Mending What the Dog Chewed Up (Part One)

A customer brought me 2 Vera Bradley bags (purses) that her dog chewed up and asked me if I could repair them.

She really didn’t have high expectations; she figured anything I could do was better than what they looked like.

But, she didn’t know that I have a favorite mending technique that earns rave reviews every time I use it.

This is some of the damage to one strap on the first bag:

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To fix this, select thread that matches the bag and thread your machine and bobbin with it.

Now, switch your machine to a zig zag stitch.

Select the widest width of zig zag that you have.

The stitch length should be set at zero. (If you start sewing and the machine does not move forward, then move the stitch length lever just a smidge and try it there. You certainly don’t want it at “1″. The goal here is to have the stitches as close together as possible.)

Begin stitching along the edge of the strap like this:

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You may need to go over it a couple of times.

This is how it turned out:

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See how good that looks?

Most people won’t even notice that the bag was in shreds a few minutes ago.

Here’s another example of damage to the middle of the bag:

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This is what it looks like after the mend:

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This technique has many applications.

I use it to mend jeans, jackets, sleeping bags and many other items around the house.

It only takes a couple of minutes and the right color of thread and you’ve got an instant solution to lots of problems.









4 Responses

  1. […] (If you want to know how to fix these kind of tears in your garment, check out this post.) […]

  2. Hi Linda,
    I have enjoyed checking on your site. I have been a sewing contractor and only did large factory type work for years. I just recently started doing more alterations because of a shoulder injury rather than complete cutting and sewing. I agree with your blog about pricing and ethics. Some people say that I don’t charge enough for what I do but I am a very fast sewer, can usually hem jeans in about 5 min.Can’t live without the Jean-a-ma-jig. I have checked most of your site on advice and you are very helpful.
    A good tip I learned with all the factory work through the years is Talc (baby powder) for taking out any type of oily stain. Just sprinkle on and let stand for a few minutes.then just brush away or rub with cloth. We used this even on silk in the factory since things couldn’t be washed and sold as new. This also works on old oily stains that have been washed. May take more than one treatment. Also there is a website you will love wonder source for supplies.

  3. Hi Carol,
    Thanks for all your tips. These are great! I always learn alot from those of you who worked in factories. I bet you are an awesome seamstress…wow, 5 minutes to hem? I’d love to watch you do that! Amazing. Thanks for commenting and visiting the blog. As you can tell, I’ve been swamped lately and haven’t posted anything recently, but will get back to it when I get a lull.

    Happy Sewing!

  4. Hello Linda,

    I know this particular article is from quite some time ago. But I see you still do alterations, repairs and such. The reason I am writing you is my mother-in-law gave my Wife a Vera Bradley bag for Christmas and it turned into one huge incident. The whole “incident” was a wreck from the start! My mother-in-law did not give my Wife the bag when we did our family Christmas party. She didn’t want everyone else see the bag because they were also getting one later. So she dropped the bag off at our house on the front porch. Before we could get to the door a neighborhood dog found it! 😦 When we looked for it later, we found it out in the yard! It Not only was it a Vera Bradley bag, but it also had a Vera Bradley blanket that the dog got a hold of. I see you did a very nice repair to the bag in this article, so I wonder if there is any way you could help us?

    If you are at all interested in helping us out in getting this fixed, please contact me and I can get you some pictures of the damage. Then maybe we could talk about being able to repair it and how much that would cost?

    Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you!

    – The Son-in-Law that is in BIG trouble!

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