The bottom line: The thrill and joy of using my hands to turn a pair of jeans on the to-be-mended-pile into a pair of fully functioning jeans again.
For many years now, I’ve taken my worn-out jeans to the tailor, so I can continue using them. I always thought they got so worn out in the crotch because I my thighs aren’t distanced, but rather chafe on each other as I walk… but one time, dropping off three pairs of jeans for mending, he looked at me, and asked, kindness in his eyes, if I biked a lot? I responded Yes, you mean…? He nodded, saying, Oh yeah, biking a lot wears out your jeans in a jiffy!
Oh. The relief. It wasn’t my build, but rather the fact that I live in Malmö, a city perfect for biking, and I bike. A lot. Like, a LOT. 3000+ kilometers/year, easily. Which made so much sense, as my build hasn’t really changed at all, but the worn-out-jeans issue had only started around the time when I started biking more, and even more after I sold the car.
But now, one pair after another, I’d had to put the jeans on a to-be-mended-pile, when it wasn’t the crotch at issue, but rather holes, holes well within my ability to mend, and even more so, holes I wanted to mend experimenting with Sashiko, a Japanese visible mending technique I’ve been fascinated by for a long time, but never really got into…
But… if necessity is the mother of all invention I’d like to add that only having one pair of jeans to use, with the rest in varying stages of un-presentability, sure is the driving force for taking action.
So as I sat down to watch Orphan Black on the recommendation of my youngest, I grabbed a pair of jeans, two colors of embroidery floss (that I bought, for this specific purpose, some 2- years ago…), my recently bought embroidery hoops, a couple of cut-off-T-shirt arms I’d kept for just such an occasion (might come in handy, you know!), a needle and a pair of scissors and settled in.
The beginning of a hole mid-thigh and fraying hems of both legs as well as on one back-pocket is what I was dealing with. So I reused the frayed cuff from the backpocket to mend the hole in the leg, the ends of the snipped of T-shirt sleeves to line the fraying hems of the trouser-legs, and a cut off part from the T-shirt for the back-pocket. Playing around with free-hand embroidering, far from perfect, very obviously hand-made and most definitely visible, as I put the final touches to the back-pocket I was very pleased with myself.
It took me many hours (roughly 5 episodes of Orphan Black), but I did it, the hoops worked well, and I had fun experimenting with different patterns. This morning, I stepped into the newly mended pair of jeans, and liked what I saw. I will, for sure, get started on the other pairs of jeans as well, as I do need a few more pants to choose from in the mornings.
More than anything though, it strengthens my inclination to not waste resources, but to make the most of them. Mending my clothes, myself, or having the tailor do it, is but one way to make sure I do just that.