My sister-in-law bought a new down coat last week. Yesterday I got a panicked call from her telling me her dog had jumped up on her and left two tears on the front and side of the coat: could I fix it? I’ve told you before that I get some tricky tasks since I’m the only one in the family who sews, but sewing on a goose down nylon coat is one I have never previously tackled. My immediate answer: bring it over so I can look at it. With a day to consider different options I wanted to share with you my conclusions and solutions to this repair problem. A few things came to mind as soon as I saw the coat. 1. The fabric is so slippery!! 2. I won’t be able to pin or secure the fabric in any way before I sew it since holes will not heal on this fabric. 3. Down feathers were coming out of each hole surprisingly fast! 4. The nylon fabric was fraying just by looking at it! Maybe some of my decisions may help you if you find yourself in my position one day….
So just to recap…measure the mending stitch you plan to use by actually stitching it out. Use a small needle to lessen the size of the holes you will be making as you mend. Use something to stabilize the fabric, inside and outside, so the mend does not pull the fabric apart at the edges (nylon, once torn, has little strength on its own. It needs help). I used cotton bias tape on the inside of the coat, in between the layers of coat and the down feathers. While stitching I used a stabilizer that will disappear either with water or with the air (it will dry up over time and flake off). Also, when I was putting the coat under the presser foot on my machine, I dropped the feed teeth so the nylon did not get snagged.
I hope you find some useful hints here if you ever find yourself in this type of situation. Have a great week and Happy Sewing!