Monthly Archives: August 2021

Catching up

So much has happened since I did some regular posting, dear reader. This image was the view at winter solstice as our friends walked in the deep dark, with the children carrying hand made lanterns. For me, winter is very often a season of mending. This year was certainly no different.

I also got some “commissions” (cue cackling laughter!) this one is a dog nappy, which arrived with the request I make it larger to fit the incontinent dog in question. Yes, the orange is the expansion!

There was a week with a nappy theme! These came to me for velcro replacement, in preparation for a very much anticipated bub in my circle of friends. My gratitude to Joyce for supplying the velcro. I bet her children had cloth nappies with nappy pins!

The garden jeans got yet another patch.

One of my beautiful silky merino tops sprouted holes. M*ths, I’m looking at you and your hungry babies.

Then there are the gardening gloves. This is just the start. Or perhaps not even the start… there has been another round of finger tip mending since this one!

And…that could be enough mending for one post! Here is a gratuitous image from Black Hill National Park.


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Virtual Mending Circle–Join us!

In the lead up to the upcoming #stitchitdontditchit mending action outside H & M on 14 September from 12-2 pm (see previous post), Extinction Rebellion SA are running a virtual mending circle online: Friday 3 September 7-8.30 ACST; 7.30-9.00 AEST.

Folks who planned to join this action in Melbourne, are in lockdown right now. So this event is part regenerative mending and socialising opportunity, part lockdown love and solidarity. Bring your mending/craft, bring your beverage of choice and find out about #stitchitdontditchit. Mending help will also be available! All ages, all genders, all levels of mending skill welcome.

If that sounds like fun, send me a message and I’ll send you the login details for the Zoom call. It will be fun!

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Mending event in Rundle Mall coming soon!

Greetings, dear friends. I hope that you are able to keep sight of all that is good in your life and in the world, at this time of suffering for so many.

This is a little date claimer for folks who are local to me. Covid restrictions permitting, we will be gathering in Rundle Mall outside H & M (the second biggest producer of clothing in the world), for some socially distanced public mending on 14 September.

Image: The leg of a mended pair of jeans, on a beautiful coloured rug.

In 2018, the average person in the USA bought 68 items of clothing every year. As long ago as 2015, a British study found that the average garment in that country would be worn 7 times before being thrown away. The sheer volume of textile waste is overwhelming: “Australians discard an average of 31 kilos of textiles per person annually, at a national rate of 15 tonnes of textile waste every ten minutes” according to the Federal government.

There is so much to be concerned about in the story of fast fashion: the conditions and pay of garment workers range from exploitative to lethal. The environmental impact of textile waste (without even discussing manufacture) are offloaded from countries like Australia onto countries with much less wealth. For example: there was a recent Foreign Correspondent episode about the toxic outcomes of Australian textile waste in Ghana.

The extremely awesome Sweet Honey in the Rock were raising the consciousness of folks such as myself on these issues, back in the 1980s, in song. Check it out!

Image: A gardening glove in need of a mend, photographed on the blue lid of a rubbish bin.

And of course, every kind of waste impacts on the climate crisis. Fossil fuels are embodied in many synthetic fibres–which one of my friends has long called “petrochemical by-product” and which I now refer to in my own rude way as “plastic s***”. Energy is required to grow and process or manufacture the fibres from which clothing is made. Energy is required to turn the fibres into cloth and to make buttons, zippers and such. More is required to turn them into clothing. The energy involved in the transportation of raw fibres, and then cloth, and then clothing, and then textile waste–it all adds up, and especially when each step is done in a different part of the world. And of course, this is only a partial accounting of the costs of our clothing. If you want to know more about the climate cost of fast fashion, I recommend the Climate Council’s explainer.

Image: Well worn, stained old jeans being mended yet again.

And so, to mending! And mending in public. I doubt you need an explanation of the connection, if you are reading this blog. If you are able to join us, please do come along to #stitchitdontditchit in Rundle Mall on 14 September. We will be there from 12-2. Come along, bring a folding chair if you can (and a spare one if you can). This event will be Covid compliant, so bring your mask and wear it, check in when you arrive and we warmly welcome you. Bring your mending. Someone will help you, if you are a beginner. All ages, genders, and skill levels are welcome. We will be participating in a global event. If you are on Instagram, you can follow @streetstitching and/or #stitchitdontditchit. You can follow me as well if you like! @localandbespoke.

Image: A person mending in Rundle Mall, seated on a folding chair with a #stitchitdontditchit banner hanging from the back of the chair.


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Mending Circle

Dear and patient readers, this is a message for those of you who live locally.

Next week I will be running a Mending Circle at Fabrik, on August 19, from 1-4. Fabrik is a glorious arts space in the heritage buildings where the famous Onkaparinga wool blankets were once made. This event will be a chance to hang out and hand mend in fine company. You can learn new skills, share your existing skills, and revel in the joy of extending the life of your favourite items. I’d love to see you there if you are able to come. You can book a ticket here.

It doesn’t matter whether you want to learn to darn a sock (or the elbow of your jumper); or how to extend the life of a collar that has work through on your shirt that has worn into holes (as above)… we can work through a variety of techniques. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a skilled mender who has a big pile and would really like company; or a beginner who really wants some assistance. Both will be on offer. Everyone can go at their own pace. The fine folks at Fabrik are creating a lovely environment for us and I’ll be bringing mending kits for you to take home, each in its own little tin or box, and each containing upcycled treasures from those who have gone before us (and left their button collections and excess embroidery floss as evidence)!
You can try visible or not-so-visible methods (and enjoy seeing other folks choose the other path).

By all means bring your fine merino knits. Or your jeans. A singlet. Or a slipper. Even your gardening gloves. Do bring anything you think might help your treasures come back into use (patching, leftover wool, needles, thread or a button that matches). Now more than ever is a good time to extend the life of the things you own and use, and prevent them going to waste. And besides, it will be a joy. I’ll bring examples of my mending, good and bad, simple + functional or whimsical + time consuming. All mending is good mending in my book. I’d love to see you there.


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