Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Fixing a Hole in Suit Pants...


What do you do when you are presented with a good pair of suit pants sporting a rather large hole in the crotch? Not only is there a huge hole, on the other side of the seam the fabric is wearing VERY thin. YIKES!!! 


My son and I discussed various options. He just wanted a stop gap measure to make them wearable for a few weeks. If necessary, he said he wouldn't take his jacket off, but he needed the hole closed. Joining the edges of the hole was not an option, as it was way too big and would have caused a lot of puckering.  Leave it with me, I said.


Now I know how to darn, but I've never darned anything as good as this. So, off to Google and I learnt about reweaving using threads taken from a concealed area on the pants and reweaving using human white hair. Well, I don't have a ready source of white hair, so forget that one.
Reweaving sounded too complicated for something that only has to last a few weeks and due to its location, probably won't be seen. I decided darning was the way to go.

Next decision, was deciding on the thread to use. I was fairly confident I'd find something in my thread drawer that would suffice. I may have given away all my sewing and knitting patterns, but I kept all my cottons, as I knew I'd need them for repairs over the years.


I find the top drawer of a filing cabinet a very workable way to access and store most of my thread. The Decor lunch boxes, stacked three deep on the left, house 100% cotton and Rasant cotton covered polyester thread. Large reels of overlocking thread, plus a few stray reels of cotton thread are at the back and the Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes, stacked two deep on the right, house everything else.


Even though the thread looks quite thick in the photo, it's actually quite fine and on a rather small reel. The thread is very strong and  I'm guessing, a polyester, but I'm not sure. The cotton reel is sitting on my knee and as you can see my jeans could do with repairing... LOL!!!


I began with the worn side first. The aim was simply to reinforce the fabric to prevent a hole from forming. I'll let the photos show you how I darned the very thin fabric. The first three photos show the darning, all done on the wrong side of the fabric. The last photo shows the right side when finished.





I was happy with the end result. Beforehand, the fabric was so thin, I could see my finger underneath. Now I can only see my finger in one tiny, tiny spot. If you look very closely, you can see my finger as one pixel.

The larger hole took a lot longer; about an hour.






The last photo may not look like it's finished, as the camera shows a tad more detail than you can see with the naked eye. It looks a little better when seen without the camera. It's not overly neat, but that's my stop gap measure. 

This is definitely NOT a tutorial, nor what I would recommend. Just thought I'd share a relatively quick, temporary fix, that hopefully no one will see. Coleterie has a very good tutorial on darning.

If you have a good suit with a hole, you can pay to have them rewoven. It's not cheap as my son found out. This suit has been well worn over the last three years and in a few weeks it will be replaced. Guess who gets these pants? ME!!! 

I'm already planning the refashion. Apart from the crotch area, the fine, woollen fabric is in perfect condition, so they'll be perfect to recut into a pair of pants for me. I just have to find a good pattern. I need help finding one!!!

Mending Men's Suits, published in 1946, explains anything you could ever want to know on the subject.

... Pam

14 comments:

  1. wow,Pam! I never knew such a technique existed. I always learn so much from your blog!

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  2. Oh my - that is a job and a half! Well done!

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  3. My sons jeans look very like those suit trousers!

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    1. I always mend/ darn jeans on a machine, depending on the size ,
      A small hole you can actually just sew from top to bottom of hole back and forth guiding the needle to fill in the hole with sewing machine thread no patch needed. For bigger holes about 2" or more use a patch and if possible cut the patch with pinking shears and use some stitch witchery to hold it in place then stitch on the outside of the pant, of course put the patch on the inside, just blend the thread around the trimmed sides of the hole and again go back and forth back and forth. I have even fixed frayed sides by using this method of back and forth.

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  4. That is a lot of work Pam and a great technique, I've never mended anything that way before. My husbands work trousers always tear in that exact spot and I crudely use my machine to sew it back together. Sometimes I even whack a big ugly patch on it too, haha!
    I'll look forward to seeing the refashion on these!

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  5. Your repair job looks good to me and will surely last the few weeks it needs to. Hmmm...pants patterns for ladies...is there a particular style you're wanting? I've been considering the Thurlow pattern by Sewaholic.

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  6. It's a great tip! Hey, if it gets more wear out of the pants then it's a win for me!

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  7. That is a great tip! I always gravitate towards my sewing machine for repairs, mostly from dread of hand sewing. You've made this look quite easy, thanks.

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  8. I have repaired many many holes , the best technique I found was to use a patch and weave the edges into the pant fabric. I'm not sure but years ago I bought a great book from Atlanta Threads , it had everything about men's alterations and they also sold a book about repairs of men's clothes. I'm not sure they are even around anymore but you could try.

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    1. I looked up Atlanta Thread and they are still around. The books I am referring to are tailoring for men. It is worth the money.

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    2. Oh I forgot to tell you, rue weaving of men's suits is almost forgotten unless you had a suit made ( Tailored ) just for you and paid at least a few thousand for it, and usually if someone paid that much or more they usually don't care about the suit, they will just have another made. In the old days before ready made factory clothes, there were as any rue weavers as tailors and seamstresses. I always found this subject to be very interesting.

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    3. Please please please , next time use a very small needle and one strand of thread. Takes time but is well worth it.

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  9. The patch can be bought at a fabric store that sells suiting fabrics or online . Just find out what weave the pants are and search for the same weave and color.

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    1. Thanks for the info, Denise. I think your suggestion of a patch would work better than just the darning alone.

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