It was a cashmere cardigan. Rose petal pink. A sweater with an important provenance. It had belonged to my daughter and now it showed my years of affectionate wearing. The elbows worn and thread bare. I had darned it several times attempting to matching the wool but it was now beyond redemption.

I was taught to make repairs on clothes as invisible as possible. It was not going to be easy to match this colour and make a comfortable repair on the sleeve of the sweater. A bolder move was called for. I searched through my collection of left-over sewing fabrics and found enough silk to make two large patches.

A rolled up magazine keeps you from sewing the sleeve together as you baste the fabric in place. I used a light coloured thread and sewed loose stitches to allow for the stretch of the knit.

Once the fabric was basted in place I sewed around the edge of the fabric. I chose a deep pink embroidery thread using a loose running stitch. I deliberately emphasized this as “repair” work. Not sloppy work but a labour of love. One should proudly wear beloved garments that have been repaired to continue to give warmth and happy memories.

Before you discard clothing that can be repaired try your hand at mending. If you first attempt is not perfect you haven’t destroyed something you were going to discard. It is not expensive to gather the supplies you require. Needles and thread from a Dollar store. And the mother-lode for material – a thrift shop. Scarves, men’s shirts and blouses give you enough usable material for patching. You don’t require a sewing machine – just your imagination,


  1. Very happy to know that other women are still darning! I just finished mending the heels on a pair of my favorite cashmere socks with darning yarn my mother bought decades ago. I love the joyful print you choose for the patch! Hope all is well with you.

    • Darning socks! That has to be my next project Gayle. A friend of mine recently gave me two wood darning eggs. You have given me the encouragement to tackle (neatly, perfectly) these worn socks.
      All is well in our home. What is happening we the “truckers” and their march on our capitol is concerning. I use the word truckers loosely, as it seems everyone who is not getting what they want are now attacking our democracy.

  2. Virginia!
    Amazing, I adore what you did here. I am doing the same. I am buying wool socks that are a bit thicker of a knit, and I darn them when they break through on heels or toes. I have been patching and mending my way through the last 2 years.
    You’re fabulous! xoxoxoxoxo

    • How absolutely splendid! Darning socks! Especially when they one has a particularly strong attachment to them. Recently a friend gave me her mother’s wood mushrooms for this purpose,. Now I don’t have to use an old ball. I find the time I spend quietly hand sewing and repairing clothes to make them wearable again extremely rewarding. I feel I need this time of zen now more than every. Hugs and love to you dear Resa. Virginia

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