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Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  337 ratings  ·  62 reviews
Mending Matters explores sewing on two levels: First, it includes more than 20 hands-on projects that showcase current trends in visible mending that are edgy, modern, and bold—but draw on traditional stitching. It does all this through just four very simple mending techniques: exterior patches, interior patches, slow stitches, darning, and weaving. In addition, the book addresse
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Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Abrams
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  337 ratings  ·  62 reviews


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Reading Cat
Feb 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: self-improvement
When I read a review here (by, I think, someone named Kathryn), I knew I had to review this book. The review I'm referring to dismisses the book as 'precious' and aimed at 'middle class women', implying both of these things are bad things.

This reviewer, to be brief, is everything wrong with society today. I suspect this reviewer would find a book about racism similarly contemptible if it was also aimed at white people. Newsflash, dingbats: the best way to spread the message is to aim it at the
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Julie
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
My mum taught me how to darn socks using a wooden 'mushroom' tool and to sew patches on my clothes to extend their life as an economic necessity. Additionally, I recall that in the 1970s that there were iron-on patches you could use to patch jeans. One of the phrases that stays with me from my childhood is "make do and mend," so I was intrigued to come across this book. I love the illustrations and chuckle that it has become fashionable to do something that I have taken for granted for so long.
Beverly
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book cover to cover and found myself nodding "yes" as I savored Katrina Rodabaugh's beautiful writing. Filled not only with lessons on how to mend or create lovely projects from worn out clothing, there are excellent essays about Katrina's slow fashion path and beliefs as well as micro essays from many of the folks I admire in the slow fashion movement. The pictures are gorgeous, and the tutorials are clear. I am a fan of Katrina's, and I am thrilled to have her lovely book on my ref ...more
Rachel C.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Rachel C. by: Maria
Shelves: non-fic, subj-fashion
A bit hippie-dippie in tone but the basic technique tips are good. Patch with the same type of fabric, size the patch generously for strength, and make a virtue of necessity, i.e. visible, sometimes high contrast repairs.

I'm not sure how much of this I will actually be doing since I generally hate hand-stitching but there are some gorgeous examples of sashiko on Pinterest. I’ve also seen pairs of vintage jeans with fantastic patches and colorful stitching. I’m really drawn to the per
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Jo
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-read
I loved the photos and the idea behind the book. The essays got a bit repetitive and were rather vague - more inspiration than anything. I will try some of the techniques. I may end up buying the book to add to my small collection of sashiko and Japanese textile books.
Eva
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Turns out, I'm not that into visible mending.
RH Walters
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to follow directions for stunning mending methods, and overall inspiration to keep patching things up. I hope she keeps writing.
Kathryn
Jan 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019-read
What a precious upper-middle-class subject -- mending. It would have been more useful to write a book about how to sew. The instructions for her patches are excruciating, her essays are totally first the world views of someone who apparently has all the time in the world, and the supplies she recommends are sooo precious. Sashiko thread, anyone?
Angela
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm inspired to get mending and thinking much more deeply about the ecology of clothing consumption.
Carly Palacios
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I really enjoyed this book! It's a super fast read, as much of the book is projects, but the author also includes her own philosophies and slow fashion process. She also includes tidbits of knowledge and slow fashion advice from other artists/activists, etc. If you've done any mending before, you're probably familiar with most of process behind mending but she has lots of tips and tricks that she shares that really help illuminate the process (think how to mend crotch rips).

I really love the mi
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Laurla2
-meh on the actual mending ideas shown. nice pictures, but they were all kind of the same fix over and over.

"start where you are. use what you have. do what you can." - arthur ashe
"its better to make an imperfect repair than not to make a repair at all. just begin. be gentle with yourself. put aside your inner perfectionist and have fun with these projects."
"be certain that the thread you're using is strong enough for repairs." (nice words, no further explanation on HOW t
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Amiee
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I very much enjoyed the biographical portions of this book. I'm in my ninth month of "no new clothes" as a personal resolution, and she gave me good ideas for how to honor this and expand upon it in the future. I think fast fashion is a very concerning trend that's ruining lives and the planet, so it felt good to get some guidance on how to carry on with my quest to be better about this aspect of my life. The quotes are really good and inspiring.

The mending portion... was okay. It gave a good o
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Irene Adler
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Love, love, love, love, love this book.

I'm a fan of Katrina Rodabaugh and I've been following this book to publication. Really wanted to get my hands on a copy and now don't want to return it the library. So I'm probably going to buy a copy, even if that isn't sustainable.

