My repair date: 3.66 pieces

In March I announced my repair date (by the way, the date was postponed several times 😆). I wanted to make things cosy for my repair date, including the documentation work. On the one hand, this meant that the atmosphere for the repair date itself should be relaxed, on the other hand, taking the photos shouldn't feel toooo much like work. Based on this, I drew up a checklist of things I could prepare so that I could concentrate on the repairs on the day of doing the repairs. Preparation included preparing something for my ears (podcast list), something for thirst (a pot of tea) and something for hunger (pretzel sticks). The clothes had already been picked out in advance, so I knew which broken parts awaited me and was all the more excited. And then, on one of the many May bank holidays, the time had come!

Yield: 3.66 pieces repaired.

Details of the yield follows now. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Piece 1: black skirt

The seam connecting the zip and the skirt came went to pieces. To prevent it from getting worse, I wanted to sew the zip back on properly. I did this with the so-called slip stitch (also called mattress stitch, ladder stitch; a great stitch because the thread "disappears" and the seam is therefore "invisible"). It went very quickly, max. 10 minutes.

Before, outside.
Before, inside.
After, outside.
After, inside.

Piece 2: dusky pink top with flower print

I had a tear in the seam on the right-hand side where the front and back are joined. 1 cm x 0.5 cm. I don't like these areas at all because the proximity to the seam always overwhelms me. I had actually already started the repair during a repair workshop at Fashion Revolution Week in April (organized by Fashion Revolution Germany / Frankfurt) and had used the weaving method.

I continued darning during my repair date. I am so happy about the colour similarity. In this case it was not darning thread I used, but embroidery thread (1 of 6 threads) and I had the thread from the repertoire of the workshop leader (Ekaterina Haak, whom I have mentioned elsewhere). The darned area is actually visible but if it's the right angle, the darned area blends in well with the garment.

WIP (almost done).
After (well hidden).

Piece 3: grey sports shorts

That was the most exciting repair of the day.

The trousers have a waistband cord but actually, there are two cords sewn into the centre in the back. The right-sided ripped somewhere in the middle. To make the trousers somehow usable again, I had used some yarn to lengthen the right-sided waistband. It looked too odd to me and ended up in the as-long-as-you-look-like-this-I-don't-wear-you pile.

For the repair, I rummaged around to see if I had anything that looked similar to the cord and found an old shoelace, half of which had been torn off as well. Ideal!

So I took off the yarn (pink) and then sewed the two loose ends of the cords (waistband cord on trousers and shoelaces) together with lots of stitches. Then I cut off the loose, frayed ends and melted them with a lighter. This left the ends clean and minimized the likelihood of it coming undone again. The join disappears into the waistband anyway + I have a two-coloured waistband cord now. Pretty cool 😀

Before, connecting point.
WIP, sewing on the new cord.
After, connecting point (working side).
After, connecting point (working side).
After, connecting point (clean side).

Piece 4: black tank top

The top had three small holes on the back. To close these, I tried scotch darning for the first time. It's so much fun! You can work your way and see how the hole gets smaller and smaller.

Even though it is black yarn, you can still see the darned area quite well. This was not invisible mending. I wonder if it would have looked more invisible with the weaving method? In retrospect, I thought it would have been funnier in colour.

I only managed 2 of 3 holes that day, that's where this 0.66 comes from 😀

The third hole was darned by me in the morning a few days later. On the day of my repair date, I found one hole on the front side (this destroys all my calculation for the yield) ... this hole was darned in the meantime, too 😁

Before, back side.
Before, back side, hole 2 and 3.
WIP (hole 1 ... one hole = loads small holes ...)
After, back side.
Nachher, Rückseite, Loch 1.
After, back side, hole 2 (open) and hole 3 (darned).

As always, I am amazed about how long a repair takes compared to how long a garment is spurned because of its flaw. In the extreme case, it is 10 minutes versus X years. A bit crazy!

Will I learn from this awareness and tackle the repairs more quickly in the future?
Me: 🤷🏻‍♀️

This post is part of the series <Mein stopfendes Leben>.

Announcement: Repair date

I talk (write) a lot about darning but it's actually been quite a while since I actively reduced my repair pile. The last time was in October 2023 - this was one of three repaired pieces.

