Sashiko Style Circles

clothing repair diy how to mending sashiko tutorial upcycle visible mending

Visible Mending with Sashiko Style Circles

sashiko mending wrenbird

I found these jeans while thrift shopping the other day, and bought them on account of looking like a fun mending project. I haven't always been a thrifter, but the more I learn about the fashion industry, I less I am willing to support it. What is the problem exactly? Here's the quick and dirty, and then on with the mending. 

Why I can't support the fashion industry. 

-The enormous amount of textile waste (and our lack of connection with waste, what it actually means and where it ends up).

-Workers in clothing manufacturing plants earning wages that keep them impoverished and stuck in unsafe working conditions.

-The overproduction of cheap, plastic (non bio-degradable) clothing manufactured and shipped every single day to big company stores, much of it never to be sold. This is fast fashion. 

Here's what you can do:

-Stop buying fast fashion, and educate yourself and others about these issues.

-Support individuals and shops who ethically source and produce their clothing.

-Repair and upcycle your own clothing.

-Shop secondhand and swap with friends. 

Denim Repair

I hope that one day I won't have to thrift  for ripped jeans and clothing to repair, and will instead have enough in repair commissions to keep me busy. But for now, I will scour the racks of every secondhand shop I pass. 

If you love these type of repairs, but don't want to do your own mending, I'm your girl! Or if you do want to DIY it, read on for some helpful tips with this style of repair. 

visible mending technique denim

These had a few holes that needed attention. I trimmed up the rips, and cut patches of denim that extend about 1/2" beyond the rip. 

mending tips

Pin the patches in place, and mend away!

Mending Tips

If you are mending front pocket and thigh areas, make sure to pin the pockets up and out of the way so that you don't accidentally sew them shut. 

I used a spool as my stencil, and traced each circle with a water soluble marking pencil. 

Here are the 3 different styles of circle mends I used for this project. 

Moon Phase sashiko mending 

Mend featuring phases of the moon

circle sashiko stitching

Interlocking circles with 2 colors of thread, black and gray.

horizontal circles

Circles stitched in a row. 

I'm always kind of amazed at how substantial a ripped and mended pair of jeans feel when you put them on and run your hands over the texture, and they only get better with time. More rips and more mending and patching, and the softest, strongest jeans that fit your body just right.

Visit my blog for more posts on visible mending.


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  • Rosana Bellini on

    Everything are fantastic!

  • Rosana Bellini on

    Everything are fantastic!

  • Debra Mulnick on

    First, I love your work & website. Thank you for the free tutorial info! I have a pair of cream colored sweat pants I’d like to repair using a circular pattern. The fine line disappearing ink pen (purple color) made by Collins, is faded but still showing (on back side of fabric) 24 hours on. It seemed to work on blue colored paper and other fabrics. Can you recommend other methods to mark on right side of fabric so that it is not visible after? Thanks so much.

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