Maybe you get tired of me writing about my 1980's linen Jacket, but I am so attached to this piece of clothing. Ridiculous almost, but I do love it and wear it often but not so much as I used to. It has sustained so much wear and now the fabric is giving out in several places. Last week I blew the elbow out on my right sleeve when I bent my arm. Big ouch! It sat miserably ripped while I considered my options: Should I retire it and use it as a piece of wall art in my studio? ...or should I keep it going with more repairs? Well, happily, I decided that wall art is off in the future. Under intense inspection against a bright light, it was apparent that the entire right sleeve was seriously worn and thin. Patching and reinforcement was needed to make it wearable.
First I took out the stitching at the back side of the sleeve. This is a small man's jacket that my sons wore, so the two piece sleeve has two vertical seams. The one at the back was in better condition than the other, and its integrity was intact while the seam under the arm had a few tiny breaks at the edge of the seam and would require reinforcing. I left the cuff join alone, starting above the button slit, and opened it up to just below the armhole. This allowed me to open it up enough to work easily. I cut a piece of sheeting fabric with a pink striped pattern (in case of future fabric disintegration and show through), pinned it inside the sleeve, and then placed patches over the front inner elbow area where thinning was the worst. I used a heart shape patch, and plan to embroider my grand-daughter's name on it. ...Wearing my heart on my sleeve obviously! The blown out elbow was "stitched" together with lengths of ribbon, looking for all the world like the stitch job one of my sons got in an emergency room by a seriously inept doctor after ripping his thigh on a barb wire fence. On his leg it was pathetic, on my sleeve it's artsy. Ah well. I also used thin ribbon over another patch cut in a circle form wide ribbon In order to strengthen the top part of the sleeve, I striped thin ribbon about 1/2" apart to secure the lining and add stability. To secure the lining where there were large open areas in design, I drew swirls and over-stitched them, filling in the spaces with spirals like my favorite artist, Gustav Klimt.
The results are stunning it I do say so myself, and now there are plans to "fill in" the rest of the jacket. ...It sortof looks unfinished now. But oh how magnificent it will be when I am done!