Friday, September 9, 2016

Mending is Hip!

Last week the girls and I were on the train, and a young woman sitting next to us had a jeans jacket on. The jacket had visibly mended wear spots. The wear spots were in odd places and the mending looked intentionally poorly done, kind of like mechanically distressed furniture. So I broke all the Boston subway rules and

I said: "Excuse me. Did you mend your jacket? Or did it come that way?"

She said: "Oh. It came that way."

I said: "Great. I was wondering when mending would become hip, and I guess it has if jackets are coming pre-mended."

I love mending clothes. I get great satisfaction when I take something that can't be worn, fix it, and then return it to its rightful place in my closet. There's almost a "stick it to the man" sense of joy, since I know the clothing industry depends on us throwing out clothes and buying new all the time. And I've been discreetly mending things for a long time. I can blind sew a popped seam, resew a buttonhole carefully matching the original thread, and last week I even mended a pair of my brother's leather gloves, working with the existing holes to recreate the original stitches.

Lately though, I've been particularly enjoying the rise in visible mending. Visible mending is exactly what it sounds like. Rather than making the mending as discreet as possible, the idea is to make it as eye-catching and interesting as possible. Contrasting fabrics are used to mend holes, and top-stitching is done in contrasting colors. That is the kind of mending on the jacket I saw on the train.

There are tons of directions online for mending. So I am not going to bother with my own, when the others are so good. Most mending does not take advanced sewing skills, and most of it can be done by hand. No sewing machine is necessary. So, give it a try.