To repair, make your things last longer and save you money.
My sister is a seamstress and owns an actual serger. Before she moved one way and we moved the other, I’d bring her things to fix on a weekly basis. A serger is a sewing machine whose sole purpose is to finish edges. If you look at the bottom of just about any tee-shirt you’re wearing, the loopy, 1/4 inch wide “hem” along the edge is a serge. It finishes a raw edge so it won’t fray.
I used to bring her all the baby stuff to fix, the cloth diapers that were fraying on one side, wipes, liners, blankets, bibs, placemats, etc. Then she moved away and I was on my own. Thank the Lord that my regular sewing machine has a serging foot. If your sewing machine doesn’t have one, I’d recommend getting one as it more than pays for itself by extending the life of your towels and clothing.
For instance, I spent yesterday serging the edges on the towels Hubby brought to the marriage. (A “pro” in the “marry him” category: man owns nice, matching towels). He saw the fraying edges, strings in the wind and assumed the towels were trash now or at the very least rags. Not so! Now they’re back to being towels and should last until they don’t match the bathroom.
Watch your tension so you get a nice, neat and solid serge border. I didn’t attempt it on my son’s jersey cotton shirt. The long sleeves had developed several holes so I cut them off and hemmed the shirt into a t-shirt. I made a double-fold hem on the sleeves and just sewed it by hand.
You can serge by hand too, it’s called the blanket stitch and my mother showed me how to do it. I did it once and promptly forgot how to do it so it’s off to youtube!
She’s sewing two pieces of felt together but you can use this stitch on a single piece of fabric. If you’re serging and not decorating, then make the loops closer together and a smidge tighter.
If you have a sewing machine but no serging foot, then a zig zag stitch can work too. Keep it right on the edge. These techniques will extend the life of many things: blankets, sheets, table cloths, placemats, handkerchiefs, pillow cases, cloth diapers, the list goes on.