Have you mended anything? My oldest son used to wear the knees out of his jeans all the time so I patched them, but then as more children came it seemed that the jeans with holes in the knees all ended up in a tote together waiting to either be mended or recycled into another project. They are in my basement right now with more jeans that waited so long to be mended that everyone has outgrown them.
I’ve seen lots of talk in the past couple of years about visible mending. I loved the look and the idea of it, but have never put it into practice. I’m not sure why, I’d like to say time, but in truth I think I was just afraid. Afraid I would do it wrong, and afraid that my kids and husband would reject mended items.
This year is different though, this year I’m doing those things that I’ve always said I would do – the things that ring true to the values I say I hold dear. I’m putting into practice those skills and things I’ve let slip to the side. One of those things is mending clothes and things and I’m happy to say that in the past two days I’ve mended 3 pairs of jeans to both my 13 year old son and husband’s approval and excitement! In fact my husband was incredibly supportive of this plan to fix things instead of replacing them. I shouldn’t be surprised by that though because he applies that to almost everything in his life – machinery, tools, automobiles, farms. . .if you can spend less on something that just needs a little elbow grease and care then it is a good deal to him.
The mending isn’t perfect and maybe I didn’t do it right, but in the end if the stitches prolong the use of the item then it is a success. On two pairs of jeans I used my Bernina sewing machine and on the other pair I mended by hand. Today, I plan on mending two pairs of leggings for my oldest daughter and then it is on to socks. I love wool socks in the winter because I hate being cold, especially in my feet and hands. Living on a farm means that I’m outside in all kinds of weather which means this winter I’ve been awfully cold. However wool sweaters, base layer and socks are highly effective at keeping me warm. But with lots of farm wear these items tend to get holes, especially the socks!
All of this mending is part of my pledge to be more conscious of how the smallest of our everyday actions are impacting our environment, and our personal well being. After reading articles on the slow fashion movement and making myself more aware of how damaging our appetite for fast and cheap clothing is on the environment and people who are producing said clothing, I’m trying to be very conscious of the clothing choices I’m making for myself and my children. I’m interested to see how the changes I’m hoping to make for our family pan out over the year especially in relation to my teenage and pre-teen children.