Joyful Mending, Visible Mending

Oh wow, what a fun afternoon I just had! It was sunny so I decided I’d take a break and sit outside and read. I picked up a couple of Tuttle Publising books, and became inpired to start working my way through the mending pile after looking through Joyful Mending: Visible Repairs for the Perfectly Imperfect Things We Love! by Noriko Misumi.

Visible Mending, Joyful Mending

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Thanks goes out to Tuttle Publishing, who kindly sent us Joyful Mending: Visible Repairs for the Perfectly Imperfect Things We Love! in exchange for our honest opinion.

Mending – Can It Really be Joyful?

Those two words don’t seem like they should go together, do they? Certainly, mending isn’t something that is often looked forward to, but rather something that must be done, if indeed it’s done at all these days.

I learned how to mend socks with my grandma when I was in primary school and it was a joy to sit and chat with her, even if I didn’t quite enjoy the mending of worn sports socks, I knew there’d be a cup of hot tea and a home-baked cookie when we were done.

Mending techniques
Mending techniques

Visible Mending

I am loving the trend of visible mending that’s going on right now! Instead of trying to hide imperfections, let’s embrace them and turn them into something unique and beautiful.

Noriko Misumi shows us how to mend using several techniques to repair sweaters, jackets, skirts, teddy bears, and yes, even socks. The main chapters are:

  1. My Mending Consultation Booth
  2. The Art of Joyful Mending
  3. Basic Mending Techniques
  4. Invisible Mending and “Statement” Mending
  5. Mending with Patchwork and Rug Hooking
  6. Mending Socks and Gloves

The book also includes instructions on crochet basics, and 14 types of mending techniques such as cross stitch, French knots, and herringbone stitches.

Mending consultation
Mending consultation

There are hundreds of pictures in this book that take you step-by-step through how to mend, as well as providing inspiration on how to adorn your clothing, bags, and rugs.

Patching in Practice

A few years ago I bought a pretty t-shirt on sale, but after a wash it developed a hole. Mom was visiting and she sewed some butterfly lace appliques to hide the hole. This was effective; however, the cost of the applique was more than the cost of the shirt.

With Joyful Mending I am now able to make items wearable and unique without ongoing costs. I already had embroidery thread in the closet, although I did purchase a darning ‘mushroom‘ because everyone here talks about them and I didn’t know what they were. They do help prevent finger-pricking and hold the item even.

I started off darning socks in a square weave using two colours of thread for interest. Then I made a fun patch for a hole in the knee of a pair of sweatpants.

Visible mending of trousers and socks
Visible mending of trousers and socks

Later on, I moved to covering over a stain in a pair of leggings so Kallista can wear them without drawing attention to a moment of clumsiness.

Hiding a stain with embroidery

Then I wanted to fix a little hole in a cotton wrap-around dress. First darning the hole with a square darn, I then tried out French knots and a sort-of chain stitch to create a little flower to hide the darned area. It could be neater, but it was my first attempt at these stitches. I may add a couple of extra flowers as well as stems and leaves in the future for a little more whimsy.

Flower patch mending
Flower patch mending

I am so happy to have been introduced to visible mending and the techniques involved. I have at least 2 sweatshirts that are 20-30 years old that I do not want to part with, but the cuffs and collars need repair. I could hire someone with a sewing machine to attach new ribbing…but I will now try out my new skill and be able to keep on wearing my favourite comfort items for longer.

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Make Due and Mend

Mending is a skill, to be sure, and in the current throw-away age, I’m pleased to see that there is a movement towards holding on to what you have and not instantly throwing things away. Yes, perhaps it is because more people are feeling the pinch of the economy, but also it reduces waste and allows those well-loved pieces to be treasured for longer.

Joyful Mending, Visible Mending

Where to Purchase Joyful Mending

If you’re interested in purchasing Joyful Mending, it’s available through:

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