Visible mending

Maybe you have noticed, people buy more and more clothes. They are cheap anyway, so if they don't like them after a short time, they buy new ones.  Shopping is fun, isn't it? Wait! There is a tremendous humanitary and environmentally cost associated with this practice.  My eyes were opened after watching the documentary :'The True Cost'.  I plunged into this subject, my heart was upside down.  My fun shopping causes suffering for a multitude of people.  Every garment that is discarded doesn't disappear in thin air but find its destination on a landfill.  Not in our western world, no, we send them mostly to African countries, as seen in the documentary 'Textile Mountain' The Hidden Burden of our Fashion Waste.

And there came the 'visible mending' movement.  Instead of throwing a garment away, it is mended in a visibly, as to say 'Look, how I got a second life'way'.  

I knew I wanted to add my little stone and started mending.  Quickly people found garments with holes or staines on them, I could mend.  Here are some examples. 


Having a tear in your shorts could give you the immediate idea to throw the garment away.  Shorts are already short and showing your underwear is not really the purpose.

Wait! Did you consider visible mending?  This pair of shorts with its huge tear is mended.  First an under patch in a favorite fabric is stitched, followed by hand embroidery.  

As for me; I find the shorts cuter after mending than before.  What about you?

Embroidered under patch with sashiko.


These pants are mended for a little boy.  His daddy got a red patch for his jeans, the boy wanted to be as his daddy, only he chose a yellow patch.  I thought it cute to embroider it.

 Under patch with running stitch

This pair of denim is a cherished pair.  The owner loved it so much, he didn't want to discard of them although it was too worn down to put-on.  When he heard I could give it a second life, he was delighted.  He suggested mending it with a strong contrasting color.  I choose this corduroy bright red patch, which he loved.  The other parts of the pants that were very thin, I mended with a woven undertaking and reinforced it with the sewing machine.



Under patch  with contrasting floral fabric surrounded by blanket stitch and running stitch.

You already guessed! My next customer was a lady who brought her shorts, full of holes.  She really loves floral fabrics, so I used this motif as the under patch.  The blanket stitch fixed the two layers together.  I used sashiko stitching in dark thread around the broader end of the patch and filled the space in between with small running stitches.  My much loved French knot was added in the floral fabric.

Visible mending jeans for a kid


When I do a visible mending project for children, I always like to add something cute.  This time my eye fell on the cat, an embroidery design by

Darning with three contrasting colors. 

A darning egg is a very useful tool in the mending process.

Mending on lightweight fabric

Mending a pair of jeans seems easy to do.  The woven fabric is heavy weight, so easy to work with.  What about lightweight fabric, can this be mended too?  Yes indeed, read about it in my previous blogpost.

Mending a small tear

Mending a tear can need some thought.  When there is a hole in the pants, you can work with an under patch.  For the visible mending of a tear I take a different approach.  Using the satin stitch, I close the tear, searching to embellish the area around the tear to complete the design.

Mending a large vertical tear

These pants had a long vertical tear.  For this mending project, I decided to embellish different parts of the pants.  The mended tear would be a part of the total picture; a pair of embroidered pants.

Socks get holes.  What about big ones?  I find them difficult to properly mend with a needle, so I decided to use a crochet hook. First I sewed around the hole a row of backstitches.  These were used to crochet single crochet in the round, skipping stitches every row until I ended with none left.

This is a baby carrier with 2 worn places in it.  First I covered the holes with fabric, using a satin stitch to sew them on the main body.  Since I love French knots so much, I decided to built a pattern using French knots; The three colors used are white, light grey and dark blue.