“Mending Tears”

After the last month of sewing nothing but face masks for donation, I decided I really needed to try to empty the mending basket that sits in my sewing room.  Anything that needs mending gets tossed in the basket to be mended in a concentrated mending session.  My machine makes the job fairly quick.  Almost every sewing machine has some type of mending stitch that can be found in the utility stitches that are built into the machine. This stitch is found in every machine in the Husqvarna Viking line from the Opal on up and in the Pfaff line from the Ambition on up.  It’s a great stitch for fixing a tear in the fabric that needs a strong hold.  There aren’t many directions as to how to use the stitch, so I thought I would give you a short lesson in case you also have some clothes in your mending basket that could use some attention!

On every machine you will find the mending stitch in the Utility Stitches.
My machine has several choices, but the stitch on your machine probably has this icon.
When I choose the stitch, my machine gives me some information on how to use the stitch. Your machine may or may not have this feature.
The red mark on my fabric represents the tear. This fabric is quilting cotton, so…
…I would want to give the fabric some extra support before the sewing begins. I always put a piece of matching fabric under the tear and then use a piece of cut away stabilizer to support the repair. If I can’t match the fabric exactly, I look for something close in color and of equal weight.
The machine is going to lay down rows of stitching to go over the tear. I put the tear under the middle line of the foot so my stitching starts on the undamaged fabric. This gives the repair support. I start my sewing a bit above the beginning of the tear.
I keep sewing my line of stitching down the left side of the tear, keeping the tear under the center red line on the foot. I usually stitch a bit beyond the bottom of the tear, again to give the repair support.
Once I reach my desired stopping point, I press the “Reverse” button on the machine. Just press it once. This tells the machine how long you want the repair stitches to stitch as it makes its pattern. My machine goes through nine rows of stitching before it ends the repair. Keep your foot on the pedal and don’t let up until the machine stops.
I didn’t need to do much guiding for this mend. The stitch starts at the far left red mark on the foot…..
…and ends when it gets to the far right red mark. Just keeping the tear under the center red mark on the foot gives you the perfect mend.
This is the finished mend. I have done this in contrasting thread to make it easy to see clearly. If matching thread is used, the repair blends in very well.

This stitch is best used on firm woven fabrics. It is not intended to be used on knits or stretch fabrics due to the amount of stitching the machine uses. A stretch fabric would tend to “cup” under the amount of stitches and the repair would stretch out the fabric.

I hope this tip gives you some confidence to use this stitch from your machine! Happy sewing!