Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mend It Better: Book Review

You asked me to tell you what I thought when I was done reading Mend It Better by Kristin Roach. 

Here are the ideas from the book I want to remember:
1.  turning holes in a sweater into flowers by beading around them.
2.  covering up stains on children's shirts with appliques and decorative stitching.
3.  fix holes in socks with crochet instead of darning - the directions for starting crochet on any piece of fabric look very good.  I have a friend who raves about the usefulness of crochet for this reason.  I want to get serious about learning to crochet soon.
4.  patching holes in coat linings instead of relining the coat, especially using blanket stitch to decorate the edges. This can be a hobo look that is not really my thing, though.

The book covers all aspects of mending and does pull in contributions from other people.  However, there are three intriguing garments photographed with no attribution or explanation.  That annoyed me.  I post the photos here.  Aren't the clothes neat?  I want to know more about them!

The price on the back of the book is $18.95.  I'm sticking with my Sewing Stitch and Textile Bible for individual stitches, my Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing for techniques, and the library for whizzy new books.


jenny_o said...

I prefer crocheting to knitting - it seems easier and faster. Hope you like it once you get started.

Lisa said...

I have an issue with #4 - if your lining or whatever is torn, it may be because it's thinning out; so how big should the patch be? Sewing good fabric onto worn fabric isn't always a good idea.

The crochet-mend for socks sounds quite intriguing!

Hazel said...

I've found a few books like that recently. They sound as though they should be exactly what you want- and then turn out to be all style and no substance. One lovely looking book that was well-reviewed had ideas for making things around the home. Once you took out pointless stuff like sticking Japanese tape on dolly pegs and obvious-seen-a-million-before projects like covering notebooks with fabric,though, not a lot was left. Glad I didn't buy it.

I'm intrigued by the crocheting as well. I have to learn to crochet this year, as I want to make a blanket, a storage basket for yarn, a few other things I haven't found yet and now this!

Margo said...

Lisa, you're absolutely right. And the book is clear that you must put a patch onto sturdy parts of the garment, not onto weakened stuff. I don't think the book showed a "before" with the holes in the coat lining, so I don't know what the issue was.

My mother-in-law replaced a coat lining for me once, bless her heart. I'm not sure I could do it.

Sew Blessed Maw said...

I loved the photos of the red dress with the lace up buttons..What a shame they didn't share anything about it..
Happy reading..

Anonymous said...

Do the children mind to hobo look (appliques and decorative stitching over stains), or is it just play clothes? Seems the hobo look would be hidden on a coat lining but not external stains.

Margo said...

Anon, my son adores his appliqued truck patches on his pants' knees. Other than that, I haven't really patched their clothes. When their clothes have gotten stained, I have put my energy into getting the stain out, or if the item was old to begin with, I cut it into rags. That's why covering stains with appliques was a new idea to me. I think it could be very fun and totally unique.

Also, my children are aged 4 and 7. I am still guiding their taste and paying for their clothes, so I only give them limited choices in their wardrobes.

BLD in MT said...

I have this book from my library right now!

It is great and I am quite keen to pickup crochet again just for this purpose myself!

Sara said...

Thanks for the review, Margo! Perhaps I will interlibrary-loan it. I should definitely implement #2 around here.

A said...

Like that last photo--very Wonder Woman like! I'd love to see you in that top :)


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