Monday, 10 September 2012

Mending and Alterations

I haven't sewn a stitch all week. Instead, I added to my pile of mending. My ever-growing pile of mending.

You see, I wore a pair of pants to work last week and bending over to set up for Before School duty, R-R-R-I-P. Yup, I split my pants. Lucky for me I was by myself setting up.

And thank goodness I was wearing my Marcy Tilton jacket, Vogue 8709. It was long enough to hide any evidence of the mishap since there wasn't enough time to head home for a change of clothes.

Out of all the things that I was carrying in my backpack, no sewing kit. I really must keep a change of clothes in the car.

I know, you are probably wondering why I didn't mention a sewing kit. If only I had a sewing kit with me I wouldn't add to my ever-growing mending pile. But you see, I hate mending. Okay, maybe hate is a strong word.

I'm not fond of mending. That is likely the reason that I don't carry a sewing kit with me. I think it is about time that I get over my lack of fondness for this type of sewing.

"Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Michelangelo to paint your garage" 
~Unknown Author~

Whoever wrote this, they nailed it. Or did they?

I'm not comparing myself to Michelangelo but it captures my view that sewing clothes and mending clothes are just not the same thing.

I met peeps who love to mend and do alterations. I admire their patience as they carefully take out stitches and put it all back together and repair stitches that have unintentionally opened. But seriously, what is it that makes some of us love to mend and others dread the activity?

I know for me it is because I typically am asked to repair or alter something for someone. I don't sew for other people unless I really love you (insert family here). I don't have the set up to take on other people's mending. And besides that is what places like Stitch It and professional tailors are for. They have the equipment and skilled labour to complete the job. Skill, that is it. Mending and alterations is like editing, it takes skill to fix other people's mistakes or to make things work.

A woman I recently met said she enjoys mending and alterations to sewing from scratch. The shock!  And the day that I was at Fabricland this past summer trying to find trim for my much loved outgrown jacket I ran into a woman who was excited beyond words about the task I was embarking on. I wanted to ask her if she wanted to do it. I have started to take the seams apart and I really do want to finish the project, but I'm stalled.

How do you view alterations and mending? Do you consider the act of mending art? Or is it just a skill that is beyond your my abilities?

And why is it that procrastination and mending seem to be such great bedfellows? Oh well, I guess I should take those pants in to get repaired if I want to wear them this winter...


  1. I'm not too fond of mending either. Weeks can go by before I tackle a mending project. Once I get started it's not so bad, I guess I just need to be more disciplined and do it so I don't have to think about it anymore...Easier said than done.
    I always sew the crotch seam twice and with a small zig zag stitch. No bad luck so far

  2. I hate, despise, and abominate mending!!! :-)

  3. I have a pile of things to mend - I'm generally more inclined to do it for my BF than for myself. I'll pick it up every once in a while when I just want something to do with my hands. But I wouldn't say I enjoy it :)

  4. It's funny I'm the sewing clothes type and my mother, who is a marvellous sewing clothes type, loves to mend things. I think for Mum it's a product of growing up on a farm and having to 'make do' because you could not just pop into town and go to a shop. She's the sort to unravel a jumper that is too small and knit the wool back into a vest.
    Me? I love to make things. It's not that I don't like the challenge of fiddly sewing or hand sewing, as I am completely addicted to sewing down trim with tiny hand stitches etc. I enjoy making things that are individual and if things break I take the opportunity to do something completely new and refresh a pattern, fabric or jacket. That's my idea of fun - whereas my mother is frugal and get huge enjoyment of making things last for years and years and re-using anything she can. It's just different approaches to life I guess.


McCall's 7630: Pullover Top

It's an easy sewing project for a loose-fitting pullover top. It's my second go with this pattern and I still want to make another ...