There have been times in this lockdown when it felt like I’ve mended every day. Sometimes just adding a few stitches so that the underwire doesn’t peek out of there, or stitching a button back on. Or re-sewing the seam that keeps Mum and Dad’s shopping bag in use instead of it hitting the bin. Or sewing the binding back onto the edge of the gardening gloves. Darning my beloved’s slipper sole…

This much mended shirt began as flour bags from the Fremantle Roller Mills, with a big red dingo as well as the name of the mill and the weight of the bag. That was a long time ago! The front edge had worn down to fraying and the corner of the pocket had become a hole. So I covered the worn edge with some handkerchief fabric complete with rolled edge hem–it was in the scrap pile so must not have made the final cut for a hanky!

For those wondering how the patches on the inside are wearing–here’s the inside. The madder dyed thread has been through many washes, some focused more on getting out the grime than protecting plant dyes.

The back is now so thin the patches from my mother-out-law’s kimono dressing gown can be seen right through it. But I love wearing this shirt… it feels so soft and lovely and is such a good gardening companion. I’m just going to wait and see when the time comes that I don’t want to mend it again.

Under that indigo dyed thread is a small patch taken from the scrap pile to reinforce the pocket corner. The time for this shirt has not come yet!


Filed under Natural dyeing, Sewing

6 responses to “Mending

  1. The question of how long can you keep mending is also on my mind as I am finally knitting a replacement for my favourite cardigan. I found a folded piece of paper from 1996 marking the pattern in the book so that is when I assume I knitted it. Last year I re-knitted the entire neckband and undid and re-knit the cuffs. I have used this cardigan to try out so many darning techniques. My most recent extensive Swiss darning on both sleeves leads me to believe the time has just about come for this garment. I will take the buttons off and transfer them to the new cardigan. I haven’t decided whether I will try and felt the old girl into something useful like a protective pad for putting under hot dishes or whether she will decline gracefully into the compost heap. It will keep going until I finish the new one, which will take sometime yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. That is a great innings for a well loved jumper. And your mends sound epic! I have had this kind of relationship with a jumper I brought home from the op shop. I spent hours mending it because it had unravelling sleeves and thin elbows… and that was just the start. I tried hard to recreate it but my knitting skills were not up to the job at the time and I made something that fit very differently. How wonderful to be able to knot your favourite again. I hope the second one is every bit as much loved as the first.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jen

    I know you probably see this shirt primarily as a practical thing, and the stitches of mending are familiar to you – but I think when the time comes to no longer mend this shirt – frame it on the wall! I just love the care and thought and loyalty embedded in it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I absolutely second Jen’s comment. The shirt is beautiful! And it radiates the love and care invested in it.

    Liked by 1 person

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