We often think that it's the visuals that need the maintenance. A skirt hem, a worn cuff or collar. But in truth it's the invisible part of the garment that gets the most wear that requires the most tending.
One of my vintage acquaintances came to me with some thrift store finds. These mid to late 60s coats with utterly trashed linings. She set them out and showed me the damage. Popped seams, shredded armholes,fabric tears, raw seams, you name it. They were not pretty, but the good news is they didn't have to be. She only wanted the linings wearable, because she was safety pinning them just to get by and it wasn't working anymore.
This jacket had an actual silk blend lining that was just shredding. The arm linings had completely popped from the torso lining and the seams along the coat's edges were all but gone. The lining had shredded from it's sewn bottom at the hem of the coat and needed to be reattached by hand! This was major reconstruction.
I don't have any before shots of this red lining, only because I just dove into the project and forgot to take some. The repair job I did on these is purely structural. I basically resewed all the seams of the lining and reinforced some of the shredded areas with a cotton fabric I had on hand.
As you can see, I didn't even change the thread color when sewing.
Yeah, that I'll admit was kinda lazy.
The linings are really beyond saving. She just wanted to wear them, and frankly, the coats are not inherently valuable enough for the money and fabric it would take to re-line them. Sometimes you have to make those decisions with your vintage.
The other coat was a black double breasted number with a brownish green polly lining. This one at first I thought it was in better shape than the one above, but I was wrong. It was much, much worse. This one I was able to grab my phone and take some before shots.
See the light thread was used to tack the sleeve back to the torso lining. It was annoying to take out.
This was a tear about 1" away from the sleeve seam! I actually had to cut a 2" wide piece of fabric in order to patch up this tear.
This thread was used to tack together another tear.
What happened to the sleeve? Ya got me!
Her is the afters. The red, again, I used for mending and reinforcement.
The arms were the *worst* on this one. Ugh.
She was very happy with the results. Now I only have one more brown coat to do, and that one truthfully is in way better shape than these two. Now I know why they were in the thrift store to begin with. Still, it makes me happy that garments like these can now be enjoyed and appreciated by someone who will wear and care for them.
So how about you? Do you take the time to mend your garments so you can get more wear out of them? You should, it's worth it.
Have a great day!