Being a mender not a tosser

October 5, 2017

 

Mending is crafty  - in more ways than one. Sewing on a loose button, patching a tear, stitching up a burst cushion is smart behaviour; it extends the life of you clothes and furnishings and saves you money. There's also something about the practice of mending that's satisfying on a deeper level.

 

 The careful drawing in of loose threads, the closing of a ragged hole into neat stitches ... to save something that would otherwise be tossed is a little act of rebellion against our throw-away-and-buy-again society.    

 

 Like taking time out to mend a broken friendship, restoring something damaged is another way of being mindful in a world where so much is disposable. 

 

Most of us intend to get to the mending, but time defeats us. What we need is a plan. Here are seven tips for making the most of our mending opportunities:

 

 

 7 Tips for being a Mender

 

1. Assemble the basic tools: pins and a range of differently-sized needles, small sharp scissors, various reels of coloured cotton, iron-on patches and iron-on invisible hemming tape.

 

2. Keep your mending tools in one place. A painted shoebox, tackle box or retro picnic basket are all ideal. 

 

3. Start a button collection. Cut buttons off old clothes and then chop them into pieces to use as rags. Look out for jars of buttons at second-hand stores. 

 

4. Have a dedicated box or bag for things that need mending. If possible sort this into two - things to mend by hand and things to mend by machine. 

 

5. Keep your sewing kit handy so you can easily grab it together with the things to mend by hand. Pick it up when talking on the phone, watching Netflicks or when a friend calls by for coffee. 

 

 6. Mending hour. If you have a sewing machine (or can borrow one) set aside an hour to have a dedicated mending session. To mend a seam that rips often try stitching back and forth a bit. Use a narrow and long zigzag stitch for knit fabric. 

 

7. A stitch in time saves nine. Patch trouser knees before they burst through by ironing a patch on the inside. Wash tights in a mesh wash bag to prevent catches. Keep toenails trimmed to prevent nails from poking holes in socks. 

 

    

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