Mending Is Good For The Psyche!

Between each new project I mend something. I’ve done this for about a year or so and it has really helped me feel like I’m on top of things. After watching those poor garment workers slaving away for $100US a month (see this post), I feel its the least I can do; fix something thats a bit broken.

Last week it was one of those shopping bags they give you if you buy enough meat to justify an Hawaiian luau – my butcher is a generous fellow. Anyhow, long story short, the binding hadn’t been caught in the stitching and the bag developed a huge hole after one use – I fixed it. 5 mins work and it made me feel smug. Have you heard – ‘smug’ is also the pollution created by users of  hybrid cars? That joke did the rounds a while back – tee hee! The only other alternative would be to throw it in the bin, after all what is a bag with a hole but a nuisance.

These PJs were a bargain at $20, because as I pointed out to the salesperson, they have a button missing and there was no spare. Wait for the smug… I made a covered button from the binding that extended inside the PJ shorts! You can barely differentiate it from the original and the PJs won’t sit idle in the mending pile till I give up and throw them in the charity collection.




I highly recommend this strategy, the mending can be anything big or small, sometimes the thing I mend is very quick, it depends on how much time I have, but I feel justified in moving on to other more exciting projects having completed my ‘work’. So no more leaky pipes because you’re a plumber, backfiring car because you’re a mechanic or buttonless shirts because you’re a sewist – mending is good for the psyche!


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  1. Nice trick! I’ve wondered how professional menders do their magic.

    When I read before that you mend in between projects, it seemed such a noble and disciplined thing to do that I decided immediately I must follow your example and put two (albeit not tiny) projects on my in-pile. No, no progress more than a month later – I go straight from one I-want-I-must-have sewing make to the next. Maybe you should start a sewing movement/challenge where we pledge to mend in between. I’d be in!

  2. I do this too, but not as a pledge, more as someone who is given things to mend, alter, change. Like the Granddad who can fix everything my family imbue me with magical powers. I like it as a pledge and a routine. I also love what you have done to the PJs – I would have found a roughly matching button – you really went the extra mile to make it perfect. Well done!

    • Don’t you just love the family’s faith in us to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear?! My son recently received a T shirt he loved with a neckline he hated. He was so chuffed at my ability to change the neckline into a shallow V, I felt like s superhero – its the little things?!

  3. That’s a really good idea! What I don’t like though is when people are like oh yeah here’s my shirt there’s a giant hole in the side seam, the collars wonky, it’s too long and I don’t like the buttons, I’ll give you 20 bucks to fix it can I have it tomorrow? Hence why my mending policy for friends is now zips, buttons or small rips only :/

  4. I love remaking stuff; the total rebuild is my sweet spot. I just don’t do it for other people, because the failure rate is pretty high.

    I’ve been calling it ‘aftermarket alteration’, but that’s just marketing-speak. If I did not alter or mend, I would have no money to buy shiny new fabric or the electricity to run the machine. That said, the ‘make me the sow’s purse from this bag of old french fries’ request is always a ‘no’. I do the stuff I know I can, and I refuse the miracle worker jobs. Now if I can get through this prom/wedding season without psychic damage, then I will be walking on the water over to your house. Oy.

    • Hi there Erniek3, I’d love to see your silk purses, maybe you have a blog? Aftermarket alteration puts me in the mind of car improvements – love it! Hey, come on over the waters 26C at the moment!

  5. You’re right, the satisfaction you get almost always outweighs the effort of the mending. So why I don’t do it more often is a mystery. But you’ve inspired me to tackle at least one item from my (two) mending/alteration basket(s) today. In fact, if I went for the simple shortening required, I would be two wearable dresses up by the end of the day. Thanks for the inspiration!

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