Creative Commons License photo credit: Kirstea

When’s the last time you fixed something instead of throwing it away? I have a love-hate relationship with mending. I can’t stand to get rid of clothes just because they need repair, (so much of our wardrobe comes from thrift stores–I’d hate to end the cycle of re-use) but mending is always something I say I’ll get to later. So as a result, I usually have a nice big pile of socks with holes, jeans needing patches, etc. (The last time I mentioned mending on the blog was back in 2007. In that case, James was mending my jeans.)

Last week, I decided to clear the decks. (My pile wasn’t too big because my mom whittled away at it when she was visiting this summer–Yay, Mom!) I took care of the little projects that were piled up, and then, as I was doing laundry, I began to notice other clothes that needed repair. Instead of making a new pile, I sat down to fix them right away. “Well, that was easy.” I told myself after I’d finished patching a pair of jeans. It only took a few minutes. I used an iron-on patch, but whip-stitched the edges because those patches tend to come unglued after a few washings.

My laundry room also happens to be the storage area for all my craft stuff, so I have mending supplies right at hand there. If you put off fixing things like I do, it might help to have a small repair kit near where you fold clothes.


My mending basket isn’t particularly tidy, but I’m sentimental about it. It’s my grandmother’s basket, and she got it in Okinawa when she was there visiting my aunt and uncle in the 1960s. It’s full of her old wooden spools of thread, plus needles, patches and other bits and pieces.


Nearby on the yarn shelf, I have scissors, pins, glue, darning egg, etc. in these admittedly overstuffed little fabric boxes I found at Target. I’m hoping that I’ll keep up with the mending, and that last week’s repair frenzy wasn’t just an attempt to procrastinate about doing something else.

In Praise of Mending

3 thoughts on “In Praise of Mending

  • October 14, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Absolutely my worst house-tending skill is mending. Our basket is entirely too stuffed. There is pretty much nothing that makes me feel better about myself than putting well-loved clothing back to rights, but somehow starting a new project always seems like more fun. I think the idea of using a special mending basket is exactly what I need to do! I have an old knitting notions container from my grandmother, and while she did not use it especially for mending, I think I am going to devote it to that use. Thanks.

  • October 14, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Glad to hear it, Hannah. I’d love to see a picture of your grandmother’s
    container once you get it set up. You could always ration your mending and
    just do one piece per day until you’ve gotten it under control. I think
    sometimes trying to tackle a whole pile is a bit daunting.

  • October 15, 2010 at 1:33 am

    I am so, so bad about getting mending done too. You are in good company.

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