Rags to Stitches

Does anyone have a terry cloth towel from 1970 still in perfect condition?

This little honey came to me from a family member who had one demand:

                                               MAKE IT LIKE NEW!

                                   Let’s take a closer look shall we?

It is a raggedy terry cloth robe with a tie belt.

Looking inside the right sleeve we find this…a hole on one side.


After removing some previous hand stitching to just make the hole go away, I found the end of the hole higher up. Love the raggedy end of the cuff hem! What to do? My first thought was to trash it but as it was given to her by her beloved son, it had to be renovated.

How about the neck band? When did the fold disintregate? Now, there are two separate pieces flopping around…what to do? Can you imagine wearing this for 40 years? I could have cut new bands out of cotton fabric but in the past I have been sorely criticized for repairs that did not meet with her approval. Trying to avoid all nasty comments, I decided to work something else out.

You can see that the wear is not evenly placed, more off to one side.

There was a left front pocket not being used, so I removed it to make patches. I had just enough length to attach to the neckline and wrap to the back of the ratty band.

All of the patches will be machine attached with a variable zig-zag stitch which will disappear into the nap, well what’s left of the nap.

Moving unto the sleeve and what is left of the pocket. I slide the patch underneath and try to line up the design and again, zig-zag over all the raw edges and trim away the excess on the inside. The folded under hem that is missing will be patched as well.

The front patch will have a matching facing to attach and fold under like the original.

A fuzzy photo of the inside…sorry!

The new patch is almost invisble from the outside:

The inside shows the coverage and trimmed patch edges with pinking shears.

Here you can see how off center the neck wear was. Wonder why it was so uneven?

The outside looks OK.

On the hanger you can see how lop-sided the collar patch is.

In the end she got what she wanted with losing one pocket.

This week Mr. Mole took the plastic cover off of the winter veggies so I could harvest our first batch of spinach. Another job done was planting strawberries and an artichoke plant.

So that Nadine could be with us in the garden when the weather gets nicer, we put a harness on her and attached a leash to get her used to walking around outside.

But what she really likes, like most cats, is to go in a paper bag…action shot:

We are very much looking forward to getting our first vaccine shots the middle of March. It has taken a long time and a long list to qualify for the over 70 year olds and fingers crossed the vaccine will be in supply the day we show up!!!

More brides have made appointments this month and I have a cool project for Nancy that I will be sharing with you too! Happy sewing everyone!






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22 Responses to Rags to Stitches

  1. MDy says:

    OK….this proves it. You are a Miracle Worker.

  2. Laura says:

    When I got your email I thought, “Oh no, she’s working on Raggedy Ann dolls now!” You always amaze me.

  3. susew says:

    Last year I repaired and patched a favourite robe with a worn neck band, and the wear on mine was uneven and on one side too.

  4. Sandi says:

    when did you get a kitty?

  5. Lydia says:

    You are a very kind and generous person.

    • mrsmole says:

      Sometimes we have to do resentful sewing…knowing there will be no “thanks” at the end but feel we have to do it anyway. It is much more rewarding to do little extra things for the brides or private clients and not charge for them if the situation allows.Thank you, Lydia!

  6. upsew says:

    beautiful repair. I repaired my sisters bathrobe years ago – by putting a cotton collar on the band (so it looked less raggy) and she is still wearing it. At the time, I didnt think it worth it, but she did (only that I was being lazy and used get all my family sewing repairs) I have become more appreciate of repairs. I dont know if its sentiment but 2 of my duvet covers (about 18 years old) were raggy at the top, so I replaced with a band of contrasting colour on top… and I now think they look better for it (and saved me 160euro by not replacing)

    Perhaps I am now mature enough to appreciate the sensible teaching in thrift by the nuns in school. (what a cute cat! btw)

    • mrsmole says:

      Good for you saving money on that duvet! I too refer back to the nuns who taught me for 12 years…solid values, kindness and always thinking of others. “Give Good Example” was their motto to us especially if we were the oldest in the family.

  7. Kathy Schrank says:

    I repaired my 30 yr old terry bathrobe and passed it down to my 11 yr old grandaughter. I had to replace the majority of the collar. Fortunately I had a piece of pink terry in my stash. She was delighted and my son her dad said “wasn’t that a Christmas gift one year?’ That made the remake even more special. They accuse me of never throwing anything away and I guess that’s right. But I sure do receive a lot of Joy with a good remake ! thanks for sharing this wonderful story !

  8. Claire says:

    You are a magician! It looks great. About ten years ago I repaired a girlfriend’s beloved “I Love Lucy” bathrobe. So threadbare. Recently she said to me “Remember when you fixed my bathrobe a while back?” I held my breath–picturing what ten more years of wear might look like. Instead she said “I had to retire that. But I have a new one I like.” Oh, happy day.

  9. mrsmole says:

    I held my breath too, Claire! At least you and your friend could have a good laugh! Before I had to repair this robe, I bought a replacement for her. She says, “I will never wear that one, I want to be buried in this old one”…that will be arranged!

  10. You must really love her to fix that very well worn robe! As usual you did an amazing job! Your hands really are magical…

  11. Mary says:

    A word of caution about these vaccines.. please find out first what exactly is in them, and what the potential side effects are. Find information from sources who do not benefit financially in any way. Also, ask yourself why the U.S. government passed legislation back in 1986 exempting all vaccine manufacturers from liability.
    What is done, cannot be undone. Please, please, research as though you are a sceptic. (Maybe start by looking at the court cases Robert F. Kennedy has taken on over the years.)
    All the best

  12. mrsmole says:

    Thank you for the warning, Mary.

  13. erniek3 says:

    I don’t put the effort into my sewing that I do my altering and repairing beloved clothes for my family and friends. I have taken much inspiration from your bridal work when I start dismantling a piece of someone’s life in hopes of giving it more time with them. Sometimes a pocket or a piece of lining must be sacrificed to the greater project (although interior pockets can be replaced with something that doesn’t match). I had my heart in my throat for this whole post, and at the end, ran upstairs to note that my beloved bathrobe is also worn off center as well (same reasons I assume).

    I hope you get a vaccine soon and that it does you much good. In the meantime, mask up kids!
    All the best, always

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