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Read on to see one of the techniques featured in the book as well as a comment to win book giveaway…

Hello, Burdastyle! I’m Jenny, and Meg was kind enough to let me share a little about my new book Visible Mending with you.

But before I do, let’s just get it out in the open—mending? That’s a chore for sewists, not a fun or exciting endeavor! I used to think so too. But I think there are two things you need to have in order to be creative: skills and ideas. When you try to invisibly mend, the goal is to hide your stitching. Although that takes skill, it’s not ideal for inspiring ideas. But when you visibly mend, your skills and ideas go hand in hand, and soon you’re creating something beautiful, or funky, or elegant, or wacky … but something that’s truly one-of-a-kind. Because no one’s repairs will be alike, and no one will mend something quite like you.

Visible-Mending-projects NEW
Examples from Visible Mending

In this guide to giving worn clothing and fabric items new life, you’ll discover not only inspiration and eye candy (35 examples and 150+ photos), but multiple how-to methods to experiment with—Japanese boro stitching, embroidery, patching, darning, and machine mending.


In a world of fast fashion and throwaway quality, visible mending offers the opportunity to step away from that world and put love, thought, and care into pieces we truly treasure.

Meg asked if I would share a visible-mending tutorial from the book with you, and I’m excited to do just that today!


Most of us probably think of darning as a way to repair socks and sweaters—knits only. But did you know that you can use darning on woven fabrics too? Here’s one example from Visible Mending:

This hole in a pair of boyfriend jeans is darned with variegated wool sock yarn and framed with three rows of backstitches

I find that darning on wovens is even easier than darning on knits, and it goes quickly too. The key is to space your rows of stitching very close together. The closer together your rows of darning, the stronger your mend will be.

The project below is an old button-up flannel shirt of my husband’s, where there’s a growing hole on the sleeve.


Here’s how I darned the hole.

1. Back the mendable area with wash-away stabilizer (I like Sulky’s Solvy sticky-back, water-soluble stabilizer) to hold the fibers in place for darning.


2. Thread your needle with a long strand of your chosen yarn or thread. As with knits, I like to
use a strand that is extra-long to ensure I’ll get from the beginning to the end of my darning without needing a second strand. (In this example I’m using a size 5 pearl cotton thread.)

Instead of knotting your thread or yarn, leave a long tail to weave in when your darning is complete to avoid bumpy knots on the inside of your clothing.

3. Anchor a few stitches on one side of the hole on the “healthy” part of the fabric. It’s important to anchor your stitches to the healthy part of the item so your darning stitches have a sturdy foundation for long-term support. These stitches can be decorative or simply practical—up to you.

4. Insert your needle from the wrong side of your work and pull your thread or yarn through to the right side. Carry your needle to the top of the hole and insert it just beyond the hole, making sure you catch the healthy part of the fabric. Pull the thread or yarn through to make the long stitch taut but not so tight or loose that it distorts the original shape of the hole.

5. Turn your work and sew in the opposite direction the same way, very close to your first row of stitches. Keep turning your work and continue to sew closely spaced rows of running stitches and long stitches that carry over the hole. When you’ve covered the hole with long stitches and reached the other side of the hole, anchor your stitches to the healthy part of the item.


6. Turn your work 90 degrees. Begin to weave your thread or yarn over and then under the first long strand. Turn your work. On the next row, again, keeping stitches closely spaced, weave your thread or yarn under and then over the next long strand. Keep alternating weaving patterns from row to row until you’ve reached the other end of the hole. Anchor your darning to the healthy part of the item to finish.


If you like, you can frame the darn with backstitches or other embroidery stitches. Below is something I tried but I decided that the results were underwhelming, so I took out the backstitches. Just an example of other things you can do.


7. Weave in the beginnings and ends of your thread tails on the wrong side of your work. Swish your project in water to dissolve the stabilizer and you’re done!


Here’s another example of darning woven fabrics—a mend to another one of my husband’s shirts:

I used ¼" strips of cotton quilting fabric to darn a hole in the elbow

Visible Mending is half how-to book, half inspiration guide. My goal is to provide a technique book for people who have never sewn before and an inspiration book for people who have been sewing all their lives. In the book, I’ve created an experiment just for you. When clothing or other textiles become worn and torn, think of it as an opportunity for creativity. Follow along in the book and you’ll soon be giving a new life to items you might otherwise throw away, all while letting your creativity take center stage.

Embrace the imperfect. Make do and mend. Repair it and wear it. I hope you’ll join me on this fun sewing adventure!

Follow Jenny at ReMade Nation and on Instagram.

Comment to win one of three copies of Visible Mending. Comment your answer to the following question before July 31st 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be contacted August 1st – and this giveaway is open to everyone!

Which of your sewing skills might you use with Visible Mending?

• I know all about patches and embroidery.

• I can sew a running stitch like nobody’s business.

• All of the above: boro, patches, embroidery, darning, machine work—I’m ready to mend!


  • Missing

    Nov 6, 2018, 04.12 PMby sslcresult2019

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    Oct 5, 2018, 09.33 AMby Sachin kumar

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  • Kanzashiflowerpinavatar_large

    Aug 2, 2018, 05.16 PMby vegan

    All of the above: boro, patches, embroidery, darning, machine work—I’m ready to mend! I love the idea of visible mending! I’ve been putting patches on holes, and I’ve darned one sock.

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    Aug 2, 2018, 03.02 PMby nyphertiti

    I really want to start incorporating embroidery into my sewing projects. Mending seems like a great place to start.

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    Aug 2, 2018, 02.51 AMby borderlizzie

    What a great way to keep your clothing wearable longer! I am going to try this.

