How to repair a ripped seam on a tweed jacket [Tutorial]
This tutorial presents in 5 easy steps how to repair a torn seam on a tweed “Chanel” type jacket. However, this mending technique can be applied to various woven textiles, with different thickness and weight.
You may have noticed nowadays the textured “Chanel” type jacket is coming back in trend. These pieces are really versatile. They can be styled easy with jeans or pants, skirts or dresses in a ‘mix and match’ look. It gives a very eye-catching cool look and is suitable for lots of different occasions or everyday outfits.
Tweed and textured fabrics often have looser construction and usually the fibre content is acrilic or other polyester fabric fibre. Anyway, sometimes when the pressure is increased on some of the main seam, like the centre back seam or around the pockets, the fabric is pulled which results in seam ripped or torn.
Like some thrift finds, the character from this story had one big disadvantage. The centre back seam was ripped off, probably the reason why the owner left that beautiful garment piece behind. When I saw it in the charity shop near by my place in Perth WA I thought it is a crime to pass by. Therefore, by keeping faith I can fix it, I bought the jacket and save its life;)
It is also made from synthetic fibres – self/outer fabric acrylic and lining polyester.
Time to get to the fun part!
Step 1: Open the lining
Begin with opening the jacket lining. On such projects, to have more room and flexibility you can open the hem seam and work from inside. Unstitch the lining from the main fabric and dive ;)
You might want not to go from the hem. Which is fine. In that case you can undo one of the sleeve seams and work from there.
Just keep in mind that working from sleeve opening is much harder and quite restrictive. I personally prefer to have more room, particularly for projects like that. Besides hem is easy to close at the end.
Step 2: Mend the fabric rip
Use a clothing brush to make weft and warp threads of the tweed fabric to sit straight one under another (in two layers). Brush the right and the wrong sides along the fibres.
Preheat the iron according to manufacturers instructions for the garment, which you can find on the care label.
Between the formed two layers of the seam allowance insert a strip of a fusible material. Then press down for about 15 to 20 seconds. And you better count! I’m not joking… you don’t want to burn your work, right?
You have to hold with medium to high pressure for a certain time which imitates the way how these materials are professionally applied with an ‘Elna’ press – for certain time with a mid to high pressure in order to melt the material and fuse the layers.
Try do the trick at once. If something happens, like the pressure was not right, the temperature or the time – do not worry. Just do it again, only this time with the proper settings. And watch out to not overheat your work. We do not want to burn it, right?
Just the fusible interlining applied further in the process will not be able to hold the formation of two layers on its own. Therefore if you skip this step, the outside layer will stay loose and the repair will not have the desirable outcome.
Skip this step if you are mending a woven fabric with ‘flat’ rather that textured surface. But don’t underestimate it for tweeds and similar. If you want good quality repair of the textuised fabric, this step is crucial.
Step 3: Apply strip of fusible interlining
Fusible interlinings, also called only fusible, can be found in most textile retailers or online. That additional tailor material is woven fabric with fusible resin on one of its sides.
Usually I do not buy for the specific project, instead I use whatever is relatively acceptable for the situation and I already have in my stash. That not only reduces the accumulated materials, but also doesn’t interrupt the work process, which for me, as an impulsive project starter, is very important;)
Cut a 2cm wide strip of the fusible interlining and press same way as per step 2. Preheat the iron, then press firmly and hold for 15 to 20 seconds. Make sure the interlining is placed on the wrong side of the jacket.
Tweed textured fabrics commonly are loosely woven and with time the pressure carried from the centre back seam pulls and may distort that area of the garment. Therefore, apply strip of fusible on the opposite back piece the same way, thus both sides of the back seam will have same performance when finished.
Fusible interlinings have three basic components thus the wider variety. First is the colour. Interlinings usually come in two main colours – black and white.
The second is type of construction, they can be non-woven, woven, or knit (which usually has elasticity and stretches). Thirdly, these materials come in various weight (thickness). The woven and heavier the interlining, the most expensive.
The non-woven is usually the cheapest and the lowest in quality, hence it’s alright to be used for a casual inexpensive garment construction. However, is not suitable for repair as probably will not hold the material as firm as it should.
When purchase choose fusible interlining which is closest to the main fabric you will use. For woven fabrics – choose woven, for knit textiles – knit adhesive. Regarding the weight, choose lighter interlining than the main fabric.
The picture above shows two woven fusibles in different colours and weight, black being heavier than the white.
Step 4: Sew the CB seam
Sew the centre back seam by leaving the same seam allowance as the other seams on the jacket. This tweed jacket had 1cm seam allowance, the usual allowance for mass produced garments.
When it’s stitched, press the seam open.
Step 5: Close the lining
As mentioned above, in order to have more room to work inside the garment, is good to open the hemline seam at the back. Therefore, that is the first seam to be stitched now, when closing the garment. Stitch the hem seam from inside as far as possible.
Then make a small opening in one of the sleeve seams of the lining. Go inside from there, reach the left opening at the hem and finish by sewing hem entirely.
To close the sleeve, fold the seam allowances inward, align the folded edges and edge stitch along from the outside.
Edge stitch as close as possible to the edge (about 1mm from the edge). Look at the picture and do on another fabric scrap if you need to try it first. It’s worth master this edge stitching, because it is a wonderful and very helpful closure you can use in variety of cases.
Afterwords you can press to allow the seam to lay flat. You can choose to apply the closure either on one of the sides or on one of the sleeves.
The repaired centre back seam of the jacket
The repair of this ripped seam made the jacket wearable again and extended its life in a wonderful way (and made me very happy)! It was real pleasure to put it in a tutorial for you!
Therefore, I encourage you to look deeper in your wardrobe or not miss out on wonderful findings when thrifting! Many good clothes can be mended and repaired and have a second life again. That particular technique I used many times to repair particular pressure points on a garment, such as pocket corners or zipper ends. It could be any seam where there’s regular pressure.
I am curious. Have you ever mend a ripped seam and how you did it? Or you may have struggled with another repair? Do not be shy and start the conversation, I’d love to hear about it no matter what! Tell me in the comments below. Thanks for sharing!
with love for tweed jackets and pink ;)