"Quickies" will be little lessons about sewing that may help you along the way to being a better seamster. Some of the information contained in these lessons are geared toward the beginner and those of you who have been sewing for a while will get bored and wander away. That's alright, I promise not to take it personally.
Quickie #1 - Is that thing circa 1311?
Question: "I have old, crappy, grass stained garb. What should I do with it so I don't have to throw it away? Boohoo!"
Quit yer crying already and jazz up your old stuff to make it new again. Below is a list of problems with old garb and some simple solutions that will allow you to keep old garb longer and look better all at the same time.
- Pants with holes in the knees. This is a classic problem for people in foam fighting since a lot of people would rather wear kneepads underneath to hide them and just toss out pants once they have holes. The only problem is that holes start appearing within a week or two and get so bad so quick that you have to replace pants often or suffer with ratty holes in your knees. I recommend reinforcing the knees with a heavy grade of cloth such as target or canvass. Attach a patch of the fabric to the outside of the pants and change only the patch when it does start to wear out. You can also cut off the legs just above the knee and simply add fabric to just the bottom of the pants.
- Crotch split. Well, ahem, this is embarrassing. I guess you really are all that and a bag a chips after all. *snicker* When you have pants that have split at the seams there is a technique called gusseting that repairs it quickly and easily. A gusset is a diamond shaped piece of fabric that you add to the junction of two seams to release tension. If you look at the split, it will already have a diamond shape to it. just measure the size of the hole and add a seam allowance to it. If you need more of a description just search for how to sew a gusset online. There are quite a few tutorials and videos out there.
- Tunic boredom. If you have a tunic that is just boring the snot out of you there are many ways to make it better. Add some trim to the edge of the sleeves, around the bottom and around the neck hole. you can use a highly decorative ribbon or just a package of contrasting color bias tape. Both go on fairly easily to completed garb and add color and depth to your tunic. You can also take two similar tunics and cobble together a frankentunic. Just keep the body of one and add the sleeves of another or cut them both in two down the middle and go for a half and half look. Be careful that you have enough width on the tunics that you won't make it too small when you sew them together.If they are fairly fitting in the first place, add a strip of fabric between them to make it big enough. This will also work when you tunic is getting a little tight due to one too many cheeseburgers and a few too many kegs of beer. If it's too big, eat a cheeseburger or buy a belt,ya skinny.
- Grass and dirt stains. This one is the simplest fix known to man. All you have to do is paint over it with some rad design that your geeky little heart loves. You can also do an applique by adding a piece of fabric in some neat shape to the top of the fabric and sewing it down. Just use a zigzag stitch off the edge of the design so that it won't fray when you wash it.
- Blood stains. Circle them with neon paint and put a little sign over it that states whose blood it is, when it was deposited and who made it gush forth etc. These are badges of honor and should be displayed as such.
- Odd rips and frays. When these happen along the edge of a garment you can simply cut them off and resew the area. You can fix frays with a zigzag stitch half on and half off the edge to bind it. You can even roll over the edges a couple of times and sew them flat.
- It's hopeless. Sometimes you just have to give up and re-purpose. It may be that you can make a pant leg into a huge pouch for storing your booze. Perhaps you can cut off the arms of a tunic and cut it open from neck to knee and make a vest/robe. Maybe you can take a tabard and cut the design off to attach it to another garment. You could even make an old cloak into a baby blanket for orphans. Too much? Nope, just enough.
Quickie #1 over. Time to cuddle. <3