Hey y’all – since this is Mending Month on the blog, I thought it would be helpful to talk about how to mend. Not so much the sewing skills (those will come throughout the tutorials this month) but the mental and organizational skills needed to get to the bottom of that pile!
If you’re like me, mending is not your preferred type of sewing. In fact, given the choice, I pretty much always choose to make a brand new item over mending an older one. But there are some things that I just can’t bear to throw out, because 1) it’s wasteful, 2) I really liked the item before it needed to be mended, and/or 3) I know I’ll like it if I just fix one little thing. And that’s a lot of mental energy and psychic weight to have hanging over your sewing room, even if you (like me) shove that mending into some corner where you don’t see it. I just know it’s there, and every time I think, “Oh, X thing I sewed would be perfect…except it’s in the mending pile” it’s another unwelcome reminder.
So, before I embark on any new sewing this year, I want to take time to get to the bottom of my mending pile. And I’m going to give you tips and hopefully a fun way to help you get to the bottom of yours too.
1. Gather the whole pile in one place
Here’s my current mending pile; at the moment it’s all stuff that’s mine and not my boys’. Funny how I’ll mend their things before my own. It’s important to get it all in one place, because that way you can make sure you have it all sorted, which is the next step.
2. Examine each thing in the pile and sort according to what needs to be done to it.
In sorting through my mending, I found several things that were ready for pressing and sewing (for example, I hadn’t hemmed and just stuck things in the mending pile) several things that needed seam ripping as the first step, and one that needed to be cut shorter before I could press and hem. I also had a shirt that was entirely finished, and had been stuck in the mending pile when really it needed to be in the donate pile. So that was easy enough to sort.
3. Assess your frame of mind and decide what to tackle first
Are you ready to sit on the couch and binge watch something? Take your seam ripping pile. Or do you just need an easy finish to motivate you to keep going? Then find the easiest project to get out of your pile. In my case, I chose the latter.
This bralette needed a wider and tighter elastic band for support. I had already bought the elastic and even had it in the pile with the bralette. All I had to do was sew the new elastic to the band with a zi-zag stitch. It took me all of 10 minutes total. And then I felt silly because this had been sitting in my mending pile for literally two months, all because I didn’t just sit down and take care of it.
4. Find your motivation
If you really hate mending, you may have to bribe yourself to do it, but if that’s what it takes, then bribe yourself. Maybe a chocolate for finishing, or you get to cut out a new thing to send for every old thing you mend. Whatever works!