denim, slow sewing, visible mending

👖 A crotchety question 👖

When I first told my family that I’d be writing a book called Visible Mending, they were excited for me—but a little perplexed. What is visible mending, anyway? I’m sure they wondered.

After my husband explained the idea to my brother-in-law, he got it—and promptly brought by several pairs of worn-out jeans to be “visibly mended.”

How to mend crotch of jeans

I was elated! How cool is it that my brother-in-law would allow me to let loose on his jeans—he said he loved these pairs so much but they were so worn out, they’d just been sitting in a bag. He couldn’t bear to throw them out. Isn’t that how many of us feel about our much-loved textile, tactile things? I have ancient jeans that, when I put them on, feel like a hug.

visible mending denim
Owned since 2012

Embroidery on denim
Proof!

After reviewing the damage to my brother-in-law’s denim collection, I realized a lot of his jeans had the same specific rip. I got to thinking . . . perhaps it would be helpful to create a crash-course in mending the one area on jeans that we don’t really like to discuss.

👖 THE CROTCHES. 👖

At my day job I work as a content editor for this wonderful company, writing blog and social-media posts, so I know my way around SEO (search-engine optimization) rules. I decided to look up SEO on mending crotches. This is what came up:

Visible mending jeans
😮 😮 😮

It turns out that many people have been searching for an answer to their crotch questions. Well, well, well. I couldn’t believe it. So many crotchety questions!

So here’s a question I’d like to pose to you, ReMade Nation tribe: would you like to learn more about mending crotches? I’ve got some quick techniques at the ready, and I’m all about sharing.

Let me know what you think in the comments—I think this could easily become the secret bonus chapter to my book. (Thanks for the idea, accidentalcatlady.) 😻

I’ve finished a few mends on my brother-in-law’s jeans so far:

visible mending denim
Moon modeled by my husband 
🌙

Still got a few mends to go. Perfect time to set up a few tutorials!

Listening today. Sampled from this song.

slow sewing, thrifting, visible mending

A sandal, a seam ripper, and a stroke of luck

Any opportunity to explore a new thrift shop is like a gift to me. Like Christmas! I live in a farming town and the nearest thrift shop is 20 miles away. So when I venture into a big city, I always Google “thrift shops near me” and anticipate the fun ahead.

After attending a conference in my big city—Salt Lake City—I came across Uptown Cheapskate, a thrift shop smack in the middle of downtown I’d never heard of. It was there that I fell for a pair of Dansko sandals (I seem to have amassed a collection of both Dansko and Converse, all thrifted) that were a teensy-bit too wide for my feet. But I was confident that a couple of new holes in the straps would take care of that in a jiffy.

Sandal-2

Later that night, I started honing in on creating those extra holes. They say you should use the right tool for the job . . . but since I don’t even know what a “right” tool is for putting extra holes in sandal straps, I decided to improvise.

First, I used a darning needle to pierce the sandal straps, as it was nearby and seemed like a decent tool. But the needle didn’t make the hole big enough. I needed something to insert into the hole to make it just a little bit bigger, so the prong would easily feed through the new hole.

I looked around my immediate surroundings. Ah! Yes! A seam ripper, that would do the trick! The blade was just the right width to increase the size of the hole. And I also didn’t have to get up from the couch. Win!

I had eight new holes to make. The combination of the darning needle to poke and the seam ripper to widen was working great. One, two, three, four, five . . . this was going so fast. I am a genius!

Then, hole six.

I’m sure you’ve already guessed what happened. The seam ripper did exactly what it was designed to do. It RRR-IPPED right through one side of the strap I was working on.

But guess what? As luck would have it, I’m a visible mender!

Sandal-1

A little sky-blue sashiko thread and that same darning needle—the one I used to poke the holes—fixed what I broke. As my dad used to say when he was surprised: “How ‘boun that?”

I bought my summer sandals. I ruined my summer sandals. I saved my summer sandals!

So, what do you think of thrifting? Does it fit the sustainable fashion movement? I’m a die-hard thrifter, but I’m open. Is the most sustainable shirt/skirt/dress/sandal the one that already exists? I’d love to hear you take, so share your thoughts in the comments!

Listening today.