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>.

The patterned blouse and the almost-chameleon | study logbook darning

This is how it goes with broken clothes: As small as the hole may be, it may be hidden at its best and no one would ever look at it anyway - but once I have seen it, it's the only thing I will see of this clothing item. If I wore it out, no one would notice the flaw. But I wouldn't really care what the others don't see. The hole is the only thing I see.

That's what happened to the patterned blouse.

On the right side, at the seam where the front and back are joined together, quite far down and close to the hem, a tear had crept in. This looked like a hole at a bad angle. Accordingly, the patterned blouse was placed on the repair pile. In preparation for the trip last autumn, I went through my clothes - even the ones that were on the repair pile. And I actually picked three items for the trip from that pile. It was probably only a few weeks until the day of departure. And the clothes had been on the pile for two years at least and, in the spirit of the "out of sight, out of mind" principle, their existence had been completely forgotten in the meantime. So how likely was it that these three items would make it back to life?

The preparation phase

Ich wollte das Muster mehr oder weniger nachbilden, also unsichtbar stopfen. Entsprechend mit weißem Garn erst mal die Fläche wiederherstellen, dann mit rotem Garn irgendwie das Muster nachmachen. Ohne wäre der dann pure white blob would have been too obvious for me amidst of the whole pattern.

The implemenation phase

Für die weiße Fläche habe ich die Webstopfmethode genutzt. An einer Naht zu arbeiten ist nicht so angenehm wie auf einer reinen Fläche, v.a. weil sich das Loch/Riss zu beiden Seiten erstreckte. Der Weißton meines Garns ist zu warm, aber sei‘s drum. Mit rotem Garn habe ich dann gestickt, und habe mich an den Formen auf der Bluse orientiert, so Mini-Blätter. Ich habe wenig Stickerfahrung und habe das entsprechend eher Freestyle gemacht.

The photo stamps tell me that it took about 1.5 hours in one day.

The finalization phase

It's not a completely invisible repair but I still think it was successful and the embroidery part was something new to me. I didn't do a super clean job but in the end the hole is gone and the blouse is wearable again. The blouse was allowed to travel with me. Mission completed! 

Thoughts during the process

What amazes me again and again: the working time and the waiting time are in stark contrast to each other. It's almost ridiculous.

The clothes had been on the repair pile for at least two years. This repair took me 1.5 hours - this is about the length of a feature film. If I had invested this time sometime earlier - and it is a foreseeable time - then the blouse would have become part of my wardrobe again much sooner with a reasonable expenditure of energy.

Sicherlich, in ebendieser Zeit habe ich einiges gelernt und bin selbstsicherer geworden was die Methoden angeht. Aber oft geht es erst mal darum, den Makel irgendwie mal angefasst zu haben und um den Versuch es zu reparieren. Das ist das, was ich von dieser und anderen Reparaturen mitnehme: einfach mal dransetzen und machen!

(Spoiler: I managed to get all three items back in shape and ready for the trip!)

June 2023 | study logbook. Being a scanner

I was recently reminded by the blog post „Wie erstelle ich einen Handarbeitsblog?" (DeepL translated: how to create a handicraft blog) from the german blog that I also wanted to share my insights from failures – lessons learned so to speak. To do that, I need a bit more space for words and text, so I’m splitting the monthly review for June to have a try. And then I will see if/how that works. Today’s review will cover the more general / the „Being a scanner“ part; the „Something with photo“ will come separately.

Concert, workshop on how to read out loud, adult education courses

I was at a concert and it was a seated one- which ended up being fine for the artist and his music as the songs were played to piano music and a surprising string quartet (oh, so nice!). But for the previous supporting/opening band it didn’t fit at all as it was very (!) danceable music and just swaying your shoulders isn’t even half the fun. I can imagine that it’s a bit sad for the supporting band when people can’t/won’t dance along at all.

Quite spontaneously I took part in a workshop with the topic „Lust an Büchern wecken" (DeepL translated: „Awakening desire for books“) – it was about how to make books palatable to small children (nursery age). It was very interesting and I learned a lot! Let’s see how and when I can apply it.

My adult education classes came to an end and I have to look elsewhere to bridge the summer break. One course was a language class and I want to keep up the language skills at least into this year’s autumn (planned travel). The second course was a bit of exercise to counteract all the sitting. My weaker self is very strong but sitting a lot remains and I should overcome it. Hopefully I will be motivated to do something in July :‘)

Elderberry syrup

The elderberry syrup which I have set up in May- is ready! The recipe (german) according which I prepared the syrup is this one . Sterilising the bottles was a bit tinkery but making the syrup itself is quite easy. It’s quite good and I like Elderberry syrup most as a spritzer. I offered the syrup also to my colleagues and I think they liked it as well and they enjoy it on the one or other hot summer day. I still remember my colleague’s comment when he smelled the glass for the first time: „It smells like summer“ – isn’t that a wonderful comment?


At the beginning of the month I did a „darning workshop“ with someone who was interested in darning. Her socks had holes and so we sat down together. She sat down with her socks and I did with my equipment (darning yarn, needles, darning egg) and then I explained the darning technique to her. I used one of my own socks to darn and eventually it made it back to life: Abby. Abby had two small holes but since they were so close to each other, I darned them in one go.

It had been a while since I had used the weave darning method and I didn’t know exactly how to anchor the thread at the end. Abby was darned in two colours, classic black and white, thus the darning looks like a chessboard. The second sock, Ally, continues to be holey since I didn’t find the motivation to work on her after the „workshop“ evening haha.

Showing/teaching someone else is always a small challenge. But it worked out and the „workshop“ was successful, eventually she was able to bring three socks back to life! Half jokingly and half seriously, I wonder if I could set up something real in these regards?

Other handicrafts

At the moment there’s nothing much concerning other handicrafts. Even though I felt like crocheting more animals after I did the dino , nothing has grabbed me. And knitting - nada. I’ve often heard that knitting is more of a winter hobby, and maybe that’s just the way it is with me this year. In contrast, I’m thinking of trying embroidery again. Aren’t shirts with such small prints or embroidery on a chest trendy these days? It’s not that easy to find such things so I thought about making them myself and gifting them to interested people.

Apart from the realisation that nothing happened here, I have nothing to share. I don’t know how useful it is to write that down then.


In case your wondering why I’m done with my monthly review so early: Thanks to my holiday week I was able to collect my thoughts earlier this time 😀