I managed to get an early start on my resolution to be more sustainable in 2019 by experimenting with visible mending on some jeans I’d torn. I yanked them up by the belt strap while hurrying to get dressed and out with the baby and riiiiiiiiip.
I’ve been getting increasingly interested in visible mending and sashiko after seeing some Instagram posts on the subject. The mends were so creative and fun that I wanted to try myself. And what isn’t to like about the idea of being sustainable while making your old clothes stronger and warmer?
I’m not an expert craftswoman but I’ve always been confident enough playing around with a needle and thread thanks to my grandmother and a formidably skilled great-aunt, so while the little ones were both having a nap one day I grabbed a scrap of fabric and some embroidery thread from what my eldest calls my mending box and fired up this video on YouTube to check the basic technique.
Mine was only a small tear so it only took minutes to fix, but as you can see from the photo at the start of this post, it was on tight-fitting stretch jeans so was liable to get worse quickly. In the end, the mend isn’t very visible but the jeans do feel stronger at that point as a result and I’m excited to experiment with more visible mending going forward.
The five minutes quiet that this gave me to be alone with my thoughts was quite therapeutic as well. This isn’t my first experiment with visible mending. When I was a teenager of about thirteen or fourteen, my favourite pair of jeans ripped at the front (baggy skater jeans if you remember the style? You couldn’t walk without stepping on them) and I patched them with some blue forget-me-not fabric and embroidered around the sides. This is when patching was going through a cool patch, if you’ll forgive the pun. Anyway, most of my friends were very complimentary about them but then one day a boy I liked, another guy and a girl and I were hanging out and they told me how awful they thought my jeans looked. And I never wore them again… Well, I ended up going out with the boy for a few years before realising he was an idiot, the other boy now has an incredibly dull sounding job in the civil service and the last I saw of the girl she was doing an emotive face pose in a Daily Mail article, so maybe it was never my jeans that needed to go but my choice of company that day.
I’m older and wiser now and will wear my patched jeans with pride.