Thursday, July 28, 2016

A bit of mending

July 2nd I had an encounter with a sparkler that left a trail of carnage on a favorite skirt:

I was wearing the skirt at the time of the incident, and there is a perfectly matched trail of carnage on my epidermis-- second degree burns, in fact. Fortunately they are healing well with minimal assistance.

The skirt -- actually it is more of a sarong or pareo, but I refuse to confine it to beach wear!-- is quite badly damaged. It wasn't the most precious garment to begin with. I received it as a cast-off from a friend's wardrobe purge, I thought I might reuse the fabric-- lightweight printed rayon, not the highest quality-- for sewing practice. But then I started wearing it and grew to love it, which makes it worth saving in my book.

I have done some darning on knits before and I'm using pretty much the same process for the burn holes using a single strand of embroidery floss and a sharp darning needle. I start by outlining the area I'm going to darn over with a running stitch:

Then I fill in the shape with "warp" threads running across the hole and anchored behind the outline stitches. Finally I weave under and over the warp threads using more floss and a longer needle-- here's the first patch in progress:

This part is engrossing and very fiddly, and I'm enjoying it immensely. I learned to use the side of my darning needle to push against the previous rows as I weave a new one, it kind of snugs up the weave and keeps it flat and even. I am very happy with the results so far:

The color doesn't quite match and that doesn't bother me. Really I should have used silver metallic thread as a kind of visual memento of the sparkler incident, and I may find some and do a little embellishing later on. I don't think I will soon forget catching on fire*, but long after the wounds heal the darned patches will help me remember how to line up the skirt with my body when I put it on! I can't wait to start wearing my skirt again, good as new if not better.

*I actually had to stop, drop, and roll

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