Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

23/03/2021

Repairing as an act of rebellion

I hate shopping for clothes.

A.B.......S.O......L.U.T.E.L.Y  HATE shopping for clothes and up until the lockdown, I would occasionally trawl round the charity shops and if I found something I liked, regardless of the size (I tend to look for a size or two bigger than I am) I would buy it, alter it, mend it, make it mine. But that too is/was a very infrequent event. So my wardrobe is quite sparse and 'to the point' - nothing is surplus and everything has to work hard..... 

Inevitably wear and tear happens. Especially in my line of work. 

I decided that my sleeveless puffa needed some serious love after it was shredded by a particularly fearsome rambling rose, and I wanted the mending to full on show!
During the act of mending, I so enjoyed the process of stitching (with a nod to boro), I found it so satisfying and once I'd finished it, I loved the feel of the threads beneath my fingers. My puffa needed two patches and several small holes which were proudly filled with the brightest yellow thread I could find.
Happy?
You betcha!

Himself suddenly had a pile of socks with various 'escape routes' and just as he was about to lob them into the bin I stopped him and offered to mend them. He was more than happy to hand them over and I spent a pleasant evening mending the holes with cheerful brightly coloured thread.
And was he happy?
Delighted!
I have a few more to sort out now, what does that man do to his socks??!


Still with Himself, last night he asked me if I could fix a glove for him. It is a thick, multi layered warm glove which has had to work hard over winter.  The outer layer of the thumb had almost come detached and in places the fabric had worn thin and threadbare. The rest of the glove and the other hand fared better, so the repair was concentrated on the thumb. 
Another evening spent quietly stitching and mending. The fabric was tough and it was certainly took some oomph to sew through it. However, by the end of it - Himself has a pair of working gloves again and they will last so much longer than before.

As I mentioned before, I trawl the charity shops and occasionally find a gem which I rescue and bring home. This little pullover is one such delight. It is a boutique design and if bought new would cost rather a lot more than the princely sum of £3.00 I paid for it.  I washed it and wore it several times before I noticed a rather strange 'pull' to one side. A bit of an investigation exposed a rather poor fix I'd not seen before. 
So, I unpicked the yellow thread expecting a small hole and was quite surprised to find how big it was. However, I was not phased and had another happy evening of stitching and weaving and drinking tea. Wearing a repair with pride :)

Then yesterday, a book landed through the letterbox with a thud on the mat - 'Love Clothes Last' by  Orsola Castro and I fell into her words and found what she'd written was exactly how I feel about repairing and mending and making things last - it is not a book to tell how to look after your clothing it is a book to tell you why you should and I am eating every single word!


I repair as an act of rebellion - as a stand against fast and cheap and nasty fashion. I mend because my clothes are part of me and I would rather not just discard them. I mend because I hate shopping.






17 comments:

  1. I learnt to darn. I love darning.

    Julie xxxxxxx

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    1. I learnt too - at school but found that it was a skill I use as an art form rather than mend. I still do - I could do invisible mending but I love the fact that an item is worn so much because it is loved that it needs a 'badge of honour' due to it's longevity!

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    2. I do too. Was it you I told about the little Darning Machine? I love using that. I used to repair the elbows in my late dad's jumpers when he was in a home, the ladies who cared for him were very impressed. I also repapred a moth hole in my late husbands best pullover too.

      Julie xxxxxxx

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    3. My blog is ready to publish tomorrow

      Julie xxxxxx

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  2. I come from the 'make do and mend' era and remember my mum darning my dads socks and making repairs to all sorts of things. In the years when I couldn't afford new stuff I was quite happy to mend things, now I don't think I have a needle to my name. I live constantly in t-shirts and track suit trousers for work/dog walking/general wear and once stuff gets to the stage of needing a repair I just buy new as those things are cheap enough. I do like a good charity shop bargain though and I've had loads of really nice stuff from various ones.

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    1. It concerns me why clothing is so cheap - the clothing industry is one huge horror story from start to finish. Another reason why I hang on to things and buy second hand

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  3. I thought Loved Clothes Last was a fantastic read, I think everyne who wears clothes needs it in their lives.
    Love your darned jumper. x

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    1. I am thoroughly enjoying reading it and I agree that more folk should read it - and thank you re my jumper's visible mend ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  4. So many high street clothes shops have gone out of business in the last year I think charity shops will be even more important and perhaps mending will become more important too, although I doubt many people will change their throw-away habit.
    That book popped up on my recommendations list - it sounds good

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    1. Interestingly enough, I heard recently that charity shops are no longer the benefactors of peoples good will but a release for guilty/excessive purchases! I do recommend the book :)

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  5. Well, some of my clothes are 20 years old.... I wear and wear until they are worn out, so worn out that they can't be repaired. I do refuse to darn socks.... I agree that clothing is so cheap that people just wear them a few times and throw them away. I have noticed various big names promoting clothes for spring, etc etc. So wrong.

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    1. Me too! I have a dress, I still wear it, that due to the design is able to expand (has a ribbon tie at the back) so I wore when I was pregnant with Eldest (he is 23 now good grief!) I quite like darning socks - as long as the hole is reasonably repairable - some of the socks I have been offered are more hole than sock ... but not going there ๐Ÿ™„ and it is awful how cheap clothing is pushed as the ultimate must have item ๐Ÿ˜ถ

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  6. What I am about to say may be considered almost offensive to those of you who adore/like sewing. Nevertheless, I have to add that I dislike sewing and certainly I do not like darning! I find it boring! However,having said that I do have to admit that the use of bright colours to darn looks much more fun and creative than what my Mum taught me. Now then I do thoroughly enjoy embroidery and cross-stitch but then I am creating a picture and it is like painting with a needle. Getting back to the main topic I make my clothes last! The favourite pieces don't see a washing machine I wash them by hand to keep the colour. I do repair using lazy darning or no sew tape and sewing on new buttons but minimal sewing! LOL! keep well Amanda x

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    1. Hahaha your comment tickled me - I can't really sew as in 'properly' I am more of a hand sewist and patch and stitch repair 'expert' ๐Ÿ˜ I use brightly coloured thread coz it pleases me and makes me happy :) so in a way I am making a 'picture' rather than sewing ๐Ÿ˜Š

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  7. I have always mended my whole family's clothes. It's saved me a fortune over the years especially when my son was little as I could turn trousers into shorts etc . Arilx

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  8. I too have very old clothes, both bought & handmade & hate clothes shopping. Not sure about 2nd hand Op Shop clothes, but only due to a nasty incident (long time ago)to a friend of my Mums that put me off. Probably different now. Love your quirky mending, mine is always very prim & proper. Take care & hugs.

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  9. I too love darning but am of the old school type, wool must match so darn does not show!! Your bright designs are much more fun. Can't see Dad going for it though!! ๐Ÿงก xx

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