There has been less mending this winter because after the attack of the m*ths last year, stringent measures have been taken round here. M*th proof storage and pheromone sticky traps, and a cleaning programme that gets into the corners.  This is the first mend I’ve needed to make to a woollen undergarment this season, and this garment is years old and has seen a lot of wear.  It’s underwear, so I decided to trial an external patch, as well as an internal patch.  The internal patch was almost invisible from the outside. Here’s the outside view of the external patch:

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Silkymerino eucalyptus-print patch sewn on with eucalyptus dyed silk thread… and here is the inside–interior patch on the left and exterior patch on the right.

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I also have a favourite T shirt.  It’s a fine bamboo shirt with a design by the wonderful Nikki McClure. It has worn some small holes in front.  In the region of the belly button (or perhaps the belt buckle), to be exact!  Hence the trial of internal and external patching.  Conclusion: a feature external patch in this location… will not be flattering when the garment is on, though it could look great if it wasn’t actually on me!  The patched place is at the centre bottom of this image, looking slightly puckered.

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Here is the inside view–silkymerino stitched with madder dyed cotton/silk thread.  The little holes show red and so do all the tiny stitches… so there is a little speckled area on the front of the shirt.  In the spirit of the visible mending programme, this patch is visible… but not too visible!  And I personally will enjoy the internal view.

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And… some rough and ready patching on my gardening jeans has also been needed.  The second knee finally gave way.

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And when I went to mend the knee, one of the back pockets pulled away from the seat.  Better than this happening while I’m out on the street!  I decided against anything fancy because there isn’t much left in the way of strong fabric in these jeans any more–the hem has worn right through, the belt loops are pulling away from the waistband, and the next pair in the queue are more than ready for a permanent move to gardening wear.  In the meantime, some reinforcement on the inside and some machine darning over the most threadbare section will keep them going awhile longer…

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Filed under Sewing

18 responses to “Mending

  1. Susan

    Waste not, want not!! Good for you 🙂


  2. Kerry douglas

    Your Eco dyed undergarment looks too good to be hidden away!


  3. Rebecca

    Ah, there is nothing so virtuous as mending. I do like how that feels!


    • It isn’t really about virtue for me. I can’t say exactly what it is that makes mending so satisfying… in some cases it is the sheer pleasure of continuing to use well loved and therefore well worn items. Sometimes it is probably pleasure in ingenuity. I think my parents taught me a love of thrift!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ellie B.

    Use the weather extremes. Bitter cold with dry snow here gets bags of wool set out to kill bugs, rugs get ‘dry scrubbed.’ Killing, horrid hot temps see feather mattresses set out in the sun. Not so happy to put unwashed fleece in the sun, but, after washing, it certainly dries well in high heat and limited humidity! It helps me not mind the extreme weather. Something good from almost everything. And then, maybe not so much mending later except when something has been well-used, not well-chewed.


    • I also use the heat here to kill bugs… but not knowing for sure that all sources have been identified has had me taking other measures too. We don’t have snow!!! I agree that going with the weather is the thing to do when you can figure it out. Thanks so much for dropping by and contributing, Ellie.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fantastic blog. Do you hold natural dyeing workshops at all?


  6. Pia

    Well, the oldest pair can probably still provide patch material for the next, and so it becomes a nearly endless cycle. I hate that I’m having to buy new clothes constantly for the past couple of years because I’m not good enough to enlarge them for decent wear in public.


    • I agree–it does become a cycle, and I rather like that. I also struggle with the difference between my skill level and the things I am prepared to wear in public (or to work). I keep wondering if I could just make all my own clothes but I am not sure I could really manage to work wear factor!


  7. I love your patching style! I have also been brought up as a mender and it is a continual cycle in this house which I don’t mind, but this week I made a grim discovery. It has felt cold enough to bring out my all wool scrap heavy bedspread which took me 5 years on buses, planes and school benches to crochet. Since moving to Australia I have made sure in the summer I put in out once or twice in some heavy duty sunlight, hoping to kill any moth eggs. I just stored it in a chest of drawers and sadly last night seen a mass of loose fluff and a sizeable hole 😦 Moths? I am going to patch, handwash with some added cedar oil and hope it is not the start of the end. Could you give me your top 3 tips on preventing a moth rampage?


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