For those of you who don’t know, I have been saving the lives of many garments over the years. Most recently I have been working on the elderly. As far as I know, I am one of the few people willing to take on mending. Rips, tears, blown out zippers, chewed hems, you name it.
Do I do this work for everyone?“ Not really. I have 2 vintage stores that keep me pretty busy and I will take an occasional referral through them. “ Mending has taught me almost everything I know about garment construction. I’ve learned where clothes fail (aka stress points). I have learned a lot about finishing off seams and clever ways to insert zippers. It’s just like hanging out with a bunch of elderly people,“ the stories they tell about the things that they have been through will “learn” you more than any book.
So please treat your clothes with respect. This means:
- No wire hangers (or Joan Crawford will come after you)
- When in doubt box your dresses to preserve shoulders/sleeve (I am talking about those heavy beaded things, heavy things that will destroy the lace sleeves that cannot support them, delicate lacy things)
- Don’t cut out those ribbon things under the arms in your shirts/dresses. They are there to help take some of the strain of gravity on the shoulders of your dress.
- Wear a slip/appropriate undergarments. Sweat + Vintage fabrics + friction often ends in heartbreak.
- Handwash vs. dryclean. Just like your hair gets dry and crispy, so do old fabrics. Hydrate them.
- Steaming vs. ironing. Steam (more hydration) does less damage than the iron can.
Take care little readers. Today I will be mending a vintage couture wedding gown. Mmmm, vintage silk.