A Patch-Up Job

Blue denim shirt patched with red and pink cloth

This wet and windy week heralded the clear beginning of autumn. Unsurprisingly, I have been holing up in the boat most of the time, making the most of time indoors by catching up on some sewing and darning. I darned three pairs of my favourite jeans, strengthening them against wear and tear and giving them some character. I also went ahead with a slightly bigger project…

Following the fun of customising my old denim jacket, I started looking through a pile of other denim clothes and fished out a shirt, which, although in very good condition, looked like it needed a little brightening up. I had a strip of SAORI weaving leftover from another project, which seemed too narrow to do much with but was perfect for a patching project. I cut it up into squares (no hesitation – sometimes you just have to go ahead and cut up your weavings. Be bold!) and placed the pieces onto the shirt to make an interesting woven collage. I played around with different arrangements, then when I was satisfied with how the scraps had been laid out, I pinned and photographed it for reference. Obviously, weavings have a tendency to fray if the threads aren’t secure, so it is important to take measures to keep them in place. I did this by machine stitching the borders of each woven piece. I hand stitched each patch into position, using my photo as a guide, then added some decorative stitching. 

Blue denim shirt with red and pink patches

I hope you agree that my previously plain old shirt has been transformed. That doesn’t mean, however, that I will be leaving it be forever. I never think of my denim projects as truly complete – sometimes the mood to update or customise a garment or weaving grabs me out of nowhere. There’s nothing I like more than cutting things up to rearrange them!  This is the beauty of the SAORI principle of being bold – don’t be afraid to take projects in a completely different direction from where you started out. Creativity is an organic process.