700 x 700mm
A visible mend on button-down shirt. After many wears as a smart-casual work or dinner shirt, two small holes got worn through on the back. It seemed a waste to throw out a shirt that got so many uses for such small faults, so I closed and reinforced the holes, and embroidered around the fixes to make a cohesive and complementary vine pattern that fits in with the jungle vibe.
1. Identify the holes you want to cover up, and what pattern and colours would suit the garment best. I used 2 strands of embroidery floss (or 2 threads each doubled up through the needle and tied, so 4 go through the eye at once) in emerald green.
Step 2. Fix the holes
3. Embroider the outline of a leaf (right), using the whip stitch line as the central stem of the leaf. To do this, draw an curve starting from one side of the stem and ending at the other, then sew a symmetrical curve back down the other side. If you want more leaves than there are holes (I only had 2 holes, but I thought it would look better with more leaves), don't bother whip stitching more central veins, just embroider a line through the middle.
2. Fix the holes. Since these were small and thin, I used a whip stitch. I folded the hole in half along the longest section, exposing the inside of the shirt, and pin. I brought my needle through both sides of the fold at least a centimetre before the start of the hole, and several millimetres below the bottom of the whole. I then looped my thread over the fold, and brought the needle through the fold again immediately to the left of the previous hole. I continued looping and stitching toward the left incrementally (keeping the bottom the same) until I had covered the hole and finished at least a centimetre after the end of the hole. Tie off the whip stitch, and turn the shirt right way out, a thin line of whip stitch should be visible, if this is not even, pull the shirt around the stitch until it is. This line will form the stem on some of the leaves.
4. Starting from the top of the leaf, pull your needle out from the back just outside the first gap in your outline, push it in on the opposite side of the stem a little down the leaf (next gap down for non-whip stitched leaves).
5. Pull the needle out on the opposite side of the stem so it crosses over the stem (and the gap is covered), then push it in on the outside of the leaf's border on the opposite side to where you started, to make a symmetrical V shape (pictured right).
6. Pull the needle out on the next gap down on the outside of the same side of the leaf (next gap down) and repeat steps 4 and 5 all the way down the leaf.
7. Make as many leaves as you want in a rough zig-zag formation following steps 3-6. Map out a gentle snake-y line between all the leaves, going from the inner-most leaf to the edge your fabric (the other leaves don't need to touch this line, just be close), and embroider it to make the vine.
8. Extend the stems of the leaves with embroidery to join them to the vine. To make the vine thicker and taper toward the end, after every second leaf joined to the vine, I would carry the line down from the leaf to the vine, and continue following alongside the vine from the meeting point down to the base. You can also do thicken the stems and the vines as needed by embroidering alongside it.
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