Sustainable mend and maintain-along ♻️

Mending thread is a lot thicker than sewing thread (at least, mine is). It’s more like a very thin knitting yarn than a sewing thread. I’ve never really tried darning with sewing thread, I imagine it could work for thin, storebought socks, but for handknit socks or cotton tights I much prefer mending thread. My favourite yarn for mending is actually the scraps from the same project. That thread is going to be invisible and always a match.

Mine doesn’t come in balls but on cards, so I’m not sure if we’re talking about the same thing or if it just got sold in a different shape in other countries. This is what I typically use:

Most of my stash is actually this brand on these exact cards, and some of them have my parents’ and aunts and uncles first attemps at writing on them. They’re that old. One grandma in particular was the queen of invisible mending and always bought extra colours to match clothes exactly, so she had a lot of them.


Interesting-- the stuff I have comes wound around a cardboard tube like crochet cotton & has lots of strands that separate easily. :thinking:


What a treasure! I have two different colours that are like that. Both are flavours of beige.

The one I was looking for the other day was a tiny paper bobbin that came with the sweater. I’m guessing it’s the same yarn.

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This is not my picture, I’m still looking! But I’m sure I have a couple dozen like these. Most are various shades of grey, beige and navy but some other colours as well.

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I just finished altering 3 shirts that were too big, but just the colors I wear. I’d take a picture and I just packed them for a trip to see my DD.
I’ve been living at home in baggy jeans and old flannel shirts. It will be nice to wear something new.


Ok, how do i mend a rip in one of these reusable bags? It’s the plastic-vinyl stuff outside, a white loose weave fibery fabric inside.

Orca, my big cat, likes to chew the handles on these. Which is fine, he just chews, he doesn’t consume. But he got a bit aggressive trying to get to the handles on some that I accidentally left out & he tore a rip in one side.


I’d iron a piece of fusible interface on the inside, being careful not to make the iron too hot as to melt anything. You could stitch it on or even use fabric…don’t use too tiny a stitch or you will make the vinyl perforated enough to tear easily!


I finally found my mending thread!!! Or actually, my mother did. I had a vague memory of her borrowing it some time ago, and asked her last month, but she said she’d returned it ages ago. Well, today she sent me a picture of the whole box, it was in her attic all that time. And as a happy coincidence, I have an appointment in her city tomorrow so I can pick it up. I have five pairs of cotton tights that need mending so I’ve got my work cut out for me this weekend.

This week I patched the elbow of Mr. Imma’s shirt and repaired two rips in his coat. Still need to sew a button onto a pair of his trousers. They were a bit too tight, the jeans button tore a hole into the fabric, the trousers spent some time in the mending basket and in the mean time Mr. Imma lost a bit of weight. I repaired the hole and now I just need to add a new button.


Here it is!

Mending basket:


2 pairs of Kidlet’s pants ready to go back to work. I was going to do the mending loom for both but it is taking so long and she has been ravenous and exhausted I’m afraid a growth spurt is imminent. Flannel patch to the rescue!


Ok, not exactly mending but definitely “maintaining” this purse. I call it Ugly Betty. I bought it several years ago and later saw the title character carrying the same bag in one of the episodes. The strap broke at the point where it went around the connecting brass ring. I couldn’t repair it and thought I would have to make a new one. It went into the pile of long term WIP’s because I was not having any inspiration for what to do.

Fast forward to today. I’m going through my pile of mending. Next to the pile was a shoulder strap from one of my husband’s messenger bags. He didn’t need it because he uses the hand straps. I realized that I could simply clip that strap onto the bag, and voila, Ugly Betty is back in service. It’s even better because the original strap was too short anyway.

Purse and broken original strap. See how short it was?

This was clearly meant to be. The clip from the messenger bag strap matches the brass ring on the purse.

And here she is with adopted strap. Ready to be carried.


Great save!

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That works great and there’s even white in the bag so it matches!


@Annchen thanks so much. If only all my projects just came together this easily.
@AntBee exactly. I couldn’t believe my luck. It was only a couple of weeks ago that my husband asked it I wanted to have that shoulder strap. I said “sure, why not”, not having any plan for it. :crazy_face:


Ugly Betty is fabulous!!! Good that you are able to give her another round!

I finally repaired/altered my husband’s linen drawstring pants…out of pity, because he can’t wear his tight jeans over his replaced knee. He was so grateful that he has worn them everyday. I have another pair in the bottom of the pile, so I guess I will fix those as well.

He has lost weight, so the repairs are taking in the legs, butt, and hemming…not my favorite to work on, but…gratitude and necessity rule.


The new strap is definitely an upgrade! How fortuitous!

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@AIMR thanks, I think she’s pretty rad looking now. I went ahead and transferred my items in and putting the other purse away. Glad you were able to adjust your husband’s pants. Linen is so comfortable.
@tendstowardschaos I couldn’t believe the happenstance either.


Awesome! The new strap looks much more useful.

(I had a jacket in that kind of leather patchwork for a while, but it never fit right, so ended up going away again.)

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