A small gallery of Visible Mending

Visible mending

Hello Folks, I’ve been preparing some samples for a visible mending workshop in November.

While I tend to be a fan of invisible mending (as explored in this post), I do like the combination of embroidery, denim, running stitch and creatively working through the household’s mending pile.

The technique is very simple and kinda fun.


Visible mending shasiko threads

I’ve been using regular embroidery needles and shasiko thread bought online here. Then I discovered I could use pearl cotton too, although I prefer shasiko thread.


Visible mending jeans from the op shop

All the mending samples have a piece of denim behind the stitching, whether it’s used as a patch or as reinforcing. I have a supply of denim from the op shop to use.




Visible mending green reinforcing stitching

The seat of a pair of jeans, with green pearl cotton stitching.



Visible mending heart marking template in chalk

Heart shaped reinforcing: I traced a heart shaped cookie cutter with chalk.

Visible mending heart stitching in pink

Placed a denim patch underneath and started stitching in pink…

Visible mending heart finished

…and stitched red around the outside. Filled the inside with cream!



Visible mending heart patch trace shape

Here’s the same cookie cutter, traced around a rip.

Visible mending heart patch cut shape

The inside is cut out 6mm from the line, with snips to allow the raw edges to turn under evenly.

Visible mending heart patch cut out backing patch

A red piece of canvas to place behind the cutout.

Visible mending heart patch tuck under edges

The edges tucked under and pinned.

Visible mending heart patch pin edges

Ready to sew.

Visible mending heart patch finished

Running stitches around and around and around.



Visible mending very first sample

An early sample, with big stitches.  It looks like embroidered rain falling.



Visible mending circle patch stitched

Love this one, and it was easy. I drew around a cup for the circle and stitched it like the red heart.



Visible mending orange sunrays pinned

A version of the circle…

Visible mending orange sunrays finished

…this time with sunrays.


Some lessons learnt:

  • Stitch length looks best if it’s 4mm or shorter, but straight stitching is more important than inconsistent stitch length (if one had to list these in order of visual importance).  To draw stitching lines, use a sharp piece of tailors chalk, chalk pencil, chalk wheel or water soluble pen.  A small quilting ruler with eighth and quarter inch markings on is helpful to mark a grid, if needed.
  • How do you neaten the edges of the patch fabric so it doesn’t fray?  Ideally, a (4-thread) overlock around the edges would be the flattest and neatest solution.  However, I just pinking sheared mine and when I did the stitching I extended it beyond the pinked edges to hold it.  Pressing the edges of the patch under, while neater, makes it too hard to stitch because it gets too thick at the folded edges and corners.


If you’re in Adelaide, come and join me at Marion Cultural Centre on Saturday 24th of November for a short Dressmaker’s Companion book talk followed by a visible mending workshop.  This is a FREE event; details and bookings here.  Bring along your jeans to mend! 



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