A thing of rags and patches — mending braes

My husband managed to catch his braes on something and tear an L-shaped rip into them. Conveniently, I had some leftover fabric from making two pairs of them, and was able to patch using the same fabric. Given the shape and amount of tear, I opted for a darn-and-patch solution. First I assembled my tools: the ripped braes, gold silk thread, my favorite needle, scissors and spare fabric.

I tensioned the braes with a Q-snap embroidery frame, centering the rip in the center of the frame.

Saffron linen, ripped, framed for repair.
Ripped braes in Q-snap embroidery frame, ready for repair.

Here, I have cut from my leftover saffron linen of the same fabric as the braes two roughly rectangular patches, with diagonal cuts across the corners (except on the selvedge edge). My plan was to sandwich the patches on either side of the ripped fabric.

Fabric cut into rectangles for patches.
2 rectangles of saffron linen with notched corners.

I turned each edge in twice, then whipstitched in place, working all the way around the edge continuously, folding under as I went. I left the selvedge edge on the one (left) patch unhemmed.

Hemmed patches.
Patches, hemmed.

Using my gold silk thread, I stitched back and forth across the rip, and then up and down, weaving the thread over and under the crossing darning threads.

Darned rip.
The L-shaped rip, darned back and forth across the leg and stem of the L, weaving between the other darning threads.

Leaving part of the braes in the Q-snap frame, to regulate the fabric tension, I whipstitched the hemmed patch in place. I applied this patch to the outside of the braes, to reduce chances of the rip catching on something and tearing.

Applied patch.
Patch whipstitched into place over darned rip, on right side of fabric.

Now that I have applied the outer patch, I turn the braes inside out and inspect the results. The inner side is sufficiently smooth that I opted not to apply the second patch in a sandwich formation. I put the extra patch in my work basket, ready for the next week (he’s a youth combat marshal —- there will be rips).

View from inside.
Inside view of the darned and patched rip.

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