Mending is Cool Again


finished mending housecoat with exterior patch
Mended housecoat; almost as good as new.

During my junior high school days, sewing was part of the home economics curriculum. I learned how to hand stitch, but not how to mend my well-loved clothes. I was lucky enough to have aunts and a mother who repaired their clothing. Recently, I purchased Mending Matters, a book that offers mending solutions as a way to extend the life of our fashionable clothing. Using simple hand stitching methods to repair clothing also connects us to the slow fashion movement. I’m putting this book to good use by mending a tear in my beautiful woven, cotton housecoat.

You know the story, a new garment you reach for every day, and then you have an accident. I believe I caught my new housecoat on a door handle. I didn’t think much about it at first, but later noticed the damage. I decided to deal with the problem by taking practical measures, so I could continue to wear the housecoat. Rather than the seam stitches coming apart, which would have been an easy fix, the tear is along the seam. The best approach is to apply a decorative, exterior patch.

Following the steps from Mending Matters, I think the patch looks rather impressive. The fabric I chose coordinates very well, and almost looks like it is part of the design.

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Mending Matters is a real gem, providing simple solutions to reinvent your precious wardrobe. Although the book addresses denim repairs, the same principles can be applied to all sorts of garments and fabrications. Mending allows for creative expression. There are a myriad of ways to fix clothing that gives them another life, and adds a personal touch to the things we own. Repairing your wardrobe is one way to contribute to fashions’s sustainability, by engaging in the lost art of simple stitching, and even more importantly enhances your relationship with clothing, something that is often neglected in our world of excess and cheap fashion.

Mending Matters by Katrina Rodabaugh, published by Abrams 2018

book cover for Mending Matters