Sewing: Mending Matters II

part of a pair of black denim jeans, with a repair executed in white thread.

A few weeks ago, I reviewed a book called Mending Matters I enjoyed the book, I got some private feedback from people who enjoyed the review, and I felt good about it.  … But… it has to be admitted, I hadn’t actually mended anything yet, using the techniques from the book.

I remedied that, this morning.  The repair involved putting the back-right pocket of a pair of jeans back in order with some white thread, some denim scrap, and an embroidery needle.

And patience.  Even though this work is done with a running stitch, and it’s relatively swift work, I still had to clip my stitches and start over; I hadn’t followed directions and pinned the patch in place before I started.  Pinning turns out to be important in this kind of work — you can’t see the patch as you’re sewing it in place, so you have to make sure that first you sew the edges of the patch in place with running stitch; and then you have to sew the edges of the rip in place using whipstitch work.

I really like the result.

I have to get better at stitch placement, at managing the thread, at laying out a patch and smoothing it out.  I have to get better at a lot of things related to patching or repairing clothing. But I like this process of visible repair, of obvious structural change.  I like that the (Carhartt) logo is one of the things that got torn off, and that it’s been replaced with denim patching based in part on sashiko style stitching.  There’s a long way to go down this road,  I suspect.

But starting… that’s been a delight.

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  1. I started mending things this year after reading about how to mend jeans. It had never occurred to me that I could fix more than a button or hem before that. I shored up a couple weak spots in a favorite pair of jeans, and it worked. Then I replaced a zipper on a hoodie, and patched a pair of yoga pants, and mended a pocket.

    It’s satisfying! I’m interleaving mending projects between longer ones and enjoy the quick win.

    • Yes. That book on Mending also argues for visible stitching in places other than the crotch, in order to make the garment more your own, more loved, more likable… it’s hard to know what language to use around this, of course, but that’s the rough outline of it — patched garments last longer; visible patches add character and (at least to a wabi-sabi trained eye) beauty and elegance to a garment, as well.

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