‘Visible Mending’ – it is what it says on the tin.
Consumers’ fast relationship with clothing today has resulted in an ugly ‘throwaway culture’ where they are far less likely to look after or mend their clothes once broken than they did 30 years ago – instead they just replace them.
This ‘wear it, tear it, replace it’ mentality has knowingly done significant damage to our environment and continues to carry social impacts to less developed countries, where most of the garments we wear on this ‘developed’ side of the world are made.
With upmarket fashion label Burberry coming under scrutiny for burning £28.6 million worth of stock last year (and a Sustainability Inquiry to the fashion industry that followed), the attention on fast fashion’s dirty secrets has become more and more evident in the past few months.
As consumers become increasingly aware of the long-term consequences of their everyday choices, and as they roll up the sleeves to take control of their belongings in true DIY fashion, a number of refreshing and uplifting trends continue to take social media by storm.
The latest craze #visiblemending was largely popularised by Katrina Rodabaugh, fiber artist and ‘Mending Matters’ author, who inspires her large social media following on a daily basis with her creative and ingenious ideas to turn the old into the new.
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Giveaway: I’m giving away two signed copies of my book, Mending Matters, alongside some mending materials like a skein of Sashiko thread, Sashiko needles, small plant-dyed fabric patches, and a few other goodies. Each winner will receive the book and the tools, details at the end of this post. 🔹 I’m celebrating two milestones and I want to throw a little online party to help celebrate. My book is now in its fifth printing and my IG following just reached 45,000. And typically I’d let these milestone moments slip by and forge ahead but, gosh, I think a little more virtual confetti and a moment to celebrate sounds best. 🔹 It still astounds me that the interest in mending and plant dyes and this intersection of fashion and fiber arts and sustainability is so widespread. But it’s clear we want an alternative. We want meaning and connection. And I am so very grateful because this community encourages me to continue my work. So this is one way of saying: My, gosh, thank you! 🔹 So just leave a comment on this post, tag a friend in the comment, and I’ll draw a winner at random. You and that friend tagged will each win a signed book and some mending tools. So, please just tag one person in each comment, though you can leave multiple comments. 🔹 This giveaway is open to anyone anywhere in the world. International shipping is on me, should a winner be drawn outside the US. If you already have a copy of Mending Matters, I’ll send it as a gift to an address of your choice. More book details, links, reviews, sellers, etc. through my website under “books”. (This giveaway is not sponsored by IG in any way.) So many thank yous, coreopsis confetti, and good luck. 🔹🔹🔹 UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed and the winners have been notified by DM. Thank you SO much. Link to book details under “books” on my website.🔹🔹🔹
Visible mending consists of using fabrics, patterns, pretty pictures or whatever you can find to fix clothes in a way that doesn’t necessarily hide the original damage, but rather adapts it and adds character to the piece.
If you have a pair of jeans that have been ripped in less ‘fashionable’ places, or a top that you love but don’t know how to rescue – there are many inventive ways you can give these items a new life!
So, to help you get the creative juices flowing and get mending, here are some great examples of methods you can try out:
Mend the knee
Add some colour to those never ending, stretching, gaping holes. Simply sew in funky lines, patterned fabrics, old handkerchiefs, or even old primary school dresses!
Those old-fashioned sewed together badges work wonders in areas where fabric is being worn away or has already ripped… it pulls it back together whilst adding a unique twist to your denim jacket or jeans.
The picture craze
Sewing in little drawings or patterns into areas where your ‘garms’ have ripped or are wearing away is a great way to strengthen and fix them, whilst adding a nice touch – for example the bumble bee or cross hatching shown below create cute or ‘edgy’ looks to denim and/or cotton.
Redesigning old tees
Once the print on your old shirt starts to fade, remember you can always crop it, paint it over, or sew on top of it… Oh and how fun it can be! Grab a pair of scissors, a pen, or a needle and give it a new look!
If your jeans are too long or too short, you why not cut them and fray the bottom slightly to give a purposeful crop; add a band of patterned fabric to lengthen them to jazz them up; or cut the seam and add fabric (patterned or plain) to turn them into flares? Don’t mend if I do!