I recently attended a Sashiko Mending Class taught by the amazing Jessica Marquez (@miniaturerhino on Instagram). The class was held at The Make Workshop in Brooklyn, NY. I was excited to learn something new and completely different than the art I’m used to.
Sashiko is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching (or functional embroidery) originating from Japan. Jessica explained that this form of mending was born out of necessity back in the day.
I brought a pair of jeans with a pretty large hole in the knee as my practice garment for class. You know how you have jeans with a small rip in the knee and every time you put them on you stick your foot in the hole and tear them even more? Yup – I brought those jeans. I love the look of Sashiko. I never realized how functional this mending truly is. I always believed it was just cosmetic. I had tried patching my jeans in the past but didn’t realize that you have to make your patch larger than your hole or your mend won’t work.
I chose to patch my jeans over the tear. You can also mend from under the tear. I chose a pattern and using a grid drew it out over the jeans with a water soluble pen. The rest was nothing short of magic. Jessica guided us as our patterns began to take shape. I chose a multi-color variegated string. Below you can see the original hole, the patch and various stages of the mend.
I love the way these jeans came out. The geometric pattern challenged a different part of my art brain. A small warning – I want to mend every single thing in my house. Even pieces with no holes. I have since mended two double knee holes in another pair of jeans.
If you’re curious about Sashiko Visible Mending you can find plenty of tutorial and pins on Pinterest. Feel free to check out my Pinterest board “Mend”. Jessica has a wonderful book called “Make and Mend” that’s filled with patterns and Sashiko projects. Give it a try – but a small warning…it’s super addicting!