Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mending Mania: London

Sewing and patching kit: London 10/17

My small, portable hand-sewing kit is one thing I will never, ever travel without. In recent years I have started including a packet of patches as well. In addition to bits of varied material, I also have an assortment of one-of-a-kind patches I created using photo transfer paper and a bank of intriguing non-copyright images I have collected over the years. Fully armed and ready to stitch, I hit a very hospitable friend's house in London for a ten-day stay. She fed me wonderful food and showed me around the lesser-known neighborhoods of London, and I patched clothes for her and her family. Her glass-ceilinged dining room became my temporary sewing atelier.

Sewing atelier

The mending mania included one pair of ripped jeans for a son willing to embrace non-conventional repairs:

Mended jeans

Close-up of mend: patched photo transfer image combined with under-mend and sashiko stitching.

One reversible raincoat with holes in lower front (with additional patches added to balance the look):

Back of coat with vertical patch

Close-up of sashiko stitching used on coat patches

Two diaphanous cotton shawls for a pregnant daughter, incorporating ancient Chinese medical text image and ancient Arab monkey image.

Two shawls with decorative (as opposed to functional) patches

Close-up: shawl patch

Close-up: shawl patch

Four shirts worn and torn by my lovely hostess. I had already repaired earlier tears in some of these, so the end effect here in some cases is the result of cumulative patching.

2 mended shirts

Close-up: patch using ancient Chinese medical text image and photo transfer

Patch using image from old Arab book and photo transfer

Patch using traditional Japanese sashiko stitching

Cumulative patching

Sashiko stitching for traditional Japanese Boro patching technique

Sashiko stitching

Patch using cloth photo transfer

Shirt with small previous sashiko patch

New patch using scrap of old Guatemalan cloth

I am happy when I sew, and at this point in my life I cannot imagine traveling anywhere without a sewing kit and a supply of patches in hand. I believe the people wandering around the planet sporting one of my patches are happy also. 

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

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