repair!) and some black thread.
Black things are hard to take photos of - just saying!

I slid the sleeve, inside out, onto the free arm of the sewing machine.
simple repair
Then I laid the rectangle of knit fabric on top and stitched all over it. 
Because the sleeve fitted snugly on the free arm there was no turning it round so I stitched forward, then backwards but at a very slight angle, then forwards again and so on. It made a big zig zag of stitches.

I removed the sleeve from the free arm, trimmed any excess fabric, then slid it back on right side out.
simple repair
I then repeated the process on the right side, that way I could make sure I was covering the largest hole really well.

The finished repair is pretty hard to see, doesn't feel overly rough on the inside and is not heavy or too lumpy.
simple cardigan repair

Maybe not an idea for your best togs, but to make a work cardie last a little bit longer - perfect. 
cardigan mending hack

Sum of their Stories
Sum of their Stories

Hello, I'm Julie. I love making things and this is where I share my enthusiasm.


  1. Very nicer repair Julie. I always struggle with knit repairs because I'm afraid I will ruin the elasticity of the clothing.

  2. I vote for the catchy title, Julie:-) I hand sew my cardigans, but the end result looks just like yours. No one ever notices.

  3. When I was in the Brownies (in 1952!) we had to learn how to darn socks and this involved using the right colour thread and weaving over the damaged part of the sock.Because we were very poor I had to invisibly mend my green school knickers using this method as you can imagine I still have the habit of mending and love your recycling ideas but happily now it is not so important just a your blog nanny rose

  4. What a great idea to save a useful cardigan. I will store this away for future use

  5. I was not aware that mending was acceptable again and its a good thing. When my sons were little I would place iron on patches (remember those) inside the knees of their pants so they got extra wear out of them. Mending can save a family an immense amount of money.


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