I was making the bed the other day when I realised that my doona cover had a split in the seam. This cover is made of a bunch of different fabrics joined in panels and one of the joins was gaping just a little. (You can see the whole bed in this post if you’re curious.) When I looked closely I think I may have mended this seam by hand once before but the stitches have pulled out. So it was time to mend it properly with the sewing machine.
Here’s what the inside of the seam looked like. The fabric had unravelled a little at the edge and pulled out of the seam. This method of fixing a seam will work for any item including clothes. Start by turning the item inside out so you can see where the seam is split.
The first step is to line up the seam in place again and pin it. Fold the fabric back so that the two pieces of edge to be re-joined are lying flat against each other. You should be able to see the original stitching line where it is still joining the fabric on either side of the hole.
Once you have it pinned flat you’re ready to take it to your sewing machine. Lay the seam under the sewing foot but start a couple of centimetres back from the hole. The goal is to sewing straight over the existing stitch line then over the split section and join up with the stitching on the other side. In this case it is a nice straight piece of sewing so it is easy to see where the line goes. On most items the stitching line will run just a little bit in from the edge of the fabric. If the fabric has frayed too much you might need to create a new stitching line where the fabric is still solid.
Once I had joined the seam I decided to try to reduce the fraying as well. The original stitching had been done on an overlocker or serger, but I decided to run a zigzag stitch along the edge. With the stitch length quite short, the zigzag ends up like a satin stitch and easily seals the edge again. Turn through. Press. All done!
You could also mend a seam like this by hand stitching if you don’t have a sewing machine handy. Just use the same principle for lining up the seam and then stitch with needle and thread.