Visible Mending is for everyone, including the unvisual and the cack-handed and the non-sewer. It's experimental stitchery, mending improv, fun with thread. VM is arty and exuberant and colorful and silly. The only way to go wrong is to say: I can't. Of course you can! Read on for all you need to VM yourself.
NEEDLES. Of course you need a needle.
THREAD. Cotton thread for general sewing.
EMBROIDERY FLOSS. In heavy rotation for outlines.
YARN. Wool or acrylic, mending or knitting wool.
FABRIC. Collect pretty pieces for patching.
SCISSORS. Consider investing in good ones.
DARNING MUSHROOM. So handy, such a nice name.
PINCUSHION. For your pins of course.
EMBROIDERY HOOP. For tension management.
NEEDLE THREADER. I'm completely dependent.
THIMBLE. The icon of drudgery, but saves your skin.
SEAM RIPPER, rotary cutter, pocket shears: useful.
IRON. Ironing makes everything go smoother.
BUTTONS. Boring repairs & also embellishment.
In fact, the only equipment that is absolutely essential is needle and thread--though wool or floss in a contrasting color makes it easier to be visible. On the other hand, it's fun to collect bits of fabric and trimmings to enhance your mends, and, once you've established your mending pile, you may never again throw out an old garment--if it's not worth fixing, you can break it down for parts.
We're doing a section of detached neckline on a wool cardi, but this versatile mend is suitable for almost any tear, rip or unraveling on knitted or woven garments that's straight and narrow rather than gapey and holey.
We'll use a backstitch and a cross stitch: among the most useful in existence.
If you've never sewed before, you might want to practice the most basic stitch of all, running stitch, on a scrap of fabric first.
But if you don't want to, just don't. You can always unpick your work and start over.
Holly, Brian and Jonas at my Brooklyn Bee working their first VMs.