Half an hour spent weekly in preventive mending will often save hours of darning and patching later. At the same time, there will always be holes and tears, and it is well to learn the best methods of repairing the various damages.
A NARROW CROCHET INSERTION IS USEFUL IN REPAIRING TORN HEMSTITCHING.
As children's clothes quickly and so often require mending, shall we consider the repairing of a little girl's chemise ? These directions are suitable for a chemise with a round band. The first thing to happen will m o s t likely be its return from the wash with a button missing. Now don't hastily catch one on, or you will have the same business to do next week. First be sure that your button is the right size for your button hole. One too large would be obviously useless, one too small will come unfastened and cause discomfort. The plain linen buttons are preferable, those with holes cut the cotton and cause the threads to come undone. Sew on firmly, stemming, i.e., twist the cotton several times round the button, and cast off securely on the back.
The next trouble will probably be a slit down the front from the opening; this will possibly be very slight, but a darn is not a sufficient form of strengthening. Place a piece of wide tape across the slit, on the wrong side of the garment, and sew round securely. Some find a piece of tape on both sides acts well for hard wear, but this would be too clumsy for light garments.
A chemise that is in otherwise good condition may perhaps become slightly frayed at the bottom. This is easily made perfect by cutting off the bottom hem, turning up and machining another. Do not tear off this hem, but cut it off, as the threads round the bottom of the chemise do not always run evenly.
A CHILD'S PETTICOAT MADE FROM DONE-WITH STOCKING LEGS.
The sleeve is a part that constantly comes to grief with growing girls. Physical drill, hockey, etc., while giving good exercise to the arms, also causes much wear on the parts of the chemise round the shoulder. Patching here is very unsatisfactory, for if you patch one side one week the other will need it the next, and the top the next after, making a very unsightly and uncomfortable garment. The remedy for this is to put in an entirely new sleeve, which is very easily done.
Take an oblong piece of material, fold to form a square, place the fold over the shoulder part of sleeve, having first unpicked the neck band over the shoulder. One end of square goes into the band. (A in diagram). This may be cut out a little if necessary; the other side of the square comes to the arm-hole of sleeve. Pin new material on to the old sleeve, cut out the curve under arm by the old pattern, make a seam and fell on that curve to correspond with the side of chemise. (B in diagram). Sew round the right side of the patch, being particular that the seam and fell of the new sleeve come exactly on the seam and fell of the chemise. Now turn the chemise inside out and cut out the old sleeve, leaving enough material to turn in and make a neat hem all round. Sew on the part of the band that was unpicked, hem the arm-hole.
Possibly by this time the neck band is wearing. Never patch a band, it is lumpy and looks most ugly. This should be taken off and a new band put on. The band is simply a long narrow strip of calico. Measure the length by the old one, halve and quarter this band, see that the half comes to the middle of the back gathers and the quarters on the shoulders; pin these points while you tack the band, it can then be machined. Work a buttonhole, put on a button and finish with trimming. If the trimming on the original band was good it should bear using again; if it is worn, put on some narrow Cash's Frilling or crocheted edging.
Often it happens that the top back of the chemise is much worn; in this case a neat patch might be put in while the band is off. Press out the old gathers before placing the patch; remember to gather the back when the patch has been completed before replacing the band. If the two new sleeves are put in at the same time the chemise will take an entirely new lease of life. A Simple Knicker Frill.
Unfortunately, by far the larger part of our mending, nowadays, is due to the modern laundry. Where our mothers could keep their underclothing in good condition for years, ours is torn to shreds, and some of it comes home ragged and tattered most weeks from the average laundry. Knicker frills go very quickly, and often need replacing.
Here is a simple way to renovate them. Crochet a band of insertion, and add a crochet frill; gather the leg of the knicker, and whip it to one edge of the band of insertion. You will find this will wear well, and look better than patched embroidery.