The holes got so bad at the elbows that I could no longer put my arm into my studio sweater without catching my hand. You could push a melon through it, it was so cavernous. After years of love, service and being run over by my studio chair wheels a thousand times; the soft, whisper light cashmere cardigan desperate pleas for help were finally answered. I love this sweater. It was perfect for all weather. I would not dispose of it. I am trying to do a whole lot less of that! Plus I was about to guest teach on behalf of Create and Sustain at University of Berkeley to a class called Politics of What We Wear and I wanted more samples of mending to share with the class. Deadlines always get me going. So….who in your closet is crying for attention? Asking for a some snappy mends and bright yarns to spice up the party? No one wants to land in the dump. Just ask your clothes.
I am sharing this rustic and imperfect process to let you know anyone can do it….We look at our clothes differently when we really care for them. CAL students were asked by their professor to bring clothes they love and needed to repair into class…Something they would fix themselves. We mended pants, t-shirts, camisoles, stitched designs and sewed on missing buttons and fixed runs. I think they enjoyed the mindfulness of just sitting, stitching and showing a little love and attention to what they wear. Their class discusses issues of fast fashion, the politics of the clothing industry and how can we be more sustainable. A broad topic I was thrilled to offer a small bit about a maker’s take on the clothing we wear.
Shows the simple and imperfect way to make the hole smaller. Using 50wt Aurifil and quilting needle, I pull the hole tighter but not too tight. Second step is choosing a yarn (mine was a ombre hand dye from Australia) with a chunky hand. I needed a bigger needle and took length long pieces and just started stitching up and down, then left to right to create an integral patch. All part of the sweater. I did a few rounds to beef up the elbows and make sure my patch area was beyond the mended hole. Sorry I was so engrossed in making that I forgot to film!
This is what it looked like before I tied off the loose ends. Below shows detail of the yarn. So pretty right?
Create and Sustain non profit was thrilled to be asked to share our vision about what that means in the quilting and sewing industry. How are we accountable? What can we do better? How do we spread the word and inspire others? How to we get our suppliers to do better? Be more transparent and accountable? By presenting to a college class majoring in political science is one of the ways. We were delighted to share what we know, dive deeper into what we don’t and keep on teaching and doing. The students were engaged, inquisitive and even if they had never even threaded a needle, the jumped in and started sewing. It was thrilling….or at least I was thrilled 😉
Have a great weekend everyone. Stay balanced, laugh and breath deep! And promise me you’ll mend something in your closet or goodwill pile to give it new life. Below are a couple of links I like and there are hundreds more! Find one to suit your style.