Mending Mania: When Good Ideas Cause Problems

Patches for everyone!!! Seriously, I spent the last two nights patching kid jeans and kitchen towels. I am so bad ass.

Patches for everyone!!! Seriously, I spent the last two nights patching kid jeans and kitchen towels. I am so bad ass.

About a year ago, as I was clearing clutter around the house. There was a pile of things I needed to patch up and reattach buttons to. So I had a really great idea…set up a mending basket. Then everyone could put stuff in, I fix it and it gets returned to its rightful place. It’s gone pretty well, but there is one issue. The damn thing never empties. I went on a mending bender a few months ago, and I found one of my favorite maternity shirts that still needed a button reattached. Since my little guy has found residence outside my belly, that fix no longer seems needed.

The point is, I let it pile up a bit too much, and it was really, REALLY time to get a few things fixed. So that’s been what I have been doing for “fun” the last few days. But despite the fact that this is not super creative, glam or fun work, I wanted to share anyway. I am sure some of you out there may repair home goods or clothes. Or maybe you want to learn to and this may give you some ideas or inspiration.

Last night started with the stuff that was not only a bit more fun, but a bit more critical. My daughter had three pairs of pants with blown knees and a pair of leggings with a hole. Since kids grow like weeds, I need to get these back into rotation before she’s too big. I let her choose cottons out of my sewing stash. It’s not as durable as a regular patch, but they don’t need to last nearly as long. I save the real patches for grown-up clothes. For the bird and rectangle patches, I used scraps of fusible web to secure the fabric to the jeans. I wanted just enough hold to keep everything in place because sewing from inside tiny pant legs is awkward. Since the heart patches are on the outside, I actually covered the whole piece of fabric with fusible web and then cut out the hearts. And then I got to hand stitching. In case you are new here, I am not about perfection. I am about odd. So here are my finished patches.

All the pants in need of fixing. The capris were gonig to get turned back into jeans, but there is no real point. So I just covered the marker on the front.

All the pants in need of fixing. The capris were going to get turned back into jeans, but there is no real point. So I just covered the marker on the front.

These are all the fabrics my daughter picked. I think she has pretty good taste!

These are all the fabrics my daughter picked. I think she has pretty good taste!

I cut away all the shredded denim in these jeans so my kiddo could really see the fabric.

I cut away all the shredded denim in these jeans so my kiddo could really see the fabric.

This is a strange patch shape, but I had a reason! I was following the faint lines where the fabric is starting to give more. So I am hoping those long icicle-looking stitches fight that off a bit.

This is a strange patch shape, but I had a reason! I was following the faint lines where the fabric is starting to give more. So I am hoping those long icicle-looking stitches fight that off a bit.

Lots of messy machine and hand stitches. Even better, there is pink and purple, My daughter will be thrilled.

Lots of messy machine and hand stitches. Even better, there is pink and purple, My daughter will be thrilled.

Tonight I cracked into a pile of kitchen towels. Towels that have been ignored for a year by now. I think it’s because we have a fair number, so it’s not like we needed them. But I wanted them back in rotation. Several years ago, I got embroidered towels from my grandma and I have used them to death. At some point, one ripped so badly that it wasn’t really worth repairing. So I saved it for patching other towels. Another towel got a five-inch-long rip in it, so I used the embroidered panel from the destroyed towel to create a gigantic patch. This was also a combo of stitching and fusible web. Fortunately, the sewing was all by machine. I did end up hand-patching about half a dozen small holes, but that went pretty fast.

Peaches! Now you can see why I needed to save that towel for patching purposes.

Peaches! Now you can see why I needed to save that towel for patching purposes.

That huge rip actually looks kind of cool with bright red thread.

That huge rip actually looks kind of cool with bright red thread.

Teeny-weeny thread weaving to patch tiny holes.

Teeny-weeny thread weaving to patch tiny holes.

So after two days of super domestic fun, I look forward to finishing up a sculpture in the next two days. It’s small, but I am very excited to share it. So I will be back in a few days. See you then!

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