Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Basic mending skills

I'm so grateful to my Mum for teaching me to hand sew when I was a girl. She showed me a few basic stitches, and with them I sewed clothes for my Barbie doll out of scraps of fabric.

Now I'm putting those same skills to use mending clothes for my family. I'm not a fancy sewer by any means, but I've rescued many clothes from the scrap pile with my sewing kit.

If you haven't got into the habit of mending, I highly recommend you do. 

Reasons to mend
  • It's a great way to save money - fixing clothes rather than replacing them. 
  • It's better for the environment as there's less waste and clothes get a longer lifespan.
  • There's something restful about sitting down with a bit of sewing. It's productive, but you still get to put your feet up.
  • It sets a good example for children - going the extra mile to save something.
My sewing kit is simple. It's just a 20cm x 10cm clear plastic box filled with a few basic items. My sister-in-law helped me stock it, as I requested a few items for my birthday one year.

With my sewing kit, I've been able to hem pants, darn socks, mend ripped jeans, replace buttons, not to mention hand-sew patchwork quilts for my girls and another friend.

Sewing kit contents
  • Assorted needles
  • Basic colour range of cotton thread - black and white will work for most jobs
  • Pearl-headed pins
  • Quick unpick
  • Sewing scissors - don't use these to cut anything except fabric or they will go blunt
  • Assorted buttons - keep any spares that come with new clothes purchases
  • Tape measure
From time to time you may need to purchase or re-purpose something extra like elastic for a more complicated fix-it job. 

Sewing tutorials
Here are some helpful sewing tutorials to set you on your way:

How to sew on a button (start at 1:15)

Good luck!


  1. I'm also grateful that I learnt to sew from mum and at school (can't believe they don't teach this anymore!). I am constantly sewing buttons back onto husband's shirts. And I sewed all our curtains, massive savings (but very boring). I occasionally make some clothes, I dream of having a dedicated sewing room so I can do more. I'd say you were pretty good, going by those amazing quilts you made!

  2. This is a great little reference! I'm bookmarking to save those tutorial videos for later :)


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