Posts Tagged ‘Shirt’

A widower’s attempt at mending his Ralph Lauren shirt.

January 15, 2020

IMG_0388Ralph Lauren shirt

Gerard’s shirt.

The above photo is of a shirt that I had re-arranged to fit over Helvi’s arm after she broke it on the 26th of June, 2019. I remember it well. It was a sunny day and I went bowling, but unbeknown to me and about an hour before I was due back home, Helvi while taking Milo for a walk, stumbled over a raised concrete footpath, and broke both her arms. What followed has already been exhaustively described on previous posts and I am still too mangled and upset to go back to it.

Helvi’s right arm was in plaster and had a steel or alloy plate inserted to help it heal. Her other arm had wires inserted to again help heal the arm. It did mean that her clothes would be hard to fit over her arms, especially her right arm. What amazed us was that we noticed many women ( and men) with enormous arms that were always clothed. The arms were tightly wrapped, but even so. Those arms were encased in material, shirts jumpers. You name it. How did those huge arms get into the garments?

So, why did I have such difficulty fitting clothes over Helvi’s plaster encaged, but reasonably slim arms, especially her right arm? One problem was that her arms were very painful and  the slightest force would result Helvi suffering pain, and she wasn’t one to complain easily! Her face would let me know! It was pitiful.

I did not really have the time to ponder about how large people managed to get dressed and instead investigated on overcoming my problem of dressing Helvi in clothes that would fit easily without causing too much pain while dressing her. I had shirts that were fairly wide-armed, men’s’ shirts generally are fitted loosely. I made them even easier to fit by cutting the right arms open to where the sleeve met the shoulder. This gave Helvi’s right arm the freedom to move about without any pressure on the shards of her broken bones. Of course the cuff would be left uncut so that the sleeve could still be buttoned up.

Now that all this has moved into the past, and Helvi gone since 29th Oct, it occurred to me to mend the shirts that were cut. I looked into Helvi’s mending basket and amongst all the bobbins of cotton, the needless, the boxes of saved buttons , her zipped-up container of small scissors, knitting needles and all other bits of haberdashery, I found a tape that one can actually iron on to mend tears in clothing items. I remember having used this form of tape before. It needs to be ironed on without actually ironing. You put the iron on ‘wool’ temperature and press it down on this magic tape. It is a type of clear material that adheres to the material without any visual changes. A bit of a true miracle repair tool really.

I went about first threading a needle with black cotton and stitching the long tear in my shirt sleeve as good as possible. I remember Helvi getting the cotton thread through the eye of a needle fairly quickly. I took a lot longer. After the threading I filled the sleeve with some padding to expose the stitched up sleeve and tear.  I took out the iron put it on ‘wool’ and ironed on the tape of mending material. Here is the shirt now. All as good as possible, The mend is on the inside so hardly noticeable.

IMG_0396 the iron mending

Here is the final result. Of course I could have thrown all the shirts out but I believe in not polluting the world. It is also a very good and comfortable shirt. I am so proud of my achievement.