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    Aug 1, 2018, 08.08 PMby elisabetsy

    Darning and embroidery are skills I would use! Would like to practice patching too.

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    Aug 1, 2018, 12.27 PMby hase

    All of the above: boro, patches, embroidery, darning, machine work—I’m ready to mend! I just love being able to mend my favourite clothes and to be able to keep them that much longer. I also love the feeling of saving earth’s resources and the environment, i.e., less going into landfill.

    This book is perfect inspiration to help me with my goals.

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    Aug 1, 2018, 03.09 AMby Tina Alfaro

    I can sew a running stitch like nobody’s business. I’ve always been fascinated by exposed mending.

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    Aug 1, 2018, 02.11 AMby scullylam

    I know all about patches and embroidery. But want to learn more. By fixing clothes instead of tossing out, that means less waste and less money used for more clothes. So this is a pretty great tutorial and the book looks like a definite to add to my sewing book collection.

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    Jul 31, 2018, 07.49 PMby sockmonkery

    I’m pretty good at darning knits, but I would love to learn more about patches and boro. What a neat book!

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    Jul 31, 2018, 05.52 PMby MsMyree

    This is my first time seeing and hearing of this. I love the idea enough, that I’d tear an old pair of jeans, just to mend something cool. Thanks for allowing this to be shared with us!

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    Jul 31, 2018, 04.58 PMby emkaysews

    To answer the question: All of the above: boro, patches, embroidery, darning, machine work—I’m ready to mend!

    My local chapter of the American Sewing Guild (Northern Virginia) is sponsoring a Make*Sew*Mend workshop for sewists of all ages, and one of the skills we will be teaching or assisting with is mending rips and tears. This book would be such an awesome asset to teaching those skills and getting others interested in the art and life skill of sewing!

    I have a sashiko book already, so this would be a nice collaboration—-and maybe to even propose as a give-away of our own!

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    Jul 31, 2018, 04.49 PMby dmattson

    I mend with patches and embroidery— I like to do sashiko stitching over patches.

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    Jul 31, 2018, 03.26 PMby hb92647

    I have been mending clothes forever Know a guy who sells damaged high end clothes Most of the time I use embroidery to cover the damage but also patches and plain stitch

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    Jul 31, 2018, 02.41 PMby lily73578

    I love to embroider and would love to try some visible mending.

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    Jul 31, 2018, 02.22 PMby nangoat

    I love to embroider and I love to play with applique! I’d love to work on Patches As Embellishment!

    These are soooo cooooool!

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    Jul 31, 2018, 02.12 PMby marissamakes

    Oh, how this book makes my heart smile! I have a small pile of my family’s jeans, tees, and PJs in need of mending. Jenny’s post gives me hope that with my skills (strong at embroidery, OK with a machine), I can get those pieces back into the rotation again!

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    Jul 31, 2018, 02.08 PMby Jillrodeoangel

    All of the above: boro, patches, embroidery, darning, machine work—I’m ready to mend! I have so many uses for this technique!

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    Jul 31, 2018, 01.41 PMby setteraspen

    I’m a sock knitter that has mended socks but would have fun mending all clothing

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    Jul 31, 2018, 01.35 PMby soidee

    I’m a big fan of embroidery and I have a pile of holed shirts that I need to upcycle because they have stil a lot to give.

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    Jul 31, 2018, 01.03 PMby notagain

    All of the above: boro, patches, embroidery, darning, machine work—I’m ready to mend! I love this look and I love where Jenny has taken it. Some pieces of clothing are worth the effort, particularly when done so beautifully.

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    Jul 31, 2018, 12.50 PMby syrainey

    I am great with a running stitch and know something about embroidery. This book makes mending look like fun.

  • Pinkiejaneavatar_large

    Jul 31, 2018, 12.49 PMby pinkiejane

    All of the above: boro, patches, embroidery, darning, machine work—I’m ready to mend! I recently found the practice of Wabi sabi and love the look of mended and remended clothing. So much character! I’m looking forward to the sustainable practice of having a basket of mending to pass the time and an artful garment to wear as a result!
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    Jul 31, 2018, 12.24 PMby willowtower

    All of the above: boro, patches, embroidery, darning, machine work—I’m ready to mend! I have always just use the darning stitch on my machine, using matching thread. So this is very inspiring. I never thought of weaving.

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    Jul 31, 2018, 12.07 PMby paulachipman

    Wow this is great—I’m intrigued with the use of yarn. Almost makes me want to deliberately put a hole in some jeans just to try it out! So artsy!!

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    Jul 31, 2018, 11.36 AMby LizzieBinNC

    I am an “all of the above” girl, but I can see me mostly using my embroidery skills with this. It looks beautiful and reminds me of the Japanese tradition of glueing broken pottery with gold, which makes broken beautiful and useful again

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    Jul 31, 2018, 11.14 AMby penny6551

    I can sew a running stitch like nobody’s business but I’d like to move beyond and learn the other techniques
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    Jul 31, 2018, 11.06 AMby raku9

    Oh this book looks great. Can’t wait to try some of this out. I have a pair of jeans that have a hole and would love to use one of these ideas for mending. Haven’t done much before now but for sure will do more. Thanks

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    Jul 30, 2018, 11.05 PMby Holdendog1

    I know all about mending and embroidery and how to sew a running Stitch. that said I’ve still never learned to darn and darn if it isn’t on my to do list;-). I love the way these repaired clothes end up being works of art once they’re finished. I have what I affectionately refer to as my “grandpa sweater” that is in desperate need of repair. I know this book would inspire me to give it new life.

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    Jul 30, 2018, 07.47 PMby Ilsedg

    I can sew a running stitch like nobody’s business, and I would love to learn all these new techniques.
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