April 10, 2022
Reasons for mending can be sentimental, economical or political. Repairing the items you have instead of buying new stuff is more sustainable and saves you money. Some cities even have a repair café where tools may be provided and a volunteer will show you how to fix broken items. (To find locations, visit www.repaircafe.org) I have noticed many new books about mending clothes have also been published in the past few years. Taking inspiration from these books, I decided this March would be the perfect time to start Mending Mondays!
I had a few different mending projects in mind, but it was mostly the large pile of socks in my closet that was nagging at me. I love to knit and have knitted many pairs of socks that I use for walking, hiking and skiing. Because I found it tedious to mend the holes, I would just knit myself a new pair when they got worn. However, that was not a sustainable solution, and I eventually had a number of pairs of socks that I couldn’t wear just because they were worn at the heel or toe. As I soon learned from reading these books, there is more than one way to mend a hole! I tried out classic darning and made a complete mess of it (more practice, please!), and then tried the crocheted patch method recommended by Noriko Misumi and found it a bit lumpy. I finally tried Swiss darning that I read about in Mend & Patch. This is my preferred method for very large holes, since it is more similar to knitting than weaving (yay!). I also got around to mending the worn handles of a tote bag using instructions from Mending with Love.
Mending Mondays are here to stay for me - at least until that large pile of socks is not!
Three tips I can offer you before you start mending your items:
1) Check out a book or watch someone do the technique you want to try (my book recommendations are listed below.) The guidance is very helpful.
2) Plan for a regular time to mend each week. Limit the time to 40 minutes or an hour, whatever fits your attention span. Anything you get accomplished in that time is better than nothing!
3) Work with another person or a group. Even if you aren’t working on the same type of mending project, company will keep you accountable!
Using basic sewing, darning, felting, and crochet techniques, as well as a handful of simple embroidery stitches, you can repair and restore your favorite belongings in a transformative way. With Joyful Mending, rips, holes, frayed edges and stains become a pleasant challenge—a chance to turn flaws into features so you can continue to enjoy the clothes you love.
Mending With Love shows you how to apply embroidery, patching, darning, felting, stamping and a little crochet to worn pieces of clothing or household items. Instead of stowing or throwing away damaged pieces that hold happy memories, you can employ these beautiful and sustainable ideas to give them a new life.
With Mend & Patch, you can learn to take care of your clothes, mending, patching and repairing so you can cherish all your garments. The book arms you with the skills and ideas you need to mend your own clothes, truly making and keeping them your own, whatever the wear and tear. Find out emergency tips for mending in a hurry, enhance your clothes with decorative 'mends' and learn to mend for and with different materials, including leather, cotton, wool, silk and of course, denim.
An inspiring guide to eco-conscious, sustainable fashion, The Mending Directory offers 50 modern stitch patterns and sashiko visible mending designs to inspire you to repair your clothes in stylish and trendy ways without having to consume more clothing. This 144-page collection of hand-stitched and darned patterns is organized by skill level from beginner to expert, and each includes step-by-step instructions and a gorgeous photograph of the finished pattern.
In Visible Mending, Arounna explores why we should mend, and how to mend a variety of different fabrics. Work through the illustrated step-by-step instructions that will demystify mending techniques and discover how these can be easily applied to old items to give them a fresh, modern look. Packed with skill-based projects, this book reveals how to patch jeans, embroider over tears, dye stains and use the Japanese art of Sashiko. Visible Mending is a book for those who want to learn how to make the most of their wardrobes, be less wasteful, more sustainable and add a personal touch to their garments.
image credit: MCPL