Reviving the Lost Art of Mending

Mending clothing tutorial

With the rise of kids’ fast fashion it is easy to think that when kids get a hole in a clothing item, we can just pick up a replacement and send the holey pair off to a the landfill.

But my kids tend to be a little bit fussy in the clothing area, liking only certain fabrics, styles and of course everything must be tag free. And since I know it takes years for clothing to break down in the landfill,  I always try to look for ways to fix an item that still fits the kids. I have been looking for a way to patch up the holes in my daughter’s leggings, her most favourite article of clothing. When I came across this Pin, I was intrigued. The tutorial called for a wool onto wool repair but would wool onto cotton or poly blend work?

The only way to find out was to try.

Mending Clothes For Kids

If it worked, I knew this would also be an easy way for my daughter to help fix her leggings. I had all the items from the pin to create a patch: Foam block, 35 gauge felting needle, wool roving, and heart-shaped cookie cutter.

A Simple Mending Clothes Tutorial

Set your cookie cutter over the hole; I went with a little off centre. Place a small amount of wool roving inside the cookie cutter. Quickly stab the roving in an up and down motion. You will want to make sure you are evenly stabbing the whole area with the needle in a steady up and down motion. I started at the outsides and worked into the middle.

Mending clothes for kids tutorial

Mending clothes with simple patch
Once you are sure you have felted the entire area, you will spray the patch with a bit of water and iron. We noticed that a few areas could be pushed through a bit more so we did a bit more felting and then sprayed and ironed again.

Mending clothes for kids tutorial

To maximize your chances of a successful repair with this method, make sure your foam block is not too much bigger than the legging leg as it will stretch and the patch will not look as nice.

Mending clothes for kids tutorial

I think any cookie cutter shape would work well, as long as it is a bit bigger than the hole you are covering. There does not seem to be a set amount of roving to put in the cookie cutter. My daughter and I took turns felting, so I just judged whether or not the roving was covering and creating a patch.

While our patch most definitely does not look like the Pin that caught my eye, it does cover the hole, and the leggings are back in the rotation. I consider that a success!

Mending clothes tutorial

This mending clothes method was a pretty quick fix, less than a half-hour. The only challenge would be how they will wash over time; I’m washing them with like colours in cold and hanging them to dry; although the patch might felt up better after the dryer.

Mending Clothing Tutorial

Mending may be a lost art; it’s probably not even taught in most schools these days. After our mending experiment, my daughter grabbed all her leggings, and we fixed them with various patches. Talk about a great green mom moment!

Plus, like working with wool? Try this felting acorn craft.