So, our cook had an unfortunate incident at MTA last year. As he was bending over the cook fire, the fire went all Rice Crispies on him with a snap, crackle and pop. Fire do that all the time, right?
Well, “… man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” As he was bending down, some sparks went up, which, from the cooks perspective was down his shirt. But he didn’t know it at the time. He stood up and felt something warm. He looked down and saw nothing. Then he felt hot. And saw his waistcoat smolder. From the inside out. He yelped for help, and I grabbed the hem of my gown and shoved it down inside his shirt between him and the ember and patted it out.
We now keep a linen rag in the buckets of water we keep by the fire.
Anyhow, the shirt needed help. In the 18th century one didn’t sew a square of fabric over the hole and call it a day. Precious little remains of original utilitarian garments. They were used, repaired, repurposed and then sold to the rag man. Near as we can tell, holes were patched from the back in fabric that matched as closely as possible to the original, and done in a neat and workmanlike manner.
|Sewing a rolled hem. Ugh - I should have worn my glasses - this is horribly uneven.|
Since I made the shirt to begin with, I kept the remnants of the lovely cambric linen, so I was good there. I matched the damaged front edge to the undamaged edge to see how much had been burned away. I took a scrap of cambric and made a new hand-rolled edge and positioned it in the gap and stitched it in place.
|Completed rolled edge.|
|Patch pinned in place.|
Then I pinned the edges of the shirt on top of the remnant. I trimmed off the singed edges, turned the raw edges under and carefully stitched them to the patch. Then I turned the shirt over and trimmed the excess patch away, leaving no more than a quarter inch. Then I turned the edge of the patch under, and stitched to the shirt.
|Partially sewn - from the front.|