ScrapHappy August 2020

Sam the dog likes to wear pyjamas. Well, actually, what I mean is that she sleeps better when she is wearing a dog coat. We thought that this was because she was getting cold overnight – she’s an old lady at around 15 years – but even on warm night she seems to like to wear something. Maybe it’s the slight pressure calming her down, like a Thundershirt, but whatever the reason, she doesn’t wake us up at 2am if she’s dressed. She has a couple of woolly coats, which are fine for the winter, but we were concerned that over the summer these would be too warm and so I have been looking at different options. Then, Mr Snail finally wore a pair of his sweatpants so thin that they were impossible to repair and I saw a scrappy opportunity. A bit of deft scissor work and Sam has two lovely soft cotton coats…


I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folks often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, PaulineSue L,
Sunny and Kjerstin

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

Mending my ways

National Recycle Week – Day 4

Today is all about not recycling… or at least not recycling YET.

Followers of Mr Snail’s blog will have read of his latest surgery on the wind-up/solar radio, thus further extending its already much-lengthened life. In order to keep up, I felt that I needed to do some mending myself this week too, so I investigated my collection of ‘clothes I am going to repair when I feel sufficiently motivated’ and gathered together my enthusiasm…

This week’s project: pyjamas. Six years old and split alongside a seam. I love these pyjamas, hence them wearing out!


That’s torn it!

Iron-on mending tape

Iron-on mending tape

I decided too that the time had come to invest in some mending tape. Sadly it’s not magic – that is it doesn’t do the mending for you… for that you need a mending fairy and I can’t find one of those for sale on the internet. To to get the best results, some sewing is required, but basically you iron the stuff onto the back of your fabric and it strengthens that area of your garment and holds it together. It doesn’t work for drapy fabrics, because the adhesive makes it rather stiff (although it might soften with washing) but it does result in a robust repair.

My pyjamas are purple, but I couldn’t put my hand on any purple fabric, so I went with some contrasty red, from which I cut a small piece that I stitched behind the tear, tucking away the raw edges of the original fabric. I trimmed of the excess of the red, placed the tape behind it and applied the iron for 5 seconds, with a cloth between iron and mending tape. And, voila! my pyjamas get to live another day night:

It’s not stylish, but it’s functional and it means that I’ve kept another item out of the recycling bin for a bit longer.

Mum knows best

Sometimes you can work on a problem for ages and just not be able to see the solution.

And so it was with my pyjamas. I had bought a paper pattern, cut out all the pieces, completed the bottoms (except the elastic, which I didn’t happen to have any of) and them came to the top. Ah, the top, which was supposed to have a rather nice contrasting binding round the neck, cuffs and bottom. The pattern describes itself as ‘easy’… well, pah to that! There is nothing easy (for me) about creating a bound edge on a V-necked garment… with a seam at the V that means… as far as this pattern goes… that you end up with five layers of fabric in a tiny point. I tried several times to get it right before setting it aside and wondering if there was any way to make a crochet ending for it (I’m a much better hooker than seamstress*).

An easy solution

An easy solution

And then I went to visit my mum. She really is a great needlewoman and, as soon as I described my problem, she was able to offer a solution (and confirm that the binding was ridiculously fiddly). An easy solution… something that I could do without any trouble. ‘Forget binding,’ she said ‘and just make a facing, with no seam at the V’. And so I returned home and completed the neck without any further issues. It means that it doesn’t have a contrasting edging, but I really don’t care. In fact, I then bought some ready made binding for the sleeve and bottom edges and made the whole process even simpler.

Just goes to show that sometimes you need a fresh perspective to help you onto a different track. Thank you mum.

The bottom and sleeves are fancy and were easy to do.

The bottom and sleeves are fancy and were easy to do.


* Honestly, this is a really funny joke if you are a Terry Pratchett fan.

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