Mending Club: Polka Dots


This is one of my favourite shirts, polka dot, comfy, light weight, good for layering. I wear thermals underneath it in winter. Well, I did. It has lived in the mending basket for the last year. It is a very light cotton, like a handkerchief, and after much use it tore under the arms. Today I have managed to put one patch on. I used fabric from a pair of Rosy's old shorts, which are a similar weight to the shirt. I love polka dots and I love paisley, so now I have both on one shirt! It needs three more patches, as I have just discovered it has worn under the arms as well. 

I also rather like the reverse side of the patch. Very boro. I will maybe do the next patch this style.

Very excitingly, for this week's Mending Club, reader Madeleine has shared some of her own mending, along with her new mending tools. Who knew that you can get darning tools for glove fingers and large tabletop darning mushrooms for bigger items? Here is Madeleine's post and here is the mending book she recommended to me in her email. Thanks so much for sharing your mending tips, Madeleine, and I would love to hear from anyone else who would like to show us their mending projects.

To end, this is why I did not finish my mending project today. It was already in use.

Simon the cat watching bird telly. He also likes polka dots.

Let us know what mending projects you have in hand this week. Or what you wish you would mend. What favourite piece is sitting at the bottom of the mending basket? I can only say I am thankful for peer pressure, or this shirt would still have been there for another year at least..


Anonymous said…
Hi Jo,

what a lovely scrap of fabric you've chosen for your patch. Aside from a veritable mountain of socks waiting for mending (for the second or third time), I pulled out a pair of woollen leggings this morning to find moth holes and ladders, which I believe were there last year when I washed them and put them away!

So now I'm trying not to go into mending overwhelm and determined to do better next time. I'm going to do the leggings today and I'm going to try chain stitch as inspired by my darning book. In an ideal world, I will mend one item after lunch each day before I start work. I will let you know how that goes!
Thank you for linking my mending post, Jo. I hope people will come over and say hello and feel free to ask questions.

Jo said…
Madeleine, thanks for sharing you mending with us. I am interested about the chain stitch for darning leggings. Is there a particular reason for that? I guess it would resemble pearl knitting? I am imagining it wouldn't work over a large area though, or do you somehow pick up part of the stitch next to it to cover a hole?
Anonymous said…
Jo, I am winging it here. In her book, Noguchi shows a worn sock heel (worn, but not actually a hole). She outlines the worn patch with a circle of running stitch, does chain stitch around the outline and then proceeds to work towards the centre of the patch with row after row of chain circles.

The holes in my leggings are fairly small, with narrow runs coming off them. I thought I'd improvise and gently pull the sides of each hole/run together with a simple stitch or two and then do a line of chain over the ladder and some little chain snails over the holes. They are cream coloured wool leggings for wearing under clothes and in the past when I've just stitched that sort of underwear with cotton they got a sad, poverty-stricken look about them. So I thought some cheerful patterns with embroidery thread might be better.

When I was at uni I used to just pull the sides of holes together on a garment and then embroider a flower over it (ie embroider a French knot for the centre, then daisy stitch the flower).

Jo said…
Madeleine, ah, yes, that makes sense. Happy mending!
simplelife said…
Oh My Goodness, just yesterday I stumbled upon the very book Madeleine referenced, in the library. Sat reading it last night, then after lunch I darned 2 socks and stitched the handle back on a canvas tote. Thought I'd pop in here and share my attempts with you and what do I find but a blog post about the very topic. I really love the book so Jo pop it on hold at your library and when I return it you will be able to see the chain stitch darn in action. I'm actually thinking I might have to buy myself a copy as it's the most practical and helpful book I've seen so far on mending.
Also can I just say your fabric choice is perfect and like you I think both sides of your mend look fabulous.
cheers Kate
Anonymous said…
Lovely patching, Jo! I reinforced the seams on a reusable grocery bag with some scrap materials, so I can continue to use it. Mending is very satisfying work, isn't?
Be well,
Jo said…
Kate, oh, that is amazing! I m so glad to hear the book is in the Tas library system, and will order it at once! Madeleine sent me some photos of the chain stitch darn so I could see how it was done, and I hope she does a blog post on it, so I can link to it next time:)
Well done you on the sock darning, and fixing the bag. What I love most about mending is that it gives you clothes back, and in your case, a bag. It's like going shopping without leaving the house:)

Patricia, oh, that sounds very cute, actually. I am reinforcing the seams on the underneath of the sleeves of my shirt right now, and it is very fiddly. I don't know how many times I have sewed the sleeve together already! But I really want my polka dot shirt back..
Mary said…
I love the pattern combination in your mending! Last week I machine-mended a pair of old jeans belonging to my partner. He likes his jeans baggy and is constantly pulling up on the sides of the waistband, which had begun separating from the jeans on both sides. I used some old denim to reinforce the undersides and zigzag stitched both places. Should last for many more pullings. Thanks for the mending nudge.
Jo said…
Mary, a collection of old denim comes in handy, doesn't it? I've saved a bunch of my kids' outgrown jeans for just such an emergency. I am so excited to hear about all this mending! It gives me a mending nudge as well. I am up to patch three of four on my shirt now:)
simplelife said…
Not sure if anyone here listens to podcasts, I love them, I just listened to this and really enjoyed it.
Cheers Kate

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