So, fashion revolution week is over and now it is May. Jen Gale of A Sustainable Life started this wonderful initiative on Facebook, “Mend it May”, meaning that we devote some time to repair broken things during May, increasing their life and reducing our impact on the environment.

I have a lot of broken things, especially favourite clothes. The last two years I have participated in Mend it May and mended lots of things. Seeing other peoples mending solutions and learning new mending techniques is a great motivator to get started on the mending pile (which is kind of fun once you get on it)!

Even if I won’t be able to mend one thing every day as I have done previous years, now that I have a blog I can go into more detail on each mend! I have some really torn up things to see if I can save. I thing one mend a week is an appropriate ambition this year. First up: A bedsheet that the dog ripped while trying to dig a hole in the bed. (?!…dogs…)

Ripped bedsheet.


I read about the method on Instagram (but can’t find it now), “Lagningsaktivisterna” often shares ideas on how to mend things and I found it though them.

You begin by cutting a rectangular, preferrably square, piece off the damaged area (with generous margins to the hole), perfectly on grain. Then use the cut off part as pattern for the patch (also perfectly on grain), adding a double seam allowance. And then cut into the corners, half way through the “double seam allowance” of the hole you just cut.  The last step, lining everything up and stiching the patch on, one side at a time, without catching any fabric that shouldn’t be caught, is the most difficult one. However, some steam might help if a little bit of puckering occurrs.

I cheated a little to make things easier for myself: I drew on the sheet where to cut and where to sew and also sew a seam with smaller stiches where the mending seamline would be before I cut. I then used that seam as a guide for how far into the corners to cut, as well as a guide for lining it up with the patch seamline.


Marking up the cutting and sewing lines.

Making a patch.


This method, compared to the sewn-on patch with sides folded in and ironed before sewing, results in one less layer on the border of the mend, giving it a smoother transition between old and new material. This lessens the risk of the mend breaking close to the seam, and if you are careful with pattern matching you can obtain an almost invisible mend. However, even if you do a visible mend, you need to be very precise both when cutting and sewing, to keep a smooth surface and avoid puckers and folds.

This was my first attempt using this method, and I found it awesome! Fun to do and gives a nice result. My “cheating” marking and staystitching probably has something to do with the nice result. We still have to road-test it for a couple of nights before deciding on whether to use it on more bedsheets, but I will certainly use it on other mends again!


Mended bedsheet, right side.


Mended bedsheet, wrong side. Raw edges finished with a zig-zag stitch.

Categories: Mend it May

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