One of the things that I like to do in principle but put off repeatedly in practice is mending. I truly believe there is value in fixing and re-making our belongings in order to give them new and extended lives, and the more crafting I do the more skills I develop to make that possible. Unfortunately the actual mending process itself is rather tedious. There is always a problem that has to be solved, it is almost always something new and it’s never simple. So I often put off mending something even when I really need to be functional, especially when I get busy with other things. The pile of “things to be mended” got so large while I was travelling that finally last week I pulled everything out of the corners they were hiding in and dumped it all on my kitchen/crafting table.
To be fair, some of this isn’t mending, some is just crafting and some are things that haven’t found a permanent home yet. The big pile of blue knitting is my Castle pullover, which finally got blocked this morning after I took this photo. Also missing are the three things I mended on the same night I created this pile: a grocery bag strap that had come off, a drawstring bag with an unravelled hem, and a knit top with a hem that had come loose. That last one came from my Mom; I have become the go-to for my family’s garment-mending needs. I don’t mind, since they are usually easy fixes and they are always very grateful!
That pile in the photo includes:
- My winter jacket that is coming apart at the armholes and needs some kind of patching
- A shirt I’m trying to turn into hankies
- Another shirt that needs repair at the top of the armhole – the shirt is otherwise in great shape or I wouldn’t both
- Jeans that are patched and just need a little hand sewing to finish
- T-shirts I’m planning on turning into drawstring bags
- Felted slippers that need some kind of grip on the sole and possibly surgery with an x-acto knife to fix an overly-curved heel
- Two Quilts of Valour quilts: one that just needs the binding hand-sewed down and a kit for another quilt top – I picked up both on Saturday at the Bee!
- Way in the back are a pile of linens I retrieved from my Grandpa’s home when we moved him into a smaller retirement residence; I’m hoping to wash them and piece the embroidery into a wall hanging or quilt. Any ideas?
Not pictured is the duvet cover that needs patching thanks to Knightley’s over-sharp claws (since trimmed). I also have a couple of planned repairs of electronics, but I’m leaving those for another time.
You can see why this doesn’t fit into one nice, neat mending basket! I just picked up Mend It Better, so I’m hoping to use that resource to help me navigate the new-to-me mending tasks, especially the more difficult patching jobs. With any luck, and a little “spare” time, I’ll be posting the mended projects here in the near future!
Do you have mending baskets (or bins or piles)? How do you manage to keep on top of it all? I’d love any advice on how to keep this monstrous pile from building up again in the future.