Thursday, November 20, 2014

Make it Better: Mending Tights DIY

I live in tights from October through April. I have lightweight ones I pull out first and return to storage last, as well as nice, thick woven pairs of stockings, which get pulled out with the serious winter wear.

I usually buy cheap tights, but I do love a pair of pretty woven tights mixed into the options. Unfortunately, it's funny how those generally more expensive woven pairs often don't last as long as the cheap ones. Still, it is still nice to have a choice of texture to mix up the choices a bit.

As I pulled out my down coat, hats and other serious winter clothing recently, I noticed I had runs in a few of these woven pairs of tights. I'm not sure if I knew and ignored the runs at the end of the last cold season, or if I missed them as I put them away for the summer, but either way I like them too much to just throw them out. I've read that people used to darn socks over old lightbulbs, but when I fix a pair of tights, I find it so much easier to do while wearing them. The main advantage is that by wearing the tights, one can tell exactly how much stretch the tights need and if the color of the tights are lighter when worn, due to this stretch. Of course, the obvious drawback is the needle hitting skin, but I've found it's actually pretty easy to get the hang of weaving a needle in and out while limiting the number of times I stab myself.

I used a darker thread here because I wasn't too concerned about the spot showing in its well-above-the-knee location (and it was the best match I had in my emergency kit) but if I were concerned, wearing them would allow me to match the thread better than not wearing them. With this stretch in place, one knows if the thread is too light or too dark -- not something that is evident when the tights are not being worn. Also, thanks to the stretch, it's easier to tell how much slack each bit of weaving through the fabric will require so as to not add additional strain on other parts around the hole. As for the method I use, it's actually the same as the one used for sweaters -- after all, whether it's fixing sweaters or tights, the woven fabric still requires a nice -- darn -- weave.



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