and in Other Mending News...

My wacky Mending at the Market scheme has been quite a success. I have fixed shoes, repaired pockets, restored a cashmere sweater, altered a suit and am looking forward to mending Morgan's vintage punk rock jacket.

Better yet, my insidious scheme of increasing people's awareness of the possibility of fixing something instead of throwing it out seems to be working. People stop to chat and invariably tell me about something they have, that they love and want to fix. They tell me stories about the old sewing machines they remember, or confide that they always hated sewing. Little kids stare at the machine with fascinated eyes. Even a person who had a pretty major disagreement with me says he will bring his favourite old jeans next weeks for me to see if they can be salvaged.

Mending! Who'd a thunk it?


  1. Mending...way better than fighting.

  2. Anonymous7:37 PM

    Mending is the way to go. Whenever my pants develop a tear or my shirt collars start to fray I take them to the repair corner in my local shopping mall and get them fixed. Then I can wear them for years more.

    Carry on the good work. You've found a valuable niche in your island community.


  3. maybe you'll mend your relationship as you mend his jeans.

    such a strong symbol you're manipulating here. powerful kind of good magic in mending.

    kudos to you!!

  4. Anonymous8:54 PM

    You know you're onto a good thing when the same idea (sort of) pops up on the other side of the world. Mending and extending the life of an item instead of throwing it away.

    Last year a store called Pass the Baton opened in Tokyo. I bumped into it during my last visit to Tokyo a few weeks ago. I walked into this store filled with the flotsam and jetsam of consumer culture. There was no specific category, just a lot of quirky-retro stuff. In the store there was a chandelier made with neck ties and them over in a corner there was a collection of Oktoberfest beer steins and in another corner there were butter dishes and silverware and dead-stock coffee cups sole with freshly baked cookies and...

    Now the oddest thing was that this store, Pass the Baton, was in the Marunouchi district, the financial center of Tokyo near Tokyo Station. It is one of the most expensive areas in a famously expensive city. The other store is in Omotesando Hills, in Omotesando, another hyper-overpriced fashion center in Tokyo.

    According to the website ( the concept behind the stores is to provide a location for people to pass on items that they possessed and loved but no longer want/need. They can post items on the store website and even donate the sale to a charity. Check out the website. It's in both Japanese and English. Go to "about" and click on "concept" or "charity".

    Now, on Lasqueti, this might not sound too unusual since you have had a recycle store for years, but in Tokyo, one of the world's most spectacular examples of consumerism, it is like throwing down the glove and declaring a revolution. Mend and extend!


  5. Heather, you are into a good thing there. I shope at a thrift shops all the time. I always check the thrift shops first of all before I go and buy it new. Can't help reading Jean-Pierre's comment re: recycled in Japan. When I was there I found a store in Kanazawa called Second Street and it was a secondhand store. I spent lot of time ramaging through and came away with some nice jackets and dresses.

  6. Hello Heather, Nat (from Notjustnat) pointed your blog out to me.
    I also own two Singer Featherweight machines, produced in England for the European Market in februari 1949.They are such great little machines, I admire them so much and love to work with them. I've given them names, because they mean a lot to me.... (Josephine and Caroline...) Maybe I'm a bit of a strange girl...... :))
    I have good friends (Lucy and her husband René) who are also very interested in Singer Featherweights. They repaired mine in to good working order.
    They even restored a terribly looking Featherweight into a super (red) example!!'
    Maybe it's nice to visit their blog:
    As to mending things: we had a big family (six children; now three at home still) so I did a lot of mending..... :))
    And I love it!
    Enjoy your day and I would love to read more about your little Singer..!

  7. What a GREAT idea, Heather! Too much gets thrown away these days. I ran into someone once who chucked a shirt away because it had lost one single cuff button. I of course was aghast. Somehow he never learned how to sew it back on! Thought it was easier just to buy a new shirt and good ones are not cheap.

    Now I need to mend the thrift store skirt I tore yesterday after it got caught in my bicycle. Since I'm not going to be able to make it invisible, I'm going to make it wild!

  8. An old art! My mom was a handy mender of things. She used to also mend holes in wool socks. There was a wooden "mushroom" she would stick in the sock under the hole, and then she could weave a stitch across it. Like new! :)

  9. such a sweet and lovely idea heather! i was curious when i saw your other market post, so i'm really glad you are sharing more!

    (maybe you would even share some specific mending examples and techniques here with your readers?)

  10. That's a great idea, Drucilla. I will bring my camera and try to document some techniques. Right off the bat I would say that my first step when fixing something is to decide whether or not it can be an invisible mend, or if I will make the mend obvious. I love the Japanese practise of mending broken ceramics with gold leaf in the joins. It's a tangible sign of respect and care.

  11. Clara3:07 PM

    I am really interested in your market mending too! Please do post more about it. I mend my own things all the time but rarely branch out into mending others'.
    Also I am very often tempted into gluing patches onto the back of holes in my jeans, a practical measure to stop the split spreading as I have found it does under sewn patches, but not a very pleasing one! I suppose I could do both, glue underneath and more beautiful patch on top.


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