Kirsten Pudas is encouraging people to pick up a needle and thread and repair the holes in their clothes rather than toss their worn garments in the trash.
She is hosting her third Gosh Darn It Mending Night at the Yarrow Ecovillage this Friday, and is doing it both for sustainability and social reasons.
“Mending is this act of not buying new things, keeping things you already have and repairing them so you can still use them,” Pudas said. “I wanted to not just bring people together who like mending, but to also encourage people who don’t normally mend to come and learn how.”
Mending is different than sewing. With mending, there’s a bit more information you need to be aware of because you’re taking something that’s broken and you’re fixing it. If you simply sew the hole shut, the fabric bunches and it makes an ugly scar, she explained.
Mending can be anything from hemming pants to patching holes, or fixing zippers to repairing buttons and snaps.
She lives with the mindset that items you bring into your life can be repaired and can stay with you. You can even make them more beautiful and unique than they were when you purchased them.
There’s visible and invisible mending. With invisible mending, the aim is to find fabric or yarn that matches the garment and fix the hole through sewing, knitting or weaving.
Visible mending is more artistic where you “embrace the imperfections,” Pudas said. It’s like a “love letter” to mending.
That’s where you “make things more beautiful than they were before through mending.”
Her 10-year-old daughter, Mirabel Breckenridge, is doing just that on a pair of her jeans.
A bright blue piece of fabric with white polka dots sits in a triangular hole in one of the knees. She is using sunny yellow thread and embroidering lines around the patch. For the other knee, she’ll be using opposite colours – a yellow patch and blue thread.
There was a lot of “skill-sharing” that took place at the first two mending nights which took place in the fall where people shared their techniques and tips.
Along with her mending knowledge, Pudas also has lots of supplies to share. She has boxes and sewing kits full of yarn, fabric scraps, thread and buttons; or people can bring their own supplies.
Everyone is welcome to bring their own projects, mend and have a cup of tea.
Gosh Darn It Mending Night takes place Friday, Feb. 7 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Yarrow Ecovillage (42312 Yarrow Central Rd.). It’ll be in the ecovillage common house (the red and yellow building). The entrance is located on the south side of the building. Please park on the street, not in the ecovillage parking lot.
This is a free event, but cash donations are welcome to help pay for more supplies. Those wanting to take part are asked to RSVP via the event on Facebook.