Mend It Like Beckham

by Katy on June 24, 2008 · 4 comments

Who among us has not heard that unmistakable riiiiip as a favorite garment turns into a favorite rag?


For want of a needle and thread, pajama pants were lost.

Our grandmothers knew how to mend. Period. Even boys knew how to sew a button back on.

Socks got darned. Pants got hemmed. Clothes got mended. Just about anything that could be salvaged, was.

What does this generation do? We don’t repair. We replace.

Mending is helpful for your own clothes, but is very helpful when you’re a parent. I probably mend something for my sons a couple times a month, even more when they were preschoolers.  And my somewhat-clumsy 40-year-old self?  I’m certainly not immune to the occasional need of a needle and thread.

Don’t know how to mend?

Don’t worry Non-Consumers, it’s not rocket science. Websites such as have great instructions that can get you started.

Don’t have the supplies?

Keep an eye out for secondhand spools of thread at garage sales and thrift stores, you’ll be surprised what you can find.  Your mother or grandmother might even let you raid her sewing box.

Don’t have the time?

Mending is the perfect activity while vegging out in front of the TV. A typical half-hour show can easily see you through a couple of repairs.

I feel such warm satisfaction when a few minutes of mending can bring something back to life.

I think my grandmother would be proud.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

What have you mended? Please share your mending stories in the comments section below.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jolyn June 24, 2008 at 9:38 am

I love your blog! I have found that there are much cooler things to be found at garage sales and thrift stores than you will ever find at a big box store. Now I just need to learn how to sew.


Elinor June 25, 2008 at 2:36 pm

I think you’ve inspired me to pull out that bag of stuff that needs to be mended tonight when I’m watching my taped soap opera.

Thanks for the nudge!


Alexis Ahrens June 25, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Thanks for the link to that site, Katy! I knew there had to be a strategy for mending holes that worked better than my random mess of thread.


Cat Tall March 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

FYI, as I found out the hard way, thread goes bad. Much like museum pieces that are labeled with DO NOT TOUCH, with age it grows more brittle and prone to breakage.

It was NOT the tension of my sewing machine that was causing the thread to snap repeatedly, it was the age of the thread. I had to get rid of all the seemingly useful ‘leftovers’ my mother had given me years ago.


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