Look at those elbows 🙂 I love it more since the mend!

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.

Wow, that is a big hole. And there is two of them!
Mended with lightweight thread before stitching rectangle with ombre wool yarn for rustic elbow patch effect.

 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? 

Instagram post detail of first layer of stitch. Over and under, back and forth to fill the area.
Respect your well loved clothes! Mend the holes!
Thread ✔️ Needles ✔️ Pins ✔️ Enthusiasm ✔️ Smart Discussion ✔️
This image makes me so happy. Rock on Dr. Jennifer Bussell for making this happen!

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 😉

PoliSci students at CAL are sharp and so are needles…they mended well. We talked about the clothes and politics of what we wear. So much more to discuss.
Patty Murphy and Kristi McDonough with Dr. Jennifer Bussell discuss mission of Create and Sustain to share with students
More mending examples of 15 yr old favorite jeans.
Mending the embroidery
Close up of A&& rip! Looks OK right?
Dr. Bussell’s books for her class curriculum. She’s incredible. Follow their Instagram account to learn more about this necessary topic.
Their future is in our hands. We cannot continue to support unsustainable fast fashion and its role in the demise of our planet’s health.
Erica began with her name and will continue to embellish. And a little NorCal vs. SoCal rivalry is a must.

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. 
Creatively yours,

https://www.katrinarodabaugh.com/classes
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/436989970095625692/  Shows so many samples! 
​https://wrenbirdarts.com/products/sashiko-mending-supplies 

The Better Sweater for Berkeley

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