Trends in Mending

The trend toward intentional hand-stitching used to repair clothing holes or rips, or simply to embellish, is one of the hottest DIY activities today, and it continues to grow each season. Visible Mending is closely linked to the Slow Stitching movement — some would say it’s a modern spin-off of the trend, appealing to younger stitchers in particular, and incorporating applique, layered patches, darning stitches, embroidery stitches and more.

Pati embellishes jean with a hexie design of prints from the CONCRETE collection by Dolores Smith for Marcus.

Plus, any fun and creative techniques used for turning holes and tears into cool conversation pieces.  It also appeals to beginners because imperfection is a part of the look. And you don’t even have to wait for your clothing to show signs of wear!  

And you don’t need lots of special tools and gadgets, either! Just some of the basics… we like Aurifil’s embroidery floss and Clover Gold Eye Chenille needles. Try a variety of threads and stitches for different effects.

More tips from the pros:

· Use pins for picking and fraying edges, or simply rip the edges

·    Layering is important; the overlap is not meant to be perfect

·    Glue pens let you hold patches in place and rearrange easily

·    Fusible web is especially helpful for mending designs on larger areas.  Fuse patches to a base fabric layer for a quick, easy start.

·    Use a sewing machine to sew a grid, then embellish by hand, using the machine stitching as a guide.

·    Embellish with other elements like iron-on studs, rhinestones, beads, little labels, buttons, small found  objects, and other interesting touches. Try the scrapbooking / paper crafts section of your local craft store.

·    Work with sharp scissors

·    Try assorted thread colors, or variegated threads (pre-coordinated multi-colored threads) for more interesting effects.

The visible mending trend is fun and practical, something stitches of all ages will enjoy. The imperfection is part of its appeal, and it’s a great introduction to sewing for the younger set, especially as summer vacation time approaches! Happy Mending!

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