Fixing a Hole

After showing photos of dozens of shoes I do not wear, I thought I’d better hurry up and post about a piece of vintage clothing that I do wear.  Most of the vintage in my closet is outerwear.   I have so many coats and jackets you’d think I lived at the North Pole.  The truth is that I love and wear them all, but the last thing I thought I needed was another coat.  But them I spotted this plaid  Pendleton at the local Goodwill.  I tried it on.  It fit.

The nice thing about outerwear is that the fit is forgiving.  You usually don’t have to worry about your waist size and precise measurements.  A coat is meant to be worn over stuff, and so if it is in your general size range, it will usually work.  Maybe that is why I have so many vintage coats!

After getting over the greatness of the plaid, I couldn’t help but notice all the nice little details – the way the collar can be worn open or tight against the neck, the adjustible sleeve bands, the wonderfulness of the shoulder seam with its little pleat in the back.

But then there was the bad news.  If you look at a lot of vintage wool, you will already have guessed that there were several small moth holes.  But I didn’t let that keep me from my purchase, because I know a little about reweaving.

Reweaving is exactly what the word implies.  You take some of the yarn from the wool garment, and carefully work it over and under the hole.  The bulkier the yarn, the easier it is to fix a hole.  Solid colors are easier than plaids, and plain tweeds are the easiest of all.  It is possible to reweave a fine wool, but that is a job for experts.  I know my limitations, and this Pendleton wool was just bulky enough for me to be able to accomplish the job.

This hole is relatively easy to reweave, as it is mainly in the blue area.  Because of that, I treated it as I would a solid color.  First, I went under the lining to see if there was enough yarn in the seam allowances.  There was, so I pulled off a strand of blue. ( If the seam allowance doesn’t have the yarn you need, you can pull it from the inside of a pocket, or even the hem.  I took some red yarn from a pocket, and you cannot even tell where I pulled the yarn out.)

You have to have a needle with a large eye, or one of those trick ones that has a slit where you pull the yarn down through the eye.  Honestly, threading the needle is often the hardest part!   Then, carefully work the needle under a strand of the weave that leads to the hole.  Attach the yarn on both sides of the hole, just by working your yarn into the fabric.  Depending on the size of the hole, you may need to go back across a couple of times.  Then do the same in the perpendicular direction, but this time, weave over and under the yarn you have just attached.

Basically, you are putting in a little woven spot to replace what the moth ate!

And here is the final product.  It isn’t perfect, but it looks a whole lot better than a hole.

If you want to try this, I suggest you practice  it on a very bulky tweed.  Note that it does not work on sweaters and knits – only on woven fabrics.  And if you need a visual on how this is accomplished, check out this video by a professional reweaver.


Filed under Sewing

15 responses to “Fixing a Hole

  1. So utterly satisfying! You’ve done a great job Lizzie. And your coat is charming too! 🙂


  2. Mary Crabtree

    This is a marvelous “Why didn’t I think of that?” Thanks so much-I’ll try it sometime. Mary


  3. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for posting that! Even less than you do I need wool garments where I live, but I often find beauties with tiny holes! Now that I know they can be repaired, I just might give them a try! 🙂


  4. seaside

    A great little tutorial. I hadn’t a clue. Thanks so much.


  5. What a beautiful coat! That plaid is gorgeous.
    I recently had the same problem with a vintage Harris Tweed coat which arrived with a couple of tiny mothholes. The coat being fully lined, I would have had to open the lining somewhere to get to the wool. Is this what you did here, or did you have access already? In any event, I managed to find a cotton thread of identical colour and wove it into the holes. Thanks to the coarse texture of the tweed the holes are now invisible, but next time I will try and get to the wool as this seems like a much more satisfying solution!


  6. Karen Kaplan

    Very helpful posting, especially for one who is needle and thread-challenged! Thanks.


  7. KC

    Gorgeous coat! But isn’t mending the holes only half the job? How do you treat the coat so that the next generation of moths doesn’t hatch and take over where their parents left off?


  8. Ruth

    When my husband and I first married we were “dirt floor poor”. He loves wool socks and would wear heavy ones because they added a layer of padding in his boots when he was on his feet all day. We could only buy them once a year so I got to be an expert at mending them when he wore the heels out. Now they are so cheaply made we just get new ones when he wears them out. (I can’t knit fast enough to keep him in socks!)


  9. sandra house

    I think I could even manage that sort of fix.Thankyou for the ‘practicum’:)


  10. Wow. That is quite ingenious!


  11. Sue Foster

    Yes, thanks for the great hints. The video is very iformative too. My mum’s 1940’s tweed jacket has just been discovered to have more holes than I remember it with and now I can fix them and then dry clean it. Would you just hang one of those cedar thingies in the wardrobe once it came home for ongoing protection?


  12. Pingback: Vintage Shopping in Asheville, NC | The Vintage Traveler

  13. Pingback: The Art of Reweaving | The Vintage Traveler

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