Rips and tears are so commonplace in clothing, some fashion brands even pre-rip the clothing for you. If you enjoy wearing your clothing ripped fresh off the rack, tears you make yourself probably don’t bother you too much. If you prefer your clothing to look new, or at least not have stains or tears in weird places, visible mending can turn these problem areas into beauty marks.
My kids are constantly tearing their clothes or getting spaghetti stains on the front. In the past, I’ve simply remade that clothing into something else. As they grow bigger and stay in their clothes for longer however, I’m finding that I want to keep those clothes a little longer than the first rip.
That’s how I discovered visible mending. Instead of trying to patch the hole so well that it’s no longer visible, you flaunt it. A tiny hole on my daughter’s sweater became a heart, a big tear on the knee of my son’s jeans turned it into a flaming cobra.
To mend the large hole in the jeans, we patched the inside of it with similarly tough material as the jeans. You can use denim, cotton duck, or canvas as good patching material. If you ever have jeans not worth salvaging, saving them for patch material gives them a great second purpose.
Stitching it on the inside helps to stabilize the tear and keep it from getting worse. After that we cut the unattractive dangling threads from the still visible tear on the outside, and covered it with a patch cut from an old T-shirt. The patch was than embroidered to look like a cobra.
There are tons of ideas out there to visibly mend. Bleach stains can be looked at like you were looking for shapes in clouds, and then decorated to show off the stain rather than cover it up. Embroidery and patches can be used to cover stains, and holes can be covered up with cute and trendy patches.
My kids are extremely fashion conscious, but for them visible mending is a win rather than something to be embarrassed about. When ever a new hole or stain appears in their clothing, I can tell because I can hear them thundering to me with the item and a request for exactly what they want it covered with.
Still in my mending drawer is a hole that wants to be a phoenix, and another that wants a super hero. There’s always a hole or a stain in a busy household, but now there are fun ways to make them special instead of trash.