Monthly Mending – August 2021

(This may be a post of failed mends that have been made right)

On June 2nd, I mentioned that I would be sending this jacket off to be mended. I filled out the estimate request form using as much detail as I was able and received the estimate quote the next day. To my cheap frugal mind it seemed like A LOT. Zippers don’t cost much and I do know how to replace one, I was just worried that after the repair, the jacket wouldn’t be as nice looking as the original construction. Having made up my mind to do the work myself, I measured the zipper and ordered some (they came in a package of 5) off the inter-webs. When they arrived I set the envelope on the coffee table. Before I had time to start work on the zip removal, we needed the living-room to be cleaned. I gathered items off all flat surfaces and put them somewhere. I still don’t know where they are. Onto zipper procurement adventure #2. I remeasured the zipper on the jacket. I’m not really sure where the zippers are measured from or to. I measured the whole thing, top to tail. Worst case scenario, I would have a zipper that is too long. I noted both imperial and metric measurements. Then I went to the local sewing store. Perhaps you already know that a zipper for a jacket must be a “separating” zipper. One that comes completely apart at the bottom so the wearer doesn’t have to step through and shimmy the jacket up their body, like a 1950’s wiggle skirt, to put the thing on. This only occurred to me when I was at the store looking at the vast array of different kinds of zippers. This is a good thing to know! (I have no idea if the last zippers were even the correct kind, they are still somewhere super-safe) Looking over the selection, I chose one in a color that wouldn’t clash with the jacket in what I thought (How is that for foreshadowing?) was the correct size. Yaaaaaahhhh… not so much. (sigh) I greatly dislike taking the time to return things, so into the notions stash it went. Out came the measuring tape again and back to the inter-webs I went. Finding the (correct) type of zips was much easier this time. I ordered two: one in the size I thought I needed and; one in the next size up. My thought being that if it was too long, I could cut off the top part. When they arrived, one was too long and one was way too long. Perfect!!! 🙂 Now onto the actual repair. Knowing my sieve-like memory, I took a bunch of pics of how the left side of the jacket looked before I started cutting out the lines of stitching and top stitching. (So. Much. Top stitching)

I only took out one side at a time. That way, I could look at the other side as a reference. I wanted to get it right and it all had to be done in a specific order. To put it back together I reversed the deconstruction steps. It turned out wonderfully! It was about 5″ too long at the top, but that was OK. In the previous post I mentioned that I ordered a zipper fixing kit with all the pieces. Bonus points because I even knew where it was. I crimped a “zipper stop” (having done some Googling to find out what that piece was called) to the top, then cut off the extra. On to side #2.

It was essentially the same with the addition of a flap of fabric behind the zipper to keep one from catching belly skin in the zipper teeth while doing it up. That fabric flap extended past the top of the zipper and folded over the zipper stop. This is to keep the top of the zipper from rubbing on the neck of the wearer.

Having nervously stepped over the line of my comfort zone, I was very pleased with the end result and Son was very thankful. Win-Win! (I still don’t know where the first zippers are…)

If you’ve been here for awhile, you probably remember the broken drawers on my treadle machine from my post on November 10th, 2020.

The January 1st, 2021 post showed the gluing & clamping of the poor drawers.
On February 4th, I shared the pathetically ugly glue job and the fact that only the top drawer would fit back into place.

This brings us up to present. For quite some time I had in mind to purchase a hack saw blade, that I would use to carefully cut the little cross piece. That way I would be able to re-glue it correctly so that both drawers would fit. It seemed like a great plan to me. Recently, while at a big box store, I remembered that I wanted that blade. DW helped me to find them, only to find out that wasn’t the type of blade I was thinking of at all.

At his inquiry, I described the type of blade I was thinking of. He know exactly what I was talking about… a coping saw! The saw blade was as narrow as I needed but the saw wouldn’t fit. After a bit of jiggery-pokey I was able to figure out how to take the blade off the saw. While sawing the center cross piece out, I also managed to knock out the bottom cross piece (sigh). The good news was that most it remained intact.

Using a small art brush, hide glue was applied on the ends of the cross pieces AND the sides where the cross pieces would attach to. Then more clamps. Sure there is now a chip out of the veneer of the cross piece, but it is all back together and both drawers fit