Mending my ways

National Recycle Week – Day 4

Today is all about not recycling… or at least not recycling YET.

Followers of Mr Snail’s blog will have read of his latest surgery on the wind-up/solar radio, thus further extending its already much-lengthened life. In order to keep up, I felt that I needed to do some mending myself this week too, so I investigated my collection of ‘clothes I am going to repair when I feel sufficiently motivated’ and gathered together my enthusiasm…

This week’s project: pyjamas. Six years old and split alongside a seam. I love these pyjamas, hence them wearing out!


That’s torn it!

Iron-on mending tape

Iron-on mending tape

I decided too that the time had come to invest in some mending tape. Sadly it’s not magic – that is it doesn’t do the mending for you… for that you need a mending fairy and I can’t find one of those for sale on the internet. To to get the best results, some sewing is required, but basically you iron the stuff onto the back of your fabric and it strengthens that area of your garment and holds it together. It doesn’t work for drapy fabrics, because the adhesive makes it rather stiff (although it might soften with washing) but it does result in a robust repair.

My pyjamas are purple, but I couldn’t put my hand on any purple fabric, so I went with some contrasty red, from which I cut a small piece that I stitched behind the tear, tucking away the raw edges of the original fabric. I trimmed of the excess of the red, placed the tape behind it and applied the iron for 5 seconds, with a cloth between iron and mending tape. And, voila! my pyjamas get to live another day night:

It’s not stylish, but it’s functional and it means that I’ve kept another item out of the recycling bin for a bit longer.

Leave a comment


  1. I use old pyjamas to patch slightly younger ones and then they get cut up into dishcloths and cleaning cloths. Some in my cleaning cupboard go back about 30 years or more. It’s great to get your reminders about re-using before recycling.

    • I’m thinking I might put some of my thinnest and most used rags cotton into the bottom of my new raised bed, where they can slowly turn into soil along with the paper and cardboard I have been collecting recently, and the horse muck I have been offered, and the grass clippings that my neighbours are trained to give me and the moss that a friend is keeping for me…. goodness I seem to be setting up my own recycling facility here!!

  2. Please cut off the buttons first and all the pretty bits. I can those pjs as Christmas cards and decorations.

  3. Decent mending is a dying art form, dear Snail, so not only are you recycling, you are also supporting the arts…. or something. I think everyone should be taught to darn at the same time as they are taught to use a keyboard these days.

    • My nan taught me to darn, but I’m not convinced I’m very good at it! Still, I try πŸ˜‰

      • My mother was a demon at recycling, mending, repurposing, etc. One of my most abiding childhood memories is being forced to sit there while she frogged a whole worn out jumper, winding the kinked wool onto my outstretched arms. It would later be wound onto a wooden chopping board, dunked in warm soapy water, rinsed and left to dry, by which time all the kinks had come out and it could be used again. I believe I wore the same wool three or four times in different guises, getting smaller each time as the worn sections were removed!

  4. nettyg

     /  June 25, 2015

    A pretty mend. You could extend the mending next time in boro fashion, the Japanese art of mending, literally translated as rags or scraps. You can use a couple of fabrics for your patch, loosely layered, then add some nice running stitches to the patch and this makes it very strong. Next time there’s a tear, add another fabric patch over the top, next to etc. It becomes an art form. Your red patch is a good boro start. Here’s a link, there’s some history then pics of some jeans the author has boro’d.
    Then you won’t have to use that horrible unnatural mending tape, hope it’s not scratchy on soft skin!

  5. Hoorah!!!! Well done! ❀

  6. I just patched my bathrobe in similar fashion! I LOVE my black watch plaid flannel robe and now it’ll probably last the rest of my life!

  7. I love mending, always have. It’s quite satisfying giving a loved garment new life. Hurray for your favorite PJs.

  8. What an educational post. Now I know I can put fabric, cottons, at the bottom of my raised beds. I have learned about the art of mending and so much more. I’d be putting patches on those sweet flannel pj’s too. I love flannel. Thanks.


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