Which is what this book is all about - caring for clothing so it lasts a very long time and gains greater character along the way. Thinking about how you consume fashion and slowing it down. Thinking abo
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Allison
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Illustrated step-by-step instructions are important, and this book provides them. Compared to other books on this topic, the projects were mostly practical, which I greatly appreciated. (Specifically, many books cover knee and elbow patches--this one also covers seat of the pants and inner-thigh repairs.) Visible mending can be a beautiful art; invisible mending is a crucial skill also covered here. I gave this book a particularly high rating because it is much more than a craft book, but really ...more
Ligaya
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book inspiring, but the author should have been edited a bit more as her gentle message for Slow Fashion got very repetitive. I enjoyed the 1-page essays from others in the Slow Fashion movement, so I got other perspectives besides the author's. Having gone on a clothes fast myself, I know the change it can instill. (I made it to September when I was derailed by an unbelievable party dress sale - but I only purchased 3 items the entire year.) But I picked this book up because of the ...more
Alanna Jane
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
INCREDIBLY important, inspiring and thoughtfully constructed book! The mending tutorials are easy enough that anyone can follow them. The photos are vibrant, beautiful and inspire me to mend my most joy-bringing clothes right now. But this book is so much more as well. It is a call-to-arms for the Slow Fashion movement, with so many reasons why. Interspersed within its pages, this book also contains a thoughtful collection of contributions from all sorts of voices from Slow Fashion. It’s rare th ...more
Marsha
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The text often has a preachy, look-at-me-being-good kinda feel. While the projects are interesting and make me think about the possibilities, they are also very limited. Not everyone wears denim (shocking, I know) and not everyone has ready access to thrifted clothing made from natural fibers. It would have been nice to see a greater variety in projects and possibilities. That said, mending is fun and creative, and I would love to see more people attempting it.
April
Checked this out from the library hoping to find a fix for my back pockets tearing away from the butt of my favorite jeans. Luckily there is a coat pocket project in this book that explains a fix! So that's great! But everything else about this book is also great - not just tutorials but also her explanations of why she chooses mending and the different ways to go about it. The cover has a bit of embossing and is a nice hardback, too. It would hold up to a home library, I think.
Cat Leonard
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book changed the way I look at clothing and shopping will never be the same. Mending as an art form and mindfulness in clothing choices are two things I never pondered before reading Mending Matters. Now I will carefully consider natural fibers, domestic sources, construction practices, and the fine art of repurposing before investing in new clothes. This book would make a wonderful gift for anyone!
Krista Park
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book in its presentation of the idea of mending as an art-practice and a philosophical practice. The presentation is clear and approachable for beginners, but also suggests more advanced directions. And, in her final FAQ section, she clearly welcomes practices diverging from hers. It's a high-value read.
Jennie
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love this book.

With the ripped jean trend popping up everywhere this book is refreshing and creative. I can feel the stitching on the pages and love the hand sown look.

I'm not very handy with a needle in thread but this book has inspired me to be.

Get lost in lovely sea of blue, stitches and personal looks.

Highly recommended.
Karlie Allgeyer
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
More than just a “how-to” book. I loved and actually enjoyed reading the authors take on slow fashion and the other little excerpts from slow fashions “icons”, if you will. I love the in depth explanation, acknowledgement, and credit she gives to Japanese culture for Boro and Shashiko. This book was much more than I expected and I’m so glad I have it to reference!
Tricia Greig
After borrowing this book from the library a few times I knew when I got a job at the bookstore that I needed to purchase my own copy.
I have read this book cover to cover and also dip into it whenever I have a mending job at hand. My mother taught me to mend and this book reminds me why these skills are so important.
Maria
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was expecting a projects-only based book, like all other craft/sewing books, and was pleasantly surprised that it was much more than that. The writing was beautiful and thoughtful. The author/artist takes you through her journey of how she came to love mending and the resources that brought her to where she is.
Karen Calhoun
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Lovely photos of mending mainly with denims or linens and sashiko thread. Going an entire year without buying any new clothes seems a bit extreme to me, but this book did influence me to reconsider exactly when a piece of clothing was so worn it needed to be given away. I think there is more stylish mending in my future.
Jody
Aug 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to
I enjoyed reading the artists perspectives but as someone who has been sewing since at least since the 5th grade I skipped over the actual instructions. I feel like I didn't need the details because they were second nature to me at this point. It's a good book for some one with less sewing experience than I.
Lisbet
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great book for anyone interested in Slow Fashion, living with and on less, reducing their environmental impact, and extending the life of their clothes.

The author gives detailed, step-by-step instructions, accompanied by clear photos.

My favorite mending book.
Monica
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, crafty
Really beautiful and inspirational book that wound up being about so much more than techniques for fixing your ripped jeans. I am inspired to be much more mindful about my clothing acquisition and disposal habits. And mend more.
Rebecca
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book as part of my research for my new body of work. Katrina takes the reader on a journey into her project Make, Thrift, Mend. Beautifully written and the mending projects are easy to understand and use. Highly recommended.
Brittany  Noel
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a book with a good message about slow fashion and the importance of mending. I would have liked to see a wider variety of repairs as I felt all that were given were really just a repeat of each other.
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Katrina Rodabaugh is an artist, writer, and crafter working across disciplines to explore environmental and social issues through traditional craft techniques. Her artwork, writing, and designs have appeared in various galleries, magazines, theaters, craft fairs, and alternative art venues. She's received artist awards from the Vermont Studio Center, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Puffin Foundation ...more