Visible Mending Experimentation

I've always loved seeing pictures and posts about visible mending. Rather than small invisible stitches and patches which are meant to blend with the fabric which is being mended, I much prefer the other (more visible) styles of mending. 

I love the look of the traditional Japanese style of boro mending and often watch tutorials on YouTube (just for fun). Japanese boro refers to the practice of reworking and repairing textiles through piecing, patching and stitching in order to extend their use.

Quilters have taken this a step further by using bright (unmatched) fabrics with big bold stitches using thick thread to make a feature of the tear in the item. There are a lot of pictures on Pinterest and Instagram and they're so super creative and inspired.

This month, our Aurifil Artisan challenge is to share some visible mending. I've never tried it myself before, but am keen to join this challenge. I got a pair of my daughters jeans that have some holes in them and which she no longer wears. The holes aren't from wear and tear - rather, they were purposefully placed in the name of fashion. 

I got some pretty floral print fabric to patch in the holes, some very pretty Aurifil 12 weight cotton threads in a variety of colours, a nice sharp embroidery needle and off I started.

I cut the piece of fabric approximately an 1" all the way around, larger than the hole. I then placed this on the inside of the jeans leg along with a larger piece of parlan and fused it in place. The parlan will give it extra strength for the stitching as well as for wearing. I also basted the patch in place and will take out those big stitches when it's all finished. 

Another step which I experimented with, which I suppose isn't necessary in the grand scheme of things, was to sew around the hole with invisible thread. In my mind, this should stop if fraying any further. 

Through the first couple of rows, I used a single strand of the cotton thread but it didn't really "pop" as much as I'd have liked. For the next length of thread, I doubled it up and am much happier with this look.

I've almost finished this one jeans leg and have a couple of holes to patch up in the other leg. It's quite a slow and enjoyable process and I'm looking forward to seeing them done. 

I may be lucky and my daughter will wear them again - even if only for a photo shoot.


  1. That worked really well. xx

  2. Clever and gorgeous mending!

  3. The 'patch' looks great! Hopefully your daughter will wear the pants again.

  4. Looks great! I love that 'big stitching' is a technique that carries from mending to patchwork and back again. I think your daughter may very quickly decide those jeans are a valuable asset in her wardrobe!

  5. Love it!! I bet she would re wear them again now - they are so cute!

  6. A new fashion trend in the making.

  7. Love the mending. I can’t wait until I have something to mend.


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