Mending What the Dog Chewed Up (Part One)

A customer brought me 2 Vera Bradley bags (purses) that her dog chewed up and asked me if I could repair them.

what the dog chewed up part 1

She really didn’t have high expectations; she figured anything I could do was better than what they looked like.

But, she didn’t know that I have a favorite mending technique that earns rave reviews every time I use it.

This is some of the damage to one strap on the first bag:

strap that the dog chewed up, 591

To fix this, select thread that matches the bag and thread your machine and bobbin with that color.

Now, switch your machine setting to zig zag.

Select the widest width of zig zag that you have.

The stitch length should be set to zero. (If you start sewing and the machine does not move forward, move the stitch length just a little and try it there. You certainly don’t want it as long as a “1”. The goal here is to have the stitches as close together as possible.)

Begin stitching along the edge of the strap like this:

stitching to fix what the dog chewed up, 593

You may need to go over it a couple of times.

This is how it turned out:

fixed strap that the dog chewed up

See how good that looks?

Most people won’t be able to tell that the bag was in shreds.

Here’s another example of damage to the middle of the bag:

what the dog chewed up part 1

This is what it looks like after the mend:

the middle of the bag after it is fixed when the dog chewed it up, part 1, 608

This technique has many applications.

I use it to mend jeans, jackets, sleeping bags, and many other items around the house.

It only takes a couple of minutes and a matching spool of thread and you’ve got an instant solution to lots of problems.

To fix a more complicated tear, check out this post on Mending What the Dog Chewed Up, Part 2.