Sewing's not just for pros! Pretty much anyone can pick up a needle and thread and stitch life into worn out items!
[Creative Commons photo by Andy Melton]
We live in a culture of new. Whether we're talking cell phones or a pair of jeans with a hole in the knee, if something is worn out we're supposed to replace it with a shiny new one. Sometimes it feels like folks consider mending and repairing almost quaint when it's just as easy to hit up a big box store for a replacement. It doesn't have to be that way! A needle and thread are your weapons against waste! Let's arm up and get mending!
Patch it Up
For smaller rips and tears, you can try mending the hole without a patch. If the hole is a little bigger, though, you'll probably want to cover it up. Whether you opt to make your own patch out of scrap fabric or splurge on a premade one, patching is an easy way to give a worn pair of jeans or a jacket a new life. One of the coolest patching solutions that I've seen lately is Turkey Feathers' tutorial on making a tourniquet patch to cover a hole in the knee. Maybe it speaks to my inner third grader who misses Punky Brewster?
If it's a sock or woven blanket that's developed a hole, it's time to get darning! For some amazingly detailed, clear instructions on darning all sorts of things, check out this CRAFT tutorial from Arwen O'Reilly Griffith. I love her suggestion that you use a contrasting color of thread instead of a coordinating one! Why try to hide all your hard work? Show it off!
The Little Things
Mishaps like a ripped seam or missing button are quick fixes. Kelly Rand over at Crafting a Green World has a great tutorial on replacing a lost button. Seams are just as easy. To fix a tear that's at a seam, thread your needle and tie a knot in the opposite end. Just like when you're darning, you'll want to start just above the tear to strenghten the fabric a little. Start from the "wrong" side of the fabric, and sew tiny stitches to sort of pull the two pieces of fabric together. You'll want to sew from just above the tear to just below, then double back. Once you get back to where you started, just tie the loose end of thread to the tail of the knotted end, trim, and voila! It's like that little rip never happened. This fix works for pretty much any torn seam from your favorite skirt to a chair cushion or pillowcase.
Have you been getting you mend on? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!
Image Credit: Coolest Patch. Creative Commons photo by Fiona Bearclaw