Top 5 tips for mindful clothes mending

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 with a focus on anxiety. We named our clothes mending workshops Fast Fashion Therapy nearly 5 years ago. It soon became apparent that the workshops are a therapeutic space for the participants (and us) along with the clothes being repaired . Despite the sessions being busy, clothes repairing is a mindful and therapeutic process.

Our favourite way to mend clothes is sewing by hand rather on the machine. Don’t get us wrong, we love using the sewing machine for a quick and secure finish. Sewing and mending clothes by hand has a meditative effect. Using a needle and thread (or yarn) to darn a hole and patch a hole, take up a hem and many other ways to repair clothes.

Saturday afternoon at The Create Place, Bethnal Green, London

This week there was a focus on hand sewing at our workshops. Ellen wanted to add a button to her wrap top. She decided to make a feature of it and stitched a welted button hole instead of using the zig zag on the machine. It is still work in progress and she is going to finish the final rows of stitching at home. That is the other great thing about repairing clothes by hand, you can take it anywhere! We’ve been known to darn and patch on the bus and train or our favourite, at home with a podcast on the go.

Lisa wanted to darn a hole in her favourite cardigan and practiced on a sample piece of knit before working on the garment. Kate repaired a hole in her jeans. She started on the sewing machine but switched to hand sewing so she could have more control over what she was doing and finish at home.

During lockdown we explored this further for Pebble Magazine where we shared our top 5 tips for mindful clothes mending:

We host a free online workshop on the first Monday evening of every month. We welcome regular and new attendees. Sign up for our newsletter or register on Eventbrite and we will send you the Zoom link to join. Bring along some clothes to mend and join in the chat. Next session is 5 June, 7:30pm.

Our online mend-a-long is free to join thanks to a grant from Localgiving and Postcode Society Trust, a grant-giving charity funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.