May 15, 2017

It's Mend It May!

The other day, I discovered via Instagram that there's a tag for #menditmay where people share their mending adventures!  So, I'm taking this moment to pass along the links about mending that I've been coming across.

Mending used to be much more the norm back when many things were made by hand and were much more precious.
I love investigating old repairs.  Here's some old darning on a lovely Edwardian day dress.

I'm so intrigued by the creative new efforts to bring mending and repair to a more solid and important part of how we live our lives.  This is, after all, how I make my living, i.e. repairing quilts and clothing.  And I'm also very dedicated to living with a smaller footprint, which includes changing away from the "throw-away" economy.

1.  I'll start with a philosophical piece on Tom van Deijnen's blog in which he and Sarah Corbett discuss mending as activism.  Sarah is creator of the Craftivist Collective whose motto is "Changing our world one stitch at a time…"  Tom says:
If you have concerns about social or political issues, but, like me, you’re not a very outgoing or confrontational person, then you’re sometimes left wondering whether there’s anything you can do in a way that feels more true to who you are.

2.  Next, two articles which showcase Sweden as a hotspot for setting up structure and venues to support and value repair over buying new.

The World Economic Forum recently published an article entitled "Sweden is paying people to fix their belongings instead of throwing them away."  Here are a few quotes from the article:

To combat its ‘throwaway consumer culture’, Sweden has announced tax breaks on repairs to clothes, bicycles, fridges and washing machines.

We don’t anticipate that this will make people avoid buying things overall, but hopefully it will be easier for people to buy high-quality products because they know it’s affordable to have them fixed if something breaks. 

And we also know that repairs are more labour-intense than production, which has been largely automised, so expanding repairs could actually contribute to an expanding labour market and a decrease in unemployment.

Wow, they've thought of lots of potential benefits.  I'm excited to see how it goes!

3. And "Sweden Opens World’s First Mall for Repaired and Recycled Goods".  This sounds heavenly to me!

The facilities contain both a recycling center and a shopping mall. Customers can donate the items that they no longer need, then shop for something new – all in one stop.

The center also includes a café and restaurant with a heavy focus on organic products, as well as a conference and exhibition facility complete with a specialty school for studying recycling.

The center, which is operated by the local municipality, has benefitted the local economy by creating 50 new repair and retail jobs, and providing space for private start-ups and local artisans.

4. And links to other repair venues that I mentioned in a previous post about why I like to mend things:
The rise of mending: how Britain learned to repair clothes again
Home Repair Café

Here are a few photos of creative mends I have made.  The vintage clothes are from Basya Berkman Vintage Fashions.

Rather than replace the zipper, I crafted a new zipper pull with earring findings and pearls.

I added more beading to hide the snags in the bodice of this wedding gown.

This dress had a permanent stain on the bodice.  I covered it with ribbon and added more ribbon to the bow so the bodice ribbon wouldn't look so out of place.


This family heirloom quilt suffered an ironing disaster, ending up with a hole through all three layers.  The owner asked me to add an embroidered dedication to the patch.  (This quilt is super interesting.  The owner also has the diaries of the quiltmaker that detail the process of making the quilt.)

And finally, a family heirloom quilt that was literally in pieces, many of which I was able to rescue and rebuild the quilt. 

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