Category Archives: Mending Pile Monday

MPM – The Ivy Star skirt

Yikes, has it really been that long since I’ve done a Mending Pile Monday mission?!? Oh dear. Too many Monday’s out of town for work does not make for a depleted mending pile…..

Anyway, back to it this week! And the candidate for this Monday: a long-ish denim skirt from small NZ designer Ivy. I got this in a clothes swap about a year ago, and it was just the wrong length on me (and the invisible zip was coming loose at the back) so it went into the Mending Pile of Certain Death to languish for quite some time.

But now, it’s time in the light has come! I pulled it out, raised the hem by 19cm, and hand-stitched the base of the invisible zipper. The result? I’m wearing it now, and it’s likely to get high rotation in my wardrobe. :-)

This skirt’s kinda interesting – it’s a treated denim, a bit plastic-feeling on the front which gives it a bit of a sheen. There’s a slanted pocket on one side, with three embroidered stars on the edges. Simple details. I like them a lot.

Anyway, here it is, in it’s new, wearable-by-me form.


MPM – finishing the Librarian’s Nightmare dress

Remember the Librarian’s Nightmare dress? Another of those Vintage Vogue reproduction patterns that took far, far longer to sew than it should have. I still don’t know quite how it took that long. In fact, I so don’t understand it that I kind of want to make it again, to see if it did actually take that long or if it was just a weird sort of dream. Hmmm.

Anyway, when I did the post about it, I hadn’t quite finished it – the undersides of the shoulder straps still needed invisible hand stitching, and it also needed a hook and eye in between the snap fastener closures at the waist.

I’m pleased to say that, thanks to hanging out with my lovely flatmate Heather and watching a DVD, the dress is now done! (Nothing quite like DVD watching to get some hand sewing accomplished. Must do that more often.)

Just as a memory jogger, this is the dress:


(We’ll just ignore that odd little fabric fold in the wrong place that I never noticed before now, shall we? It’s not there in real life. It just made an appearance for that photo, for some reason, then vanished, never to be seen again.)

Now that the weather is warming up and the dress is all finished off, I’m on to the next challenge with it – wearing it! I’m thinking I may wear it to work this week, with a cardigan, tights and knee-high boots. (Yes, the weather may be warming up, but still not warm enough to shed the winter tights yet. I’m down a layer of merino every day, though. Progress!)

Another Monday, another mending pile rescue.

MPM – anchoring lining on a dress

Another quick-n-easy project for this week’s Mending Pile Monday.

A while back, the Sew Weekly challenge was to make a black dress. For which I made this one.

I’ve worn it a few times since then, but ended up chucking (ahem, ‘folding and placing carefully’) it in my mending pile, as the lining in the front neckline kept slipping up and showing a bit.

So, this Monday, it was this dresses turn! I tacked the lining down tighter on the inside, and also added a hook and eye above the centre back zip (which I’d completely forgotten to do).

One black dress, re-released into my wardrobe. Mission accomplished for another week.

MPM – a retro blue floral dress

Yep, I know it’s not Monday. Quite far from it, in fact, but here’s the (delayed) post from this week’s Mending Pile Monday anyway.

I picked up this lovely bright blue floral vintage dress at the latest clothes swap my friends and I held. What can I say? The fabric, it just called out my name.

Before alterations

The length, however – not so good. Somewhat frumpy, in fact. It’s not really long. And it’s not anywhere near short. Clearly, it was made for a much shorter person than I. (The waist also sits a bit high, but not so high that people will notice. Or that’s what I’m telling myself anyway.)

So, I lopped 9.5 inches off it. And then I did something I’ve never done before – I hand-stitched the hem! Eek!!! I’ve been summoning the courage to do this for quite some time now, and this week was the week I got brave and picked up the hand-sewing needle. And oh my, did it take a while. *sigh* I’m really happy with how the hem looks. Although I doubt I’ll be doing this on a circle skirt anytime soon.

And now, I have a dress that I anticipate will be getting a fair amount of wear this summer!

After shortening

MPM – Karen Walker jersey

Sorry guys – today’s another boring mending pile Monday post! I promise, I’ll get onto the more interesting ones some day soon. Honest – there are some 1970’s dresses that are sitting there, waiting patiently to be altered and made wearable!

But in the meantime, this Monday’s challenge ended up being a simple mending one. I have a lovely machine-knitted woolen Karen Walker jersey that I bought a few years back. Sadly, the white stripe on the back of the neckline has come apart from the maroon part, so it got shoved into the mending pile. I’m pleased to say, it’s now be reintroduced to my wardrobe. It may even be worn tomorrow, hows that for mending progress?!

Before - the hole in the back neckline


After - no more hole!

MPM – reattaching a snap fastener

Sorry folks – I’m afraid today’s MPM (Mending Pile Monday) is another boring one. But still, it’s another item released back into my wardrobe! Which is always something to be celebrated, I reckon.

Last time I wore it, one of the snap fasteners on the neck of my August dress started coming loose. So I chucked it into the mending pile, where (like many garments to come before it) it’s languished for a few months. In fact, I’d completely forgotten it was in my mending pile, otherwise I may have gotten around to doing something about it a bit sooner.

Anyhoo, today was its day.

