You can hand stitch your top and get it almost as good as machine sewed if you take your time and are careful to go through the original holes in the fabric. You will need polyester thread the same size as the original which will probably be size 138. The only other thing you will need is a small curved needle, and an infinite amount of patience. Sew up and and down every other hole like in the pictures, and when you get far enough to repair the open area, reverse directions and sew opposite of the way you sewed the first time. Make sure you start and stop from underneath to hide the ends of the repair. The only other thing to remember is to not sew through your thread. I used great big twine and a large needle for this example. Regular stitching looks like the other two rows.
No one lives forever, the trick is creating something that will.