Mindful Mending 

A couple of months ago I participated in a mending workshop offered by Maggie Leininger of Considered Cloth at Compound Yellow here in Oak Park.  I was trying to think of what to mend, and then I knew exactly what it had to be, my beloved braided rag rug that I made with my mother when I was about 12 years old.  This rug went with me to college and has travelled about with me.  In recent years, it has been worse for wear, but I kept it nearby knowing that I somehow wanted to repair it.  When I was working on it, and we were all looking at it, I remembered the double-knit fabrics that I had used on the clothes that I sewed for myself.  It is definitely a snapshot of sewing in the 60’s- 70’s.  Working on it was a lot of fun, and Maggie, the group leader gave me some great ideas.  In the areas where the fiber had disintegrated, I wove in new T-shirt strips.  During the couple of hours there, I made great progress, and vow to finish this up over the summer.  I had originally intended to put it on my front enclosed porch, but was convinced not to put it in such a high traffic area (that may have contributed to excessive wear in the past), so it will go in the small guest bedroom that I am planning on redoing into a guest/TV room.


A couple of weeks after that workshop, I was in Boulder with my DIL at the cutest fabric store, Fabricate.  You should visit it if you find yourself in Boulder, CO; the staff is wonderful, and if I lived in the area, I would definitely be taking classes.  They have tons of beautiful Japanese fabrics, and other unique items.  My DIL choose several beautiful fabrics to make clothes for Izumi (and she has already sewed most of them up!).  The Denver/ Boulder area is rife with fabric shops, some more trendy, and some focused on quilt making.  I cannot figure out why the Chicago area does not have a good fabric store selection.



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While she was looking at fabrics, I chose to mull around the store and see what else was there.  I found this book on mindful mending, Mending Matters.


So, of course I had to get the book, especially after the recent afternoon of mending and discussions about mending and preserving clothing as opposed to throwing them away.  This is precisely what my mother and grandmother always did.  In the book, the author uses a special Japanese cotton thread, and Sashimi needles.  I got a few colors of the thread, and a package of needles, to try out the techniques in the book.


Much of the book focused on mending denim, but there were some really good and inspiring ideas in there.  It is a great read, that I highly recommend.  It takes the repair of clothing to a more artistic level.  My only critique would be that many of the projects are similar and the set-up and techniques were repeated where they did not need to be.



The author had several references int he book, the most intriguing to me being Tom of Holland and his visible mending.  I am now following his blog, I love how he has painstakingly repaired many otherwise lost or abandoned items.



And, wouldn’t this retreat in Italy be fascinating to take?!