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WoCaR 2023 – Week 8

This post in a series keeping track of my Winter of Care and Repair 2023 Project. If you want to see all the posts in the series click here


10 February

Repair cafe! Colin loved his socks, which I’m glad about. It’s always nice to do a repair for someone who appreciates it.

I had been given a mouse-nibbled coat to work on during the session. Normally I don’t count these but this was definitely skill-building.

There were actually three repairs: the exterior, the lining (which was similar damage though in a different place), and the pocket. All had been nibbled.

The pocket I don’t have any pictures of, but I acted upon a lesson I’d learned at a previous repair cafe: If a pocket bag is damaged, if possible just replace the damaged portion. Don’t darn it.

  • Leave the bit that’s attached to the exterior of the item of clothes (plus some extra to use as seam allowance), and cut away the damaged section.
  • Separate the layer of the damaged section and use them as pattern pieces to cut out of new fabric.
  • Separate the seams a bit on the section still attached to the clothes
  • Sew each section of new fabric to the bit still attached to the clothes
  • Resew the seam around the pocket

Much better than trying to darn thin pocket bag material.

As for the other mends:

Thankfully the lady who brought the jacket in had brought some patching material, so I just used those to put patched over the top of the holes. I figured square patches looked better than ragged edged holes with patching material behind, though on the lining I zig zagged the edges of the hole down.

If I were doing this for myself I would’ve probably done the exterior patch a bit differently to try and keep as much waterproofness as possible, but it should be fine.

As is, she was just going to donate it to a charity shop after the mend. After chatting with my fellow fixperts, we weren’t sure even the lovely local charity shop would take a repaired item. But one of them needed a new coat like this, so she offered to take it away for a donation to the group of the lady’s choice. Win win!

When I got home I darned another not-quite-hole in a canvas bag.

Tilly, as always, is barely tolerating this distraction from fussing time.


11 February

Remember the duvet cover from last week? I did some machine stitching to reinforce the patches. I’m not sure it worked. Well it obviously worked, but I’m not sure it looks as good as it did in my head.

Now I managed to unpick the fold from the lower left corner of the first patch, and remove all the loose threads, and it looks a lot better. But I have a feeling I’d redo the zig zags at some point. It probably wouldn’t have been as bad if I’d used a light blue or grey. I’ll live with it for a few weeks though and see how it holds up.

Not everything has to be a resounding success with artistic merits. If it works that’s often good enough.


12 February

Worked on another bit of bedding, this time a fitted sheet. It had a few holes and an L-shaped tear. I’d originally put it in the pile for things to be used to patch, but I changed my mind as there really wasn’t that much damage. This was the worst of it:

You start with a herringbone stitch to hold the sides together as you darn – I’m never sure if I’m doing this right but it works well enough.

And then you darn over each section – this one ended up being a little more complicated because of the additional hole, but it wasn’t bad.

I think I’d like this better if I’d used a lighter thread for the herringbone. I’m also not sure if you can unpick it at this point. I’ll have to reread my mending books.


13 February

We’ve been in the house over a year now, and of course there’s still stuff that doesn’t have a home. One area that desperately needed some help was our board game storage. I don’t have any pictures of the before, but it’d overgrown its original cupboard and spilled over on the top of another storage unit. So we had some shelves delivered and built them today.

This shelf is MASSIVE. We’d ordered online so I wasn’t fully prepared for the size. It still fits in the space but is going to take some getting used to.

If we’d gone for a 4×4 we would’ve basically filled it with things we already have. This gives us some space for additional games in future.


14 February

A bit more work on the fitted sheet from the other day.

An uncharacteristically muted patch from me, I know, but I had a white square of fabric already serged left over from something else, and I used some of the thread from the tails to anchor everything down.

Tilly got properly grumpy with this mend, and stropped off to her cat bed soon after the photo.


15 February

A bit more work on the shelving, building the drawer inserts for the bottom. We have some glass shelves to put in but my husband and I are at odds about whether or not we need them. I agree we need something for the small games, but I think having them across one row (our original plan) takes up too much space that would be useful for other things.

We’ll have to see what we decide to do.


16 February

Another nematode application. We’ve had a good result from last week – I’m already noticing a lot fewer flies flying around, though I’m sure a lot of that is due to the sticky traps included in the set. They’re still there though, so fingers crossed the repeated applications will help reduce their numbers even further.


Let’s see what next week brings!

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