So this is my announcement that I will get this on and do some repairing again in the coming weeks!

Inspired by Selmin and her blog post Ein Repairdate – Zack, komplettes Outfit I've been planning a repair date for a long time. The idea is so charming and I've finally set myself a date and put it in my calender! So the date will be the least I will do. But I really hope that I will do some repair before and after the date as well.

It's not so much about HOW MUCH, but rather about THAT I do repair (although "more is more" applies in this case). It doesn't have to be darning but whatever my technical repertoire allows and makes the repair heart beat faster is allowed and desired - it's not called repair date for nothing höhö.

Earliest in May I will give a report. Happy repairing 🪡

This post is part of the series <Mein stopfendes Leben>.

"Darning is my hobby."

Darning is my hobby. I am willing to voluntarily invest time into this activity and do enjoy that time. I like to repair a piece of clothing and "rescue" it from being thrown away because it excites me to make something functional again and to lift it out of its broken state. The way I get there is the challenge that spurs me on: understanding the piece in front of me, using a suitable technique and seeing how things come together, row by row or stitch by stitch. Mastering this challenge and making the piece eventually wearable again really hypes me.

I don't "rescue" it for sustainable reasons and to produce less waste. Although this is a very positive side effect when I darn, it is not the prioritized purpose for me. Why do I tell you this?

The narrative

The narrative that I'm mending for the benefit of the environment and for sustainability reasons doesn't apply to me and therefore I don't want to use it (anymore). I never wanted to put sustainability into focus but it probably always resonated somewhere. One conversation stuck in my mind and I've been carrying an uneasy feeling with me ever since. Over the past few days, I have unraveled this feeling and came to the conclusion above.

The conversation

I had to introduce myself at a workshop and mentioned darning as a hobby. At lunch, a participant and I came back to the topic and he said that he wondered to what extent darning was realistic in everyday life. You don't find the time for such an activity and whether it's worth it. I don't disagree with him on any point. Nevertheless, I had the feeling that he was justifying the fact that there is no time to darn, to rescue. And this conversation had stuck to my mind and an uneasy feeling remained and I wondered how privileged I must be to be able to take time for this.

Time and money and value

There must have been times when darning must have been an everyday thing and where people were taught it for life. Times in which (a) there were not masses of clothing available and therefore clothing must have been more expensive due to the reduced supply; and (b) people did not have enough money to buy new clothes; ergo: the clothes they owned had to be looked after and maintained for as long as possible.

But nowadays (b) no longer applies because (a) no longer applies: there is a lot of clothing and clothing is cheap. In many cases, it is probably cheaper to buy new clothes than to repair existing ones. And we know that time is money. Clothes no longer need to be maintained in order to have wearable clothes in the wardrobe. In our world, darning for personal prosperity has become obsolete.

In general: time is time. With so many options for spending your time, I can understand if mending isn't exactly number 1 on the hit list. Or even in the top 50.

I'm sure that in other times, time was as valuable as capital as today and repairing your own clothes was work, just as it still is today. Today, where there is a constant feeling of time scarcity, who would want to do this work voluntarily if one no longer had to?

Not for the environment - for the fascination

For the environment? That would be honourable, extremely honourable. But at least I'm not going to tell you that. Because I'm not acting from that position. I do it for the sheer joy of darning in particular and repairing in general and, as a result, enjoy the individual rescue. It's a hobby. And one likes to make time for hobbies. Being able to live out a hobby is a privilege - generally speaking. In every respect - time capital, financial capital, mental capital.

Of course, I think it's a pity when things are disposed of even though they have a chance of having another life. In my opinion, the work behind every item of clothing should be valued - no matter how cheaply it was made. But I don't want to condemn anyone for that. Nevertheless, I still hope that more people find the same appeal as I do in darning/repairing. It doesn't have to become a hobby and be as much fun as it is for me. But if you're at least willing to give it a go and take the chance at some point, then that's already worth a lot to me. Alternatively, make somebody you know to try out 😛

Who knows which surprise is awaiting and how you or person X will feel once you checked out darning? 🎁

This post is part of the series <Mein stopfendes Leben>.