Turn those holes or stains into a piece of art on your clothing!
Thank you to Emma-Lisa Jansson McGhee for inspiring our Below The Kowhai sewing community.
To see more of Em’s beautiful sewing visit @ourhomeonthehill on Instagram.
Love It? Mend It!
Inevitably our favourite and most worn clothes get damaged, ripped or completely thread bare in parts.
It kind of feels like we have reached the end of the garment’s life, right?
What if it need not be? What if we looked at it in a different light and welcomed all those rips and tears as a garment well loved, and as an invitation to add new life to our clothes.
A chance to not add them to landfill, but instead put them back into our wardrobe and keep using them. I like to see it as an act of rebellion against fast fashion!!
There are many ways to mend, the quickest being to sew a few stitches to close the rip/hole if the area around is still sturdy.
Alternatively, stitching a patch on top or underneath is a great way to add strength to that part of the garment. You can sew by hand or by machine, what ever floats your boat.
This is also when you can start getting creative – by using a coordinating fabric and thread it’s possible to make it nearly invisible. Or you can go wild and make it stand out.
It’s totally up to you, there are no rules, just go for it and have some fun!
I like to use numerous patches slightly overlapping like a patchwork for a bigger area and playing with sizes, colours and different stitches.
Using the Japanese Sashiko or Boro stitching is a wonderful way to add some texture and interest to your clothes whilst strengthening them. The more stitches added the stronger the fabric will become.
How about adding a small embroidery to a patch and stitching it over the hole? Or embroider straight onto the rip with some fabric underneath to help strengthen the area.
A Few Supplies
To start your mending journey you probably have most things at home already.
- Especially fabric for patching, I’m sure I’m not the only one with boxes full of offcuts from different projects!
- If you want to use the sewing machine then you can use your regular thread.
- Or if you like taking your time with some mindful stitching by hand, I would recommend the cotton perlé. (It comes in many different colours.) I like the size 8 for woven fabrics as it’s not too thick, but you can use what you have at home.
- You’ll also need an embroidery needle.
- Pinking shears are great for patches being stitched underneath. These help to stop fraying whilst avoiding the bulk of double fold edges.
Once you start down the road of mending, you might be pleasantly surprised to find just how rewarding it truly is.
And how fabulous it is to put that garment back into your wardrobe!
I often find I like my clothes that wee bit more after mending them. They start to tell their own story.
Now go forth and mend, make those precious garments last and don’t forget to enjoy the process!
Thank you for sharing your guidance and beautiful mending examples with us Emma-Lisa!
Here’s to seeing our Handmade garments last and last!
Love and happy sewing,