Mending Matters — Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More By Katrina Rodabaugh

Many New Year’s resolutions take an abundance of determination and discipline. They involve making yourself do something that—while the results will make your happier—require doing something you won’t enjoy so much at the time. All those crunches crunched, all those cupcakes refused. This year, though, my list of resolutions includes, almost entirely, things that I enjoy doing but just haven’t made the time for. On the list: making new friends, doing yoga, learning to knit, designing our backyard space, and being more mindful about my wardrobe. Mending Matters is going to help me with that last item!

I take steps to be more sustainable in our home. But I haven’t yet made too much of a commitment when it comes to clothing. I’ve always shopped second-hand, and I love to sew. I definitely do not love to shop, and I’ll wear a favorite piece for years on end. So I’m well on my way. But I need to purchase sustainable brands when I do shop. And I want to do more mending. 

Mending Matters, by Katrina Rodabaugh, provides plenty of inspiration. Katrina describes the book as “A Slow Fashion guide for a well-loved wardrobe.” She takes the sewing and repair of clothing into the realm of craft. Or even art, depending on how you define such things. There are some directions for discreet mending, but most of the projects involve the sweetest, visible stitches that celebrate the mending process and the clothing. 

(Because I feel great about recommending them, I have an affiliate account at Bookshop, which means if you make a purchase through a link in this post, I may receive a small commission. This does not affect your purchase price.)

The book focuses on denim. And there’s a lot of it. But of course, there’s a fair amount of it in most of our wardrobes. Katrina tells us what tools and materials we’ll need. She clearly teaches the basic techniques. And she tells us how to accomplish exterior and interior patches, an array of hand stitches (including Sashiko, that artful running stitch), as well as darning and weaving. There’s also a chapter on remaking clothing. I’m eager to make the oversize linen cowl. (I think I have an old linen tablecloth no longer in use that will be perfect!)

The book is peppered with thoughtful essays on topics related to mending as a sustainable activity, including Insights on Mendfulness, Why Mending Matters, and Embracing the Japanese Philosophy of Wabi-Sabi. 

Mending Matters is a good read in addition to being a valuable, how-to resource. It contains more than enough photos of beautiful mending to keep me inspired about my New Year’s mending resolution. 

If you enjoy hand sewing—or are interested in learning—take a look. It’s a gem. 

You might also like: Fix your Clothes, The Sustainable Magic of Mending, Patching and Darning by Raleigh Briggs.

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