Mending Basket


I love mending.
 I like hand sewing and I like small projects that can be finished quickly and that don't involve buying stuff. I also like to be creative. Mending ticks all those boxes, and of course it is thrifty too.
I've been collecting images of inspiring creative mending on my Make Do and Mend board on Pinterest.

I would love to be able to patch my children's clothes creatively but they aren't keen. Katie won't have anything handmade at all any more, Tom is very particular about his clothes and although George is happy to have things mended he likes the mend to unobtrusive. 





Although Tom is particular about his 'real' clothes ie the ones he has chosen, he is quite happy for me to mend his school uniform. The elbows of his school jumper wear out very quickly. To begin with I tried darning them with black sewing thread it being the best thing I had at the time. Then I got myself some darning wool and a darning mushroom which made the whole operation a lot easier. Although not apparent in my photo this darn is actually quite hard to see. Clearly I'm not an expert but I really enjoy darning and actually find myself feeling pleased when a new hole appears in Tom's jumper.


When it comes to my clothes I'm more than happy to mend them in a more creative way.
My clothes seem to need mending a lot. I must be very hard on them.


This is the underarm of a short-sleeved linen tunic the seams of which came apart not that long after I'd bought it. To start with I simply made a new seam to enclose the hole but it wasn't long before that gave way too. I decided to make a decorative patch for it.


I know it looks a completely different colour but it is the same garment. I tacked on a patch of printed cotton and then worked wobbly rows of running stitch across in embroidery floss. It's a bit rustic but I like it and it isn't in a very noticeable place. I might put another one on the front somewhere.



As well as ripping my clothes I splash bleach on them at regular intervals. This peacock green shirt got splashed and I sadly put it in the ragbag. After I'd finished the patch on my tunic I wondered what else I had to stitch on and remembered this shirt.


 I turned the bleach marks into a feature by doodling around them in running stitch.


Now I am eagerly anticipating the next ripped, torn or stained garment.

What about you? Do you enjoy mending? Are your mends utilitarian or creative, or both?

: :
Below is June's sampler - a bit late.


Comments

  1. The clothes I have destroyed with bleach!!! What a really clever idea with the embroidery. :)
    Vivienne x

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  2. Loving the bleach embroidery!
    Victoria xx

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  3. I am going to steal the bleach-marked shirt "repair". It's paint and art materials that usually do the damage with me, and this idea should work very nicely!

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  4. Oh yes, bleach stains about tummy or bosom height on shirts, depending on whther I'm cleaning the sink or the bath! Good idea! I love the blue shirt patching, it's reminiscent of the Japanese 'Boro' patching, where a new patch is just stitched across so that it almost becomes stitched into the cloth and becomes part of it. I did a post on Boro a couple of months back, there's a very expensive book I'd love to buy, on the topic, but it's VERY expensive

    I do patch clothes, and I also like to darn creatively with yarn that just about matched the wool of the garment, sometimes I do wheels and radiating spiders...I'm sure there are technical terms for them! I also remember my mums Bakelite darning mushroom - crickey, it'd be worth a few bob now!

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  5. Another one here totally bowled over by the bleach embroidery ! What a brilliant idea - so many clothes that ended up as rags because of bleach; so many clothes that will not end up as rags from now...

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  6. Granny Dot3:39 pm BST

    Ha ha Sue! Had to stop borrowing hubby's sweatshirts due to unfortunate bleach stains. Sadly he works in the environmental sector and DOESN'T approve of the stuff. The stains did rather make mincemeat of my claim that I rarely use bleach! Perhaps a little Sue type embroidery on the aforementioned sweatshirts would help compensate....

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  7. I do love the way you've disguised that bleach mark. Thanks for joining the Big Mend group on Flickr and sharing your mends there too. I'm sure they will inspire others to do likewise.:)

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  8. I had to learn to darn in the Brownies, 50 years ago, and I have never regretted it. I have a darning mushroom - but can recommend a potato, orange, or snooker ball as a substitute!

