#MenditMay Mending workshop

Just Mend It - jpeg

Last night the second mending workshop went off at our local hub, The Joinery, supported by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty ranges Natural Resources Management Board. Diane from the Adelaide Sustainability Centre did a wonderful job of organising.  She has more events coming up!

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The first workshop was a cosy, small affair with two mother/daughter teams who worked on learning to darn, mending torn jeans and hemming some pants.  It was just delightful to watch their mutual support and love for each other as well as their mending skills.

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The second workshop brought in quite a crowd of lovely people and loads of garments in need of buttons, hems, patching, darning, seam repairs, zippers, and repairs on rips. There was a lovely warm atmosphere as we set to work repairing the efforts of moth larvae and the impact of hard work and long wear on clothes that are practical, treasured or simply available to be practiced on.

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The mending kits went to happy new homes.  It was wonderful to see those needle cases opened out and people figuring out which needle to use for which job.  I got to share the joy of ‘magic eye’ or ‘self threading’ needles with people whose eyesight isn’t up to needle threading for the moment. Several people worked on their jeans and one generous reader was working on her daughter’s partner’s jeans.

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There were patches plain and fancy (this one has a decorative silky top layer and some denim patching underneath doing the heavy work). Some people were working on their very first mends but several had aspirations to make their own clothes.

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One lucky person had been to a workshop with India Flint and was wearing some beautiful plant dyed clothes she had made, while she had others well-worn and ready for repair.

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There were some much-loved garments in for mending.  It was a real pleasure to be in the company of other people who like to make things last!  There were some strategy conversations about how to make special things go further.

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There was fancy mending too.  Here, a patch from a worn out black t shirt has gone on the inside of a merino top, with some decorative stitching holding the layers together.  No one will ever recognise this as mending… and I think there will be more spirals to address other places where wear and moth larvae have done their work.

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Here, some great pants from the op shop are being taken up by a new wearer who is not the same height as the previous owner.

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People learned darning, decorative patching, patching that won’t show so much and how to wax thread.  It turns out I know a simpler way to replace a button than some folk had figured out for themselves, and there were people sewing buttons onto leather as well as people sewing statement contrast buttons on with alacrity.  Some of my friends came along.  And, I got to meet some lovely blog readers for the first time! Thanks so much to everyone who came and made it a great night.  If you’re looking for guidance, please do go to my directory of mending tutorials.  Happy mending!


Filed under Craftivism, Sewing

10 responses to “#MenditMay Mending workshop

  1. Thank you for such a wonderful and generous workshop. My mending kit complete with a eucalypt-dyed woolen needle/pin case will be treasured by me. How generous you are. I have been poring over my Readers Digest sewing and knitting encyclopaedia too with a lifetime of information. I’ve already had some ah-ha moments. I continued patching when I got home and can’t wait to do more tonight. Jesse’s jeans will have a new and even better life. It was lovely to meet you in person too….inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was so good to meet you, Keryn! Thanks for your lovely compliments. I am in awe of your persistence with that tough backing fabric in your patches. I am just delighted that the needle case and mending kit, and of course, the RD Guide!! will all have a happy home with you. Here’s to many more a-ha! moments and more mending excitement to come…


  2. Thank you Mary for such a wonderful evening. It went too fast! I am so glad to have learnt a fun and decorative way of darning over moth holes. Thanks as always for sharing your time and wisdom 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s my pleasure, Lucy! I had a great night and really enjoyed people’s company and cheer as well as their enthusiasm for the craft. I am always a but surprised to find I have wisdom to share, but we all know different things, and a what good thing it is to be able to cross pollinate our knowledge.


  3. Audrey

    Please tell us your easier way to sew on buttons. I learnt darning from my Gran, who also did amazing embroidery.


    • Hello Audrey, thanks for stopping by! My Gran taught me lots about sewing too but my Mum taught me to darn. I don’t think there is anything amazing about the way I sew on a button, but some people clearly had a different method. I double the thread and tie a knot in the end leaving a longish tail. Then I stitch the button on, being careful to stop it moving around and making sure I am sewing in alignment with the buttonhole. When I have done as many stitches as I intend to, I pick up the tail, and tie off my working thread using the tail. Clip threads and you’re done. Is that what you do?


  4. Susan

    Funny, I read it quickly and thought you said that the workshop went off at the local PUB!!! I was thinking…….way to go! Oh, OK, back up Susan 🙂
    Glad it was a roaring success even without the pub!


  5. Susan

    re sewing buttons, met someone who knew someone who literally worked in a sweat shop situation and the said they would put 4-6 threads in the needle and sew the button on ONCE! Now that will work if you have the right size button and holes!


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