so during this lockdown, I have been picking things that I normally leave at the back of my wardrobe, wearing them, then altering and repairing them using the sashiko Japanese method. I had been doing a diy version of this for many years, fixing tears and holes with similar fabrics, or with vintage white cottons, using pretty lace ribbons to fix up. however, I managed to get onto a zoom online repair class with Toast, hosted by the lovely Molly Martin and its amazing how a one hour of tuition can make a difference, giving you the tips on how to do things properly and easily. its the one good thing out of this situation is that as things are taught online, there seem to be no limits to the number of people joining into a class, whereas normally there is such a small capacity in store, you can never get onto one of those courses, they are always booked up! I also did a darning mend class with Emily Settle at toast and this spurred me to darn all my socks and holes in jumpers!
last year, I met Esthea Evans in suffolk and inspired by her, I fixed up a few broken linens and repaired stuff. it really is very time consuming, but also very rewarding, especially if something is your favourite thing to wear, that holds lots of memories – so why not make a lovely feature of your repair, use a contrast colour thread or patch. Its also very eco, recycling and less wasteful! I also attempted to make some face masks out of some scraps of fabrics that I had! I have now realised that I should have made them double thickness, but I think that they are pretty. I had to source elastic online, and discovered James tailoring for sustainable ethical and essential tailoring supplies. other favourite sites to check out are merchant and mills, great simple patterns, one day I will attempt to make one of their dresses and Wild and Woolly for knitting – Maude recommended this to me. I also dyed a few of my white cottons that get very yellow around the neck or have stains that I can’t get out, like rust – I have never found a perfect dye colour, so usually mix the blues or bright pink with some of the dark grey – its all experimentation. a lovely book to get inspired by is by Clare Wellesley Smith, Slow Stitch – just think that repair and stitching is a mindful activity, which is what we all need to do at the moment.
tea and crafting also looks like a very interesting place – you can do a 3 hour workshop in embroidery, knit some gloves, make your own candles in a tea cup, sew a tote bag – basically, anything you might want to ever buy, you can learn how to make yourself!!