    Loving your darns and bleach stitchery! blessings x

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  9. Oh! The bleach disguises are utterly gorgeous.

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  10. I love mending clothes too; patches, darning, creative covering of splashes...all music to my ears! (Mr TH was bemused with my last piece of darning though...his favourite jumper was mended at night, by day I realised that the colour of the darning wool was very, very wrong!)

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  11. I did enjoy reading this and seeing your very ingenious repairs. I don't recall the last time I had to repair anything, probably when my daughter was small - some time ago... I do enjoy hand-stitching though.

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  12. In the distant past, I used to use a pair of mens long johns as PJs. They sprang a hole, so I sewed a patch on them. Unfortunately, the patch and thread were stronger than the original cotton, so more holes grew, more patches followed until there was more patch than original. I had totally forgotten them, until your thrifty sewing reminded me.

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  13. your mending is creative and beautiful..

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  14. LOVE what you did with the bleach stains - now I am truly inspired!

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  15. I can darn, thanks to a convent upbringing, but rarely do - but what an inspired idea for bleach splashes! I shall definitely be using that one, thank you.

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  16. Excellent mending! So pretty and so creative.

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  17. A very clever idea to cover the bleached patches! Thank you, I must remember this. Best wishes, Pj x

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  18. Now I am interested!! I often read 'TomofHolland' who is an expert in 'visible mending'. You may have heard of him - he is very creative. Great idea re the bleach stains - now why didn't I think of that.........

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    1. I have just started reading Tom of Holland who I found via Scrapiana.

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  19. Great post again, thanks. What a wonderful thing your blog is,(and many others too) drawing people who share a synchronicity of life and experiences together who would be folding laundry, darning and filling freezers alone and now are not!

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    1. Blogging is indeed a wonderful thing.

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  20. Again you put me to shame Sue. I don't mend as a rule although I find hand sewing very restful. The bleach spot disguise is inspired.

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  21. Such clever patching and coverup ideas. I'm inspired to try to fix my sundress that ripped in the wash last summer (not that I've had much chance to wear it so far this summer!)

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  22. Pati from London2:41 pm BST

    Oh I love it Sue!! My hubby destroys clothes frequently, he wears them hard somehow so I always take them to a lovely seamstress in my Spanish village to have them all repaired. I always wondered how she did the mends as they are neat and lovely like yours but I think that through this post and your pinterest board, I may have found the answer to it. Oh this is great! and I think I will try mending the next hole myself!! x Pati

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  23. I love how creative you were with your bleach stained shirt. Must remember that the next time I spill bleach on my clothes.

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  24. I love your solution to the bleach stain problem! Now, where did I put those jeans...?

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  25. We have a lovely, soft cotton duvet cover - just plain cream Egyptian organic cotton. It's our favourite bedlinen, but it got quite a nasty rip in it. So rather than try to do an unobtrusive mend, I cut a patch of brightly coloured fabric with pinking shears and sewed it over the rip with small running stitches. I didn't think it would last long and was prepared to replace it every few months, but it's been on there for about 18 months now and is still fine.

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  26. I love mending! You've done some lovely jobs there. My grandmother was a great darner and some of my grandfather's jumpers ended up more darning patches than the original knit!

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  27. I love your blog more and more, Sue. That bleach trick is fantastic - my mother has tried something similar with VERY dubious results. I'm glad to know that in the right hands it can work so well.

    And do I recognise that patch fabric?

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    1. You certainly do. Now I have such a nice stash of fabric in colours that all seem to go with my wardrobe there's no stopping me. Thank you so much.

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  28. Sue what a clever idea, embroidering round bleach splashes.
    Love Carole from Rossendale xxx

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  29. I love mending too. I love the embroidery round the bleach mark, the patch reminds me of sashiko which how the Japanese patched.
    Julie xxxxxxx

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  30. Just catching up here. I'm another fan of mending, and what you've done with that bleach marked shirt is awesome. Kudos!

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