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Mend Day 2- Zipper Version

It’s Monday again- WOW time does fly! Setting aside one day a week to do mending and/or making and writing a blog post about it is both a blessing (cause stuff’s finally getting mended, darned or otherwise repaired) and sometimes a sorta curse- there’s a whole week to dread a projectl! As mentioned before, I pick up vintage fixer-upper clothing etc. to repair and sell. Sometimes I shop & purchase quickly without looking it over carefully and am shocked later to see what I missed. Other times I see the flaw and think “an easy fix”… I’m often wrong about that. 

Dress 1- Side Zipper

That’s what happened with the first dress- a gorgeous vintage 50s cocktail dress (no makers label) with a black pleated taffeta FULL circle skirt and a lace halter-style bodice that’s studded with pearls and rhinestones. When I looked at it before buying it, I thought the zipper slide had only “jumped its track”, an easy fix. But once fixed and zipped I could see the metal teeth had completely pulled away from the twill tape at the waist, making a total replacement necessary. 

Eww, I hate replacing side zippers! Fortunately I have a stash of vintage zippers and the one I needed was right on top… a good sign and I was right; it went in smoothly the first time! 

The dress had a couple of other flaws that I was able to fix and one that I”m not sure about yet- a 1/4” slash on the midriff that I need to repair. Maybe a tiny bit of taffeta and a dot of fabric glue on the wrong side will disguise the flaw when worn. I still consider this fix a success tho it’s a work in progress. 🙂

Dress 2- Another Side Zipper

Being encouraged with the easy repairs on dress #1, I reached for a second dress- a sheer white nylon & blue polka dotted plissé number from the 50s with yet another damaged side zipper- several of the metal teeth were missing.

Again I had to remove the zipper and replace it with yet another from my stash. Another easy success after I managed to pick out the zillion tiny white stitches on the white textured fabric. The seams are fraying badly but I’m not going to make myself crazy over-thinking & fixing them but I removed the atrocity of a hem and did a simple machine turned hem in it’s place. 

Dress 3- Hem and Seams

Since 3’s a charm and I was on a roll I mended another dress I picked up last week- a pretty blue shirtdress with a pink atomic floral print. Note to self and others- just because it looks like rayon doesn’t mean it irons like rayon. This unlabeled dress has a high synthetic content and needed a warm but not hot iron to remove the wrinkles without melting the fabric.

This lovely had a gaping sleeve seam and sagging areas of the hem. To make a clean mend I had to take out part of the side seam where it intersects with the sleeve, fix the sleeve and then sew the side seam back up. Once I removed what was left of the old hem it was easy to sew the hem back into place with new thread. I’d forgotten how long hand sewing takes… it seemed like that hem was a mile long!  

Grand Finale- 8 Buttons On A Coat

My clock was finally running out- it was almost dinner time (my night to cook) but I wasn’t ready to quit mending. I climbed over a few boxes*** to get to my button shelf for an adorable but buttonless red plaid overcoat. Against all odds I was able to find 8 matching buttons in exactly the right size!! I put them and matching thread in the pocket so I could sew those buttons on while watching whatever we’re binge-watching later tonight

4 wins for the day… I’m done! All four of these items will be available in my Retromonde Vintage store on Etsy where I sell vintage women’s clothing and accessories.

Sewing is done for the day and I’m sitting sitting here writing this with my cat at my side, feeling pretty pleased with myself. In spite of not wanting to do ANY mending today I finished 4 projects that otherwise would have sat until I re-donated them to another thrift store. The day was pretty perfect except my iron died before I was finished. 

I’m thinking about what next Monday Mend Day will bring- shopping tonight may bring an obvious ‘next in line’ project. Or I may FINALLY get to one of my fixer-up projects like these vintage doll suitcases, vintage purses, lingerie that needs elastic or some other little thing, or darn some woolens. Believe me, I will NEVER run out of things that need repair as long as I keep finding things that need TLC.

Oops- haven’t got the finished photos yet and will add them in a day or two. 

*** One of these Mondays I’m going to ‘mend’ or purge & rearrange my over-stuffed sewing room. I’ll share before and after pix. That sounds like a worthy New Years Resolution, doesn’t it?


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