Vintage Sewing


June 22, 2011

So, this isn’t exactly vintage (unless 80’s? is vintage), but I hope ya’ll don’t mind because I really need some advice.  There is so much expertise in here, surely someone has a better way to fix this. I made this:

Well, I did make out of vintage navy polyester, which is not so fun to work with by the way.  Here is the finished work (without a bottom hem)

And here is the problem:

Me and my serger did not see eye to eye. I was trying to clean up the seams inside, but I don’t have enough experience with the machine to know where to pivot to avoid the knife slicing right though and it did. And my mending looks awful partially because the unfortunate cut was through interfacing, facing and a seam. It’s also in a terribly visible place right on the shoulder seam near the neck. *Sigh* Can anyone give me some advice to clean this up? If I have to remake this shirt, it will be the third time. I don’t want to lose the time I put into it or to have wasted the fabric.



  1. Yikes! Well, I don't know how to repair it, but would advise putting an applique over it or some beading that could carry through down the side neck a bit and on the edge of the sleeves (or over the shoulder) to tie it in.

  2. I agree with adding something to cover it up. You might look at Antrhopology inspired refashions you find on sites such as on Co-Op Refashion, Made by Lex, and others.

  3. I made this pattern in light blue crepe-back satin for my cousin's bridesmaids for her second wedding (in 2000, so it's not even retro yet). The only advice I can give is to second what KibitzKnitz said–embellishment may be your only hope. Good luck!

  4. You could do a simple alteration to the neckline by opening it out equally on either side to the point where you get past the mishap. You'd have to redo your facing to match the new neckline shape but it would save the top and use minimal fabric.
    It appears that you would only have to let it out a wee bit which shouldn't affect the shape very much.

  5. Heidi,I am sure the crepe looked so much better than this polyester! haha But this is really a wearable muslin that I didn't want to waste. But it is *vintage* polyester, I promise!

    The first thing I thought about was an applique to cover it, but I was afraid it would be too much going on with the cowl neck and all. But beading might work. I'll take a look at that.

    Anita, the shirt already *just* fits and I'm afraid to take any out would make the armholes too small….but I suppose I could angle a new shoulder seam, like a dart, and not even get into the arm seam. Hmmm…that could work too.

    I knew you guys could help me! Thank you so much! I don't have a real creative mind when I get thrown off track like this, so I really appreciate it.

  6. It might look better if you patched it with a little extra fabric and then did the same thing on the other size and perhaps at the ends of all the seams (the new vintage lady blog did a nice patching and mending tutorial recently)? Or widened the neck hole about the same amount on both sides, it wouldn't be the same shirt with a boat neck, but it would still be nice.
    I can't really tell how large a tear it is though, it seems to be about an inch across?

  7. This may not be helpful, but I generally do the overlocking before putting the thing together- I know, 20/20 hindsight- If you carefully unpick the bit that went wrong, you may be able to overlock it before resewing the seam and it may look ok. If it makes it assymetric you could repeat on the other side? Or would you then just hate it so much it would never be worn?

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