Visible Mending as Wearable Art

diy how to mending sashiko tutorial upcycle

Too worn to wear?

There comes a time in the lifespan of a pair of jeans when a decision must be made to keep or toss. There is a little known 3rd option, and it's a good one! Visible Mending. 

Baby's 1st Repair

When my favorite pair of jeans became too threadbare around the thighs, I wondered if it was it. I love these jeans, so it was worth the "experimend" to try and save them. The before photo, shows threadbare fabric from below the pocket to above the knee. 

when your favorite jeans are too delicate to wear

Prepping the jeans

The first step was to consider the structure. I wanted to add structure, but I didn't want the patch itself to be visible, so I pinned it to the inside of the pant leg, where it would eventually be secured in place with the added stitching.

preparing to mend your jeans

I pinned the pocket to the waist to keep it out of the way, so it wouldn't accidentally get stitched closed in the process. 

save the pocket

Finally, the part where we get to stitch.

sashiko denim mending

This is the base layer of my stitching. I started vertical running stitches from one side to the other, then horizontal stitches to secure the underlying patch even more, and then I had to break out of the grid. I made diagonal stitches in a somewhat random order.

And then, some pop!

sashiko variation

I embroidered some satin stitched circles with a little trail from one to the next. 

sashiko style wrenbirdarts

Then adding a circular, radiating design, almost as an afterthought. 

visible mending on denim

Finished for now, these jeans have some stretch, so they will need more stitching in the near future, but for now, I can wear them at least without fear of them unraveling. 


erin eggenburg embroidery

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