Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Solutions for zippers that unzip themselves, scratchy tags, and prickly monofilament thread

When I notice I'm not wearing something I start to ask myself why.  Sometimes I'm just avoiding discomfort without even really thinking about it. In some cases all a garment needs is a simple fix to make it wearable again. These are some of my favorite solutions to garment irritants.

Irritant: Pants That Unzip Themselves 
Why do pants unzip themselves when we sit down or bend over?  Usually the top of the zipper is being pulled apart by the structure of the garment/waistband.  When the top of the zipper is pulled into a Y shape it unzips very easily. 

The culprit is often a buttonhole that is too big causing the button opening to shift too far to one side, pulling the top of the zipper into that Y shape. This happens in jeans  as the buttonhole is stretched and worn down over time

Here are the solutions that work for me:  
  • Permanent fix - Shorten the buttonhole. Close the end closest to the front edge so the button can just squeeze through. Use your sewing machine to tack it closed with a zig zag stitch.
  • Temporary fix - In a pinch use a safety pin to pin closed part of the buttonhole.  This can be hazardous if the safety pin is strained too much and opens spontaneously so use this tip at your own risk.
P.S. I've also seen posts for jeans where a metal ring is put through the zipper top and then hooked over the metal button. 

Irritant: Stratchy Tags
"I know what to do!" you say, "just cut them out!" 

But what if you'd like to be able to resell the garment so you need the tag to stay in?  Sew a cover over the tag, then when you are ready to sell remove it. Oh the blessed relief when the tag is covered!


Irritant: Poking Threads

I purchased a new bra recently and when I put it on there was a scratchy area. Darn! You may have noticed that many commercial garments are sewn in part with clear microfiliment thread, like fishing line.  

The pokey bit can hardly be seen but can be felt it against the skin.  Here are the solutions that work for me:  
  • Emory Board:  For pokey bits inside a garment or shoe use an emory board (nail file) to rub it down. The thread can be clipped back, but this often still leaves a sharp bit that needs to be dealt with.
  • Patch:  When an emory board fails to do the trick, put a small patch on top using fabric glue or stitching it in place.  This would probably work for underwires that come out of the bra casing.


Check out my Pinterest board Celebrating Repairs and Mending.

Happy Mending!  Michelle

P.S. - Buy currently released patterns here

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