So many of you have been bringing in beautiful visible mending projects, and they've inspired me to tackle my mending pile. Unfortunately, most of the mending that I need to do does not lend itself to attention grabbing fixes, so I've been using my machine to do some mending that's less visible and considerably quicker. I thought it might be helpful to share my method here.
I have a t-shirt with the seam blown out at the under arm. To start, I pulled together some matching grey knit fabric and cotton thread. For mending t-shirts, it's nice to use a fabric that's roughly the same weight as the t-shirt you're mending. If you don't have an old shirt you can cannabalize for parts, remember that we cut almost all of our fabrics down to an 1/8 of a yard. I'm using an organic cotton knit by Birch, which is stable and easy to work with. It also comes in a lovely selection of colors.
I cut out a patch that's about an .5" bigger than the hole. I don't measure anything, I just eyeball a patch that's slightly bigger than what I need. Turn the shirt inside out and carefully pin the patch over the area you're covering.
Stitch around the perimeter of the patch. This step is optional, but I think it makes the next step so much easier to have the patch completely secure.
Turn the t-shirt inside out. I use the needle down function on my machine and stitch zig zags across the hole. This step does require a bit of awkward wrangling while turn the shirt around. Depending on your machine it might be easier to use the reverse button. You can really get experimental with this step - swirls, stars, and design you like as long as it quilts together the patch and the area around the hole.
Because we're working with a knit fabric, we don't have to worry about finishing the edges of the hole. All you need to do is trim your threads and pat yourself on the back - your shirt can go back into rotation!