(So it is kind of funny that I have a chapter in a mending book, but I’ll get to that later.)
I struggle between two views on mending:
✓ that I should be “good”, and be thrifty, recycle and reduce my footprint on the planet by mending and making our clothes last longer.
✓that it is hard to embrace life fully on a patched sock in a worn out shoe. Sometimes you just need to buy a new pair of socks.
So there’s a list of things I will mend – the corner of a pocket on an expensive pair of trousers, which no one else will ever see or a tiny bit on a collar of a loved shirt.
And there’s a list of things I will not mend – quite a big list actually which I will not bore you with here. Let’s just say I have been known to utter passionately to family members “Just treat yourself better and buy a new pair of socks!“
My interest in mending is actually historical. I like the idea that our ancestors were a lot more thrifty, and readily adapted the clothing they did have to changes in fashion, or as necessity demanded it like the world wars (hence my reference to the World War II campaign in the title of this post, and this poster below from the time).
In the 18th and 19th century a capable woman was expected to be able to recycle, cut up and adapt clothing. A dress might find itself with new sleeves or a new hem line.
That quote was the source of inspiration for my girl’s skirt pictured at the very top for Kristen Roach’s book Mend It Better. Flounces are also great for children's clothes. A growing child often finds their favorite skirt or dress to short!
Kristen is an interesting crafter – she takes that concept of thrift and using her crafty leftovers in a meaningful way. An inspiration to us all really, not to just pop down to the local craft store and buy yet more fabric. (I remind myself!!) She is very creative and it never ceases to amaze me that she teaches mending workshops – this amazes me because I’m not sure if we have mending classes in Australia. (I’m happy to be corrected though).
Her gorgeous book is typical of how many craft books appear to be moving – it is a fairly timeless reference to a large range of techniques which will come in useful over the years. I particularly liked this one by Kristin about adding pockets to a favorite jacket. I don’t know about you but I often find women’s clothes don’t have any pockets? Where exactly do you put your mobile (cell) phone?