Getting Started

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. 



These are the essentials, in order of need. More details here. 

  Visible mending needles   NEEDLES. Of course you need a needle. 

  visible mending cotton sewing thread   THREAD. Cotton thread for general sewing. 

  visible mending embroidery floss   EMBROIDERY FLOSS. In heavy rotation for outlines.

  visible mending wool and acrylic yarn   YARN. Wool or acrylic, mending or knitting wool. 

  visible mending fabrics    FABRIC. Collect pretty pieces for patching.

  Visible mending dressmaking scissors   SCISSORS. Consider investing in good ones. 

  Visible mending darning mushroom   DARNING MUSHROOM. So handy, such a nice name.

  visible mending pincushions   PINCUSHION. For your pins of course. 

  visible mending embroidery hoops   EMBROIDERY HOOP. For tension management. 

  visible mending needle threaders   NEEDLE THREADER. I'm completely dependent. 

  visible mending thimbles   THIMBLE. The icon of drudgery, but saves your skin. 

  visible mending seam ripper and other cutting tools   SEAM RIPPER, rotary cutter, pocket shears: useful.

  visible mending always use the iron   IRON. Ironing makes everything go smoother.

  visible mending buttons   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. 

A First VM

Exes On A Rip

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. 


Come back soon for the rest of this tutorial!

And many more...  











Holly, Brian and Jonas at my Brooklyn Bee working their first VMs.