Visible Mending and Embroidery

My mother used to patch my clothes up when I was a kid.  Even tights!  I distinctly remember red tights with a hammer patch on the knee…  For a long time, whenever I bothered to mend my clothes, the goal was to make it invisible.  And then, all these beautiful examples of visible mending started showing up.

(I tried and tried to get the Pinterest widget to work so that you could see a picture of my Visible Mending board but I can’t figure it out. Weird. So just click the link instead to see it all..)

I’ve been wanting to try it ever since. And my clothes stopped ripping right then and there!  Well no, but the rips were in places where I had no desire to attract attention.  Like right at the underarm on a tee.  So when the waistband came off on my capris, I decided to do try.  And forgot to take pictures… It wasn’t a rip, just a seam coming undone.  It seems that the waistband was held on by a single line of chain stitch or something like it.  The kind of thing that unravels completely when you pull on it.  I sewed it up using plain old navy thread first.  I happened to have some navy topstitching thread and thought I might use that on top but it was still way thinner than the original thread.  I could have let it be.  After all, it was navy on navy and I don’t usually tuck in my tops. It would have taken some special kind of vision to notice anything amiss…  But I wanted to try.  Besides the top line of stitching was coming loose and I wanted to anchor it down.

I pulled out some silver embroidery floss and chain stitched over my mending.  The fabric is so thick in that spot!  If it had just been decorative, I would have tried to pierce only the top layer.  But I wanted the embroidery to help strengthen the repair.  So through the whole thing I went.  I added some woven wheels to the end and then another at the top (that one anchors the topstitching that was threatening to pull apart).  I want to add some bullions as well but I gave up battling all those layers…


I’m pretty happy with it!  I hardly ever do this so I’m still very much a beginner.  The stitching is far from even.  But I like it and will wear it.

And… since E was off school for two days this week, I set her up with her own embroidery.  She picked her fabric, drew this…


… which I then transferred to her fabric.  I set it in a hoop, gave her a needle, and free use of my embroidery floss collection and stitching book.  I warned her that I wouldn’t be able to help her much and she set to work.


And that’s all she’s done.  The hoop and needle are now in her drawer along with the roving and spindle I lent her.  And the fabric I gave her.  She has quite the little collection in there… Someday, maybe I’ll be able to share her embroidery here.  Maybe…

Creative mommy at home to two wonderful little girls, trying to juggle family, sewing, exercise, family, knitting, photography, and did I mention family?

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Posted in Sewing

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