visible mending

     Visible mending Vs. invisible mending

Clothes for life

I am into the idea of having clothes to last, and wearing the clothes we have over and over again. With wear and tear we can sometimes remake them, re-dye them, sew them up etc. I think it’s respectful to the planet and the people who made our clothes to get as much as we can from them. Unfortunately this can make it hard for me to throw or give anything away because I think I might fix it ‘one day’. anyway, recently I managed to fix 2 things! The first is a traditional Japanese jacket I bought on Etsy from  etsy’s ‘asiadyer

The 2nd is my husbands jeans. I usually refuse to help him with mending his clothes on principle. I’m not that kind of wife! and he can sew. But, what can I say, I was recovering from pneumonia, I was bored of watching telly and my brain couldn’t cope with anything more straineous so I obliged. (and it was satisfying)

For both projects my aim was somewhere inbetween visible and invisible mending. (leaning towards visible, I’m not trying to conceal that I have mended, but I also don’t want to distract too much from the garments original look)

Kasuri jacket with moth holes

I loved it straight away, It’s beautifully soft cotton woven with double kasuri . That means the white warp and weft threads were both bound before dying to make tiny ‘dots’. After dyeing with indigo (I presume natural indigo) , each thread carefully is aligned so that the patterns of warp and weft match to make the ‘dots’. As the seller had described, it had 3 little holes that needed patching up on the sleeve, probably thanks to some hungry moths.

I took a scrap of natural indigo cotton in a complementary light blue:


I poked the light blue fabric inside, stitched around the holes with blue thread, then over the whole thing with white thread. I wasn’t trying to mimic the kasuri exactly, just enough to blend in in a general sort of way.

15 year old levi’s jeans

Holes everywhere… crotch had been mended at least once before, pockets too. Also holes in knees and upper thighs.

In my experience its always the crotch of jeans which is the most problematic when it gets worn out.  I don’t want that mending to be too visible!  Cute colourful embroidered flowers are all very well on your knees but I don’t really want them radiating out my groin.

So I started by hand stitching plain fabric patches inside the jeans where the holes were. If I had all the time in the world it would all be hand stitched but hey, I don’t. So I got out the sewing machine, skeptical about how far down a leg it would go but I was pleasantly surprised; with a bit of jiggling I could reach most areas on my very standard machine.

I’m not confident how long this will last.

Sewing this last broken pocket was definitely the hardest part. It’s also the bit my husband most wanted me to fix, as he keeps his money and phone in there.

I added light blue fabric to replace the pocket fabric.

And stitched them together so it doesn’t make a big statement.

   Here’s to 15 more years of the same jeans!




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