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

  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 everything

  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. If you are 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 embellishmends

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. 

Friends' first mends...

Holly, Brian and Jonas at my Brooklyn Bee a few years ago, working their first visible mends.