Book recommendation: Modern Mending

Modern mending book cover

Mending is trending, but there are better reasons to mend your clothes…

Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald’s new book Modern Mending is a comprehensive guide to mending your clothes that combines practical know-how with whimsical creativity.

There is a light-hearted, creative vibe flowing through this book; mending can be artistic, stylish, maybe quirky, and add to a garment’s charm.

Mending Techniques occupy most of this book: stitching, patching, darning, felting, visible and invisible mends, by hand and machine mends, fixing knits and fixing zips.

Modern mending tools
Modern mending techniques

I picked up some nifty tricks: felting a patch on the garment using wool and a felting needle. Also, combing the fluff off a jumper to use for an invisible felted patch. Genius!

Erin holds your hand with troubleshooting guides interspersed throughout the techniques.

Modern mending troubleshooting guide

Unique to mending books (that I know of), the reverse side of the mends are pictured as well:

Modern mending front and back views

If that’s all the book was, just techniques, I would say Buy it – every household needs a how-to mending reference on their bookshelves, and Modern Mending is clear and easy to understand, assumes nothing, is thorough and packed with tips.

However, there’s more.

I do love a good before/after transformation story and the book is enlivened with Erin’s case studies showing garments she’s mended and sometimes re-mended. Their importance to the owner underscores how mended clothes become more special than new ones.

Many of the garments looked far better with mends than before, I thought.

Erin writes about planning a replicatable mend, for when further mending might be needed down the track (to be mended by her, the owner or someone else). A replicatable mend makes it easy for future mends to match what’s already there, using easy to find materials, techniques or shapes, something I’d never really considered.

Another highlight is interviews with menders in other parts of the world, who share their approach to mending, advice and inspiration. All of these except Tom of Holland were new to me.

Modern mending inspiring interviews

Modern Mending is a beautiful book, and will empower you to tackle any mending situation with skill and confidence. And style.

Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald is a former journalist and is now Australia’s leading clothes-mending practitioner. Visit her modern mending facebook group for advice with mending, her mending materials online shop, and instagram.

Modern mending author pic
Modern mending book cover back

Published on 11th Feb 2020, $35 hardback, ISBN: 9781925972290.


Disclosure: this book was supplied (on my request) by the publisher for this review.


  1. Kay Trevan on February 17, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Hi Liz, she was on ABC breakfast advertising her book. I hope you will be on there too.

    • lizhaywood on February 17, 2020 at 1:43 pm

      I heard she was but I missed it unfortunately. Cheers!

  2. Kay Trevan on February 17, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    She didn’t show much. Tried to get Michael to sew on a button and not much more.

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