September 23, 2022

New Little Flowers


Here's one of my favorite summer dresses.  It's so bright and cheery!

A week or so ago, I had it on, glanced down, and noticed two little stained spots.  Oh no!  I soaked and rubbed a bit, to no avail.  Oh no, again!


So, there was nothing for it but to head on over to visible mending and find a way to cover up the stains.  Since the stains are so perfectly the same size and shape as the flowers, it didn't take long for me to decide to add a couple of new flowers and leaves.

I found some scraps of fabric really close in color.  I traced a flower and three teeny leaves.  I started by pinning the tracing paper and fabric in place, checking carefully to be centered over a stain.


I realized that, even though the original flowers were stitched on with machine zig-zag,  I didn't think I could control the little pieces that well while maneuvering the fabric under the needle with all the teensy little scallops around the edge.   

So I basted them on and then whip stitched them on by hand.   That was fussy work, too, but I was in control, and it really went pretty quickly.  

(Also, I've found that when mending constructed garments, no matter how careful I am, I do often catch other parts of the garment in my stitches.  These flowers, and especially leaves, were way too tiny to withstand the removal of stitches, which would mean I'd need to cut a new flower and start all over again.  And honestly, I'm not one to be calm and patient in moments like that.  A little bit of hand stitching is ever so much more relaxing.)

Bit by bit, I cut the edge of the flower, through both paper and fabric, tore off the paper bit, and whip stitched that part of the edge.  Then I moved on around the flower and cut a bit more.  I slid tiny leaves under the edge occasionally, and stitched them down, too.  And finally, I stitched contrasting center dots on the flowers.



So now I have my pretty dress back, without evidence of my sloppy eating or-maybe-it-was cooking!

Here's a close-up, and a closer-up.


  1. What a fabulous solution, Ann! What do you mean by "head on over to visible mending?" Is that a store, a book, or a web site with ideas for salvaging damaged garments? I love the applique save you came up with for your dress, and I must say, the creativity involved in looking at mending as an opportunity instead of drudgery is enough to make me WANT to pick up something out of the (overflowing) mending bin before starting my next new project!

    1. Well, no, not a place of any sort, just a silly way to say since washing didn't work, the next best solution was to cover the spots somehow. Sorry for getting your hopes up! That said, visible mending has become quite a trend, so if you google it or go to #visiblemending on Instagram, you'll find all sorts of people and ideas. Personally, I've found that I like doing things like this that expand on the design elements already there, but some folks go off in new directions of color and such.