Start as you mend to go on

Last week we had the disappointment of having to replace something rather than mend it. Our ancient dvd player, which has been making strange noises for some time now, finally gave up the ghost. Mr Snail attempted to render first, and then second, aid, but the problem appeared to combine a mechanical issue and a software problem and it proved impossible to solve. As we have a large collection of dvds and no cable/satellite subscription, our dvd player gets a lot of use. So, we bit the bullet and bought a new one.

We were feeling a bit glum about this defeat, but then I reminded myself that in the past week I have done lots of successful mending and re-mending. The heel of one of my shoes came adrift and this was quickly reattached with Gorilla glue.

I darned a pile of holey socks over the weekend. Some of these have been repaired multiple times and in places there are darns over darns. I also took the opportunity to strengthen some patches that looked like they were wearing, but which did not have holes (yet).

And, finally I patched a hole in the pocket of a pair of Mr Snail’s jeans. I hate the fact that jeans of made of hard-wearing denim, but the pockets are often constructed some flimsy cotton, easily pierced by a key.

A sly repair – no one will know it’s there

And all this mending has made me realise that, despite making a new pair of slippers the other day, I just couldn’t bring myself to throw my old ones into the compost… so I’m going to do a big repair on those too. It is, however, going to take some work:

My very sorry old slippers

Have you mended anything recently? Or failed to mend something you would have liked to?

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48 Comments

  1. Eek! Those slippers look like a real challenge. Good luck!

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  2. Love the mend on the jeans pocket, while I haven’t mended anything this week I have set aside the school trousers Moo has gone through the knees on to make into school shorts come spring ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I hope your halo is shining! It certainly ought to be. I really dislike mending – so fiddly and nothing new at the end of it.

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    • It was one of the things that my 17 for 2017 goals helped me with… I may not have played any Scrabble in 2017, but I got into the habit of mending and I finally learned to enjoy darning (previously a detested activity).

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  4. I love the foxy mend, perfect. Those poor slippers, good luck with them. I love mending and haven’t anything to fix for ages. Our TV was getting decidedly tempremental about coming on, and we had to replace it. Mr E will attempt most things but not TVs. Enjoy your new DVD player.

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    • Our TV was also replaced only when the old one died… we have a rule about such things that they have to be dead before we can have a new one. Except the toaster, that got replaced when I finally lost patience with it’s random ability to toast bread

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  5. Jane Powell

     /  January 29, 2018

    Hi Jan – where do you get Gorilla glue from? I have two pairs of shoes with so far unmendable soles.

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    • I think I got mine from B&Q (possibly Carmarthen), but I’m pretty sure Screwfix also sell it. It really is a great glue – this is the first time I’ve used it for shoes, but other fixes have worked well.

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  6. I love to mend older things, since I become so attached to them. Good luck with that. In our house the dvd player gets a lot of use, and my husband seems to buy a rubbish one every few years instead of just buying a good one and keeping ot forever.

    As an aside, I was told that Gorilla glue is not best for shoes or canes since it dries by making bubbles of air inside it, which will then be crushed by weight over time. I had been going to use it for my cane but the cane man told me this–

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    • Interesting information, thank you. The shoe is hollow inside the heel, so I’m hoping it will do the trick by filling the gap with the glue bubbles, but I’ll see how it works and try something different if it comes apart… I have ‘Gorilla Super-Glue’ too!

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      • I hope it works fine. I just found it interesting to think about the science of it, and that indeed it would not suit my cane which gets usein the sense of repeated weight and impact on the ground.

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  7. I am heartened to read your post about mending things!!! Thank you for doing it and then writing about doing it. May you inspire a ripple of mending all around the planet!

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  8. I hope this isn’t going to be one of those jobs that require more time and yarn to ‘mend’ than to make a new pair….. sometimes the bullet just has to be bit. ๐Ÿ™‚ But still good luck with it! I spent last evening repairing Siddy’s toys. That is probably my most regular mending job and one that is so much a part of every weeks activities I don’t even think of it as ‘a job’ any more. I was looking at them and reflecting that some of those toys are getting close to the mending over mending state you mention and soon, like George Washington’s axe will no longer have an original part remaining. But he does love them! After the mending is finished said toys are thrown in the washing machine for a freshen up…..don’t puppy toys get smelly!!

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  9. Good luck with those slippers.

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  10. Joyce F in Kansas USA

     /  January 29, 2018

    My mend for the day might be considered an alteration, but it did include mending a small hole elsewhere on the shirt. My husband is not tall but usually buys Tall shirts in order for the sleeves to be long enough. For cold weather he favors the chamois cloth ones and bought quite a few. In spite of the Tall sizing after quite a few washings the sleeves are too short! Since he’s retired and these shirts are for wearing down in his workshop (sometimes greasy) I bit the bullet, removed a cuff and added 2 1/4 inches to the length of the sleeve. I happened to have fabric that pretty well matched this particular shirt and it doesn’t look bad at all. One down, ? to go. I’ve asked him to wear it and see how it goes before I tackle the next. Not a hard job really.

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  11. I can’t think of anything I’ve fixed or repaired this week but I do have to do some darning on my husband’s woollen jumper.
    My 2ร— great grandmother lived in the Welsh valleys and she use to take in socks to darn to earn money to buy food. One woman who supplied her with holey socks had ten sons and a husband working down the mines so my gg grandmother had a constant supply.

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  12. I had to mend a pair of the Husband’s work pants. They are cargo style, with pockets on the leg, closed with a flap. In this case, the press stud closure had torn out and the hole was now too large for a replacement. I patched the hole, removed the other half of the stud, sewed on a button and made a matching fabric loop to go over the button as the flap was too thick to make a buttonhole. Job done.
    I recycle mending patches out of all his work garments that have become too worn/torn/ holey/previously-mended/faded, so that repairs will match the original garment. There’s also the problem that our hot sun fades and rots fabric badly, and as his clothes are classed as safety gear (heavy duty, high visibility, sunblocking, etc), the fabric has to be up to a certain standard or it has to be replaced. I don’t like it, but safety is a good reason if you have to throw stuff out.

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    • Sounds like a beautiful repair. I hate it when studs and rivets get torn out of clothes because, as you describe, it’s a double repair – patch the hole and replace the closure somehow.
      No point in compromising on garments associated with safety… sometimes things simply have to go.

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  13. Like you, I try hard to mend rather than replace, especially darning socks where so much time and effort has gone into making them. This week I have also patched the crotch of my husbandโ€™s favourite trousers:)

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  14. Laurie Graves

     /  January 30, 2018

    No mending, but my husband did repair broken shades for the dining room. This not only prevented a household item from being thrown away, but it also saved us money. Double win!

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    • I love that sort of outcome – sometimes it’s so expensive to get something repaired, but when you can do it yourself and save money that is a joy.

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      • Laurie Graves

         /  January 30, 2018

        So true! I am not at all handy, but fortunately my husband is. For most repairs around the house, he can fix whatever is broken. Good for the environment and saves us a lot of money, too.

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  15. I admire your efforts but I would have said those slippers were beyond repair. I know you’re going to prove me wrong though ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  16. I have a couple pairs of my husbands jean pockets I need to tackle. I agree with the annoyance at the flimsy material jean pockets are made with.

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  17. Oh I’ve got a pile of mending that needs done, thank you for reminding me! I don’t know why I always put it off for so long, it feels so good to get something fixed by myself and carry on using it ๐Ÿ™‚

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