Mending with soul.
While it isn't the easiest or fastest way to save a torn jacket, adding visible mending and patches makes a bold statement. Take this jacket, that I thought was really ugly, but I needed a practice piece to for this idea, and I didn't want to use a "good jacket" just in case I really effed it up. What turned out was this really cool, soulful piece that feels more like art then clothing. I fixed up that jacket that was bound for the landfill for under $10, though it did end up taking me about 10 hours over a few days.
Deciding what to embroider
This jacket had holes on each shoulder. It looked like the result of a lion attack, except there probably would've been blood, so it was probably something far less exciting. With rips of this size, a patch is your best bet.
Cut off the fringe
This is a must for patching this way, because the leftover fringe from a tear will tangle with your thread, and it just looks kind of crappy.
I like to use a couple of different patterns, but still want to have some subtlety, so I used patterns with gold and red for each of the shoulders, and then a variegated red thread for the sashiko embroidery on the back panel of the jacket. The patches that I refer to are small scraps of cotton fabric.
To secure the patches to the jacket, I pinned the fabric to the inside of the jacket, and then added some sashiko style stitching around the edges to secure the fabric.
For the left shoulder, I secured the fabric to the inside of the jacket, and then used gold thread to make diagonal sashiko stitches beginning outside of the patch, and continuing over the fabric, and then back onto the denim. Then, I stitched tiny x's around the patch on the denim to give the patch even more stability.
The right shoulder was less beat up, so I used a smaller patch with horizontal sashiko stitches running over the denim and the patch.
How about that back panel?
Using a sashiko stencil, I traced the design down the center of one of the back panels, and then stitched using a variegated embroidery thread for a multi-hued effect.
As I mentioned before, I really had no love for this jacket, and now I have no plans to part with it.
I'm planning more of these projects, so if you want to keep up, sign up here to receive posts via email.