Simple Fixes and Mending Techniques
For people who love clothing and textiles, few things are more disheartening than to discover that a favorite garment needs to be mended. And if you aren't sure how to make the necessary repairs, those pieces serve as a silent reproach as they pile up in the closet corners.
Mending is often associated with a bygone era, an old-fashioned activity for people who had limited access to manufactured goods, lived through the Great Depression, or made do with wartime rations. With the accessibility of inexpensive fashion, mending fell out of practice. The current shift in economic realities and concerns over global sustainability may have caused you to reflect on a time when consumers made, purchased, and wore high-quality cloth-and knew how to care for them.
Mending is remarkably easy, surprisingly quick, and extraordinarily gratifying. Learning how to evaluate a damaged area and becoming familiar with the basic techniques are all that's needed to get started. By mending treasured garments, you can enjoy them longer, take pleasure in your artisanal self-sufficiency, and do your part in leaving a smaller footprint on the planet. Now that's cutting edge!
To mend or not to mend
When evaluating garment damage, first determine whether mending is possible and if it will save the garment.
Can it be fixed?
A mend may be possible if the damage is to elements of a garment's construction, such as released seams or darts, loose buttons, worn buttonholes, loose beads or sequins, tired elastic, a broken zipper, a fallen hem or cuff. Mending also is possible if the damage is to hidden elements, such as shabby lining, a hole in an inside pocket, under a button, or in a sock.
A mend may not be possible if the damage involves the textile itself, such as rips and tears or insect damage in the body of the cloth, deterioration, shattering, or loss. Shattered silk is nearly, if not completely, impossible to mend.
Teach Yourself to Sew
Teach Yourself to Sew is a video series for beginning sewers or anyone who wants to brush up on their skills. We demonstrate basic sewing techniques, share tips, and give step-by-step instruction for beginner sewing projects. Plus, you can ask our experts for answers to any sewing questions you have along the way. You’ll gain the confidence you need to get started in sewing, and in no time you’ll be creating gorgeous garments. If you have already mastered the art of sewing, share this series with those who want to get started, and contribute your expertise by answering questions in the forum.
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