Before, with a snap fastener hanging by a couple of threads:

And after, with the snap fastener firmly reattached and the dress ready to be worn for this weeks Wednesday Wardrobe Challenge, which is polka dots:

And there we have it – a boring MPM post, but a good one as far as one purple polka-dotted dress is concerned. Maybe next week I’ll tackle something that’s more interesting to read about. I’v got a floral 1970’s dress lurking in there, awaiting adjustments…..

MPM – Adidas track pants

The last few Mending Pile Monday posts have been, well, a touch boring, really. And I’m afraid to say, today isn’t any different. But even if it’s boring, it still makes me happy, as it’s another item rescued from my overly large mending/alterations/UFO pile and released back into the wild of my wardrobe. Yay!

Nice and simple this week – while digging through the pile, deciding what to work on, I unearthed a pair of Adidas track pants I bought a couple of years ago. Until I rediscovered them today, I’d completely forgotten I had them. Guess that shows how long they’ve been waiting to be altered for.

I don’t know what it is about Adidas track pants – I’ve bought two pairs now, and both have been far too short for me. Clearly, they design them for short women. (And no, I have no idea what possessed me to buy this pair, since they are too short. I wore them maybe twice out running and they annoyed me so much, flapping around my ankles, that I put them aside to take up.)

Here’s the length they were before the alteration:

(Please ‘scuse the photo quality. I couldn’t be bothered getting completely changed out of my work clothes just to try on a pair of pants to check the length, so you’re seeing some classy socks, tights, and skirt-hitched-up styles. I’m so glamorous at times.)

As you can see, kinda a stupid length. The perfect length to flap around one’s ankles while one is out running, in fact.

So, I hacked off roughly the same sized area as a Vogue pattern envelope….

Top-stitched the hem with my trusty overlocker, and now they’re this length (warning: bad socks-and-tights combo ahead):

I think I’ll take them out on my next run, try the new length out. :-)

MPM – grey skirt is good-to-go

A very quick and simple Mending Pile Monday task this week. So quick and simple, it felt a little bit like cheating, even.

I hosted a clothes swap party at my place on Saturday, and one of the items up for grabs was a nice grey straight work skirt, which was coming apart at the end of the invisible zip. Clearly, the skirt needed help. So I kept hold of it, and fixed it up.

Here’s a (not particularly good) photo of what it was like beforehand (turns out taking a close-up photo of a section of grey skirt where a seam has started to come apart does not make for an overly exciting photo):

If you look closely, you can just make out the issue. The bottom part of the zipper was coming away from the skirt, and the seam under the zipper was also coming apart.

A few minutes with an invisible zipper foot, a standard zipper foot, and my trusty quick-un-pick (*sigh*), and the skirt was as good as new! See?

And it’s now living a second life, in the wardrobe of my friend Steph. :-)

MPM – black merino top

Eek! How on earth has it managed to be a week since I’ve sat down to do online stuff?!? Scary….

Anyway, here’s a short, belated post from last Monday’s Mending Pile Monday.

I went for a bit of a lucky-dip project this time and pulled something at random from my mending pile. Which turned out to be a high-necked black merino top. This one, in fact:

A few years ago, I went through a brief phase of buying high-necked tops. Before I realised that they don’t suit me and I don’t even like wearing them. So this merino top has been languishing for a while, waiting for me to adjust it’s neck so I’ll wear it again. About half a hour later, it looked like this:

The neckline is now a wide, low one, so I can wear it easily under dresses and other tops without having to constantly tug the underneath neckline down out of sight.

And I’m pleased to say I’ve already worn it twice since Monday, so that’s one black merino top successfully migrated from the mending pile to the wardrobe. :-)

MPM – Progress on the plaid jacket

Finally, I’ve made some more progress on the strangers UFO jacket!!! Yes folks, this one’s been a long time coming – ever since the last Mending Pile Monday that I picked it up (several weeks ago now), it’s been sitting there, waiting for me to come back to it. And yesterday, with it’s howling wind, driving rain and hail, and snow (yes, snow in central Wellington!!! Very, very odd), it seemed like a good day to pick it up again.

I’m sad to say it’s not quite finished yet, but I did make a lot of progress – I took it in at the sides (it’s a smock style and, quite frankly, looked like an at-9-months maternity coat on me), chopped a section off the bottom (so I can turn it into a belt and cinch it in a bit more), added the sleeves, put interfacing down the front edges (it’s a reasonably loose weave so I wanted to play it safe and add a bit more strength for the button holes), and inserted the lining. All without any instructions. Yippie! I’m pretty happy with it, although since a stranger cut it out, the sleeves were cut at normal length (read: far too short for me), so I’m going to re-stitch the lining where it attaches to the end of the sleeves and see if I can gain an extra centimetre or two of sleeve length.

That’s our cat Pepper perched on the mattress behind me. (Yes, Steve has an on-it’s-side mattress in his room. *shrug*)

Woo-hoo! Lining!!!

Just a few steps left to go, hopefully I’ll get it finished next week. I’ve got to do some hand-finishing in the front bottom corners, adjust the sleeve length, sew up and attach the hood (and it’s lining), and add the buttons. And then it’ll be done! The plan is to get it finished in time for Self-Stitched September, as a me-made jacket is one of those wardrobe essentials I’m missing.