Mend It Better Hardcover – 13 Feb 2012
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Craft blogger Roach's first book is an excellent addition to any sewer's collection. Instead of presenting another plethora of patterns, she seeks to empower her readers by teaching the skills they'll need to mend nearly any piece of clothing, from ripped buttonholes to torn hems. While there's no substitute for learning in person, the publisher and author should be commended on creating a book with excellent, clear photographs that show, step by step, how to complete basic repairs. The chapter Stitch Smarts, which covers everything from the blind hem stitch to the little-known prick stitch, is particularly outstanding. Roach also presents a few patterns, most from other crafters, that provide inspiration towards more mending, less discarding of torn clothing. With the exception of the odd placement of two projects before instructions on the stitches required to make them, the book unfolds in an accessible manner; great layout (and lovely photos) provide eye candy. This is the rare sewing book that will be pulled off the shelf for reference again and again. Full color photos and illustrations, 13 patterns."
From the Back Cover
Wear Your Patches with PridePatch, hem, and darn new life into your torn and tired clothing. Kristin Roach's creative techniques, along with original mending ideas from guest crafters, will inspire you to adjust your hemlines, play with creative stitches, add pops of color with vintage buttons, apply boldly patterned patches, and so much more. Simple step-by-step instructions and basic sewing supplies are all you need to make your worn clothing better than ever. You'll love the fun and frugality of upcycling!See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The book itself is collection of `how to' chapters, such as how to deal with a broken zip or something as basic as sew up a hem. It's also full of ideas for never wasting anything and `re-purposing' items; its philosphy is very green:
"Make a rule for yourself, as you venture from thrift shop to yard sales, to never pass up a fine fabric just because it's not useful any longer for the purpose that it was intended. Good cloth is good cloth and often its next life is more exciting than its original".
But the chapter I was particularly drawn to was the one celebrating the evolution of sewing and the traditions of crafts being passed down through the generations, usually mother or matriarchal figure onto younger girls in the family. The author herself references her grandmother often and has dedicated this book to her, Phyllis Powell:
"It has been a long road from running around my grandma's sewing table to writing my own book. I went through a pretty punk phase of rejecting all things feminine when I was a teenager. Regrettably, during the years when I could have gained the most from my grandmother's lifetime of sewing experience, I was not the least bit interested. Duct tape was the only mending tool I would go near....After my grandparents passed away I was left with a void that was open and painful. I refused to let my grandma's sewing supplies be sold.Read more ›
The book starts with some simple tips and things to consider before fixing, followed by a guide to the equipment you'll need. The other chapters cover patches, pockets, hems, darning, fasteners & closures, zippers and decorative touches.
This is a bright colourful book with easy to follow instructions, colourful diagrams and pretty photographs throughout. There are also projects in the book for revamping or upcycling your clothing. An ideal guide for any fans of the make do and mend ethos.
This review originally appeared on The Sewing Directory.
It tells me all I need to know about patching and darning and how to achieve the best results.
The book is a wonderful source of information-things you may have learnt from your mum or gran but forgotten.
A nice tactile book to look at /touch as well.
My mum would have known all of this as she lived through the war and had to make do and mend. She would never have thrown out something just because it was a bit worn or needed a new buttonhole.
Get this and learn how to be more environmentally friendly and save money as well!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was bought as a present and I have no feedback on its usefulness but no reason to doubt its value.Published on 28 Sept. 2013 by Amazonite
This book is great for the beginner starting to sew and just what I needed for starting out. Highly recommend this to anyone.Published on 29 July 2013 by hannah o'callaghan
This book was just what I was looking for as I wanted to be able to mend my own clothes and my toddlers clothes. Read morePublished on 25 Feb. 2013 by Georgie