This is my first ever Grainline Archer. I have since shared a few more recent versions, but this first one has always been a favourite. I meticulously pattern matched the plaid across the front, learned how to attach a collar and install plackets, and even inserted my first snaps.
Favorite, that is until a hole appeared right where the button placket meets the front piece.
I deliberated for ages about what to do. I didn’t want to just throw away something that represented a lot of hard work and some fairly major achievements, but I also didn’t know how to mend it in such a way that I would be happy with the end result. And I really didn’t want to have to do loads of unpicking to sort it out!
I have come across Sashiko a few times before, often as a piece of decorative art, or sometimes as a means of mending the knees of worn jeans, but only recently did it occur to me that this might be the way to salvage my much loved shirt! I did still have some of the fabric from the original shirt left, so this felt like a logical place to begin my mending journey. I took a large rectangle, overlocked all the edges and pinned it in place behind the hole.
Next I chose a complimentary embroidery thread. I wanted something that toned in with the colours in the shirt, but I also wanted to embrace the fact that this mending was going to be visible, and I could be proud of that! This seemed like a good compromise.
Because the shirt already has such a strong geometric pattern, I decided that there was no need for complex embroidery shapes. Sticking with the grid of the plaid would help keep my stitches even and straight anyway so no need for guide lines.
Sashiko mending is designed to reinforce the fabric, anchoring it to a solid base, but I think I may still have to be a little careful when using the poppers that I don’t put unnecessary strain on the fabric. I think it looks pretty cool, and now I can wear my Archer shirt again with pride, knowing that it is even more unique and special than before. Embrace the uniqueness and the mending.
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