The problem was simple. My friend’s little girl had sat/caught/somehow ripped the holes in her dress and her mother asked could I hem it up? Of course, I said, but then on looking closer I thought, actually, I might be able to fix this.
These were proper holes. The fabric had been ripped between the various holes, and certain pieces just didn’t exist anymore. So I knew I would need new backing material to fill in where none existed anymore. I used sew-in heavy lining, because it happened to be on hand. I only had white, though, so first I took a piece and tea-dyed it.
If you’ve never tea-dyed things, it is ridiculously easy. Heat water, add tea bag, add project, wait. I left it on the windowsill for a few hours, and when it came out, I rinsed it and left it to dry overnight. The match isn’t 100% perfect, but its pretty darn close. I mostly wanted it close enough, and it worked for that.
This ended up being surprisingly easy. I pinned the lining to the fabric, using probably more pins than were necessary, trying to approximate where the holes should line up. Then, I simply zigzagged on a very short stitch around every hole.
There were some sections where I had to rebuild the missing fabric. Most of these I did by outlining what I wanted to to finish the existing holes and then continuing to zigzag to fill in some of the middle sections.
To add extra strength and prevent it from falling apart again when I cut the holes out, I went ahead and stitched down the lining farther away from the holes as well, creating sections around it that had the lining in them.
Then it was a matter of taking the trusty scissors to the holes and cutting around the overall edge.
I was pretty happy with how this came out.
Above you can see the two fixed places from the backside. And below is the final fixes from the front.
You can certainly tell that the original hole pattern is not continued, but you can only tell if you’re looking closely. Importantly, it definitely does not look like there are holes ripped in the dress, so I’m considering this a win.
Hopefully my solution will stick in the wash long enough that her mother thinks so too!