Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Trimming my waste: Week 25 (mending spree!)



Goals - Week 25: 
  • Repair things I love to wear
  • Admit that I'm not going to lose "those 5 lbs" before September (and so resize stuff!)
  • Go on a mending (rather than a spending) spree

I live in Chicago. It's either cool or cold a lot and I wear some version of jeans most of the year (because I have the kind of full-time job where that's ok). Then summer happens. It feels like it will never come and then it does. And it always surprises me. The first time I try on things I haven't worn in a year... well, it's rarely fun. Because I've gained a few inches. Or because I realize my favorite things are still unwearable. Because I neglected to fix something that was a problem a year ago. 

In the last couple of weeks, motivated by actually going on vacation during the summer (something I never do!), I've been tackling some mending. Here's what I took on: 


I love this sweater. It's really light and perfect for summer evenings. But the hole - arg. Tiny but noticeable. So I finally just stitched it up. No special darning. Just a needle and thread and my best judgement. 


Guess where those patches are?? Nope, not on the knees - that would be cute (and would imply I garden a lot or something!). My pants wear out between the thighs because, well, no thigh gap. Never have had one. Never will. 

This particular patch was necessary on a pair of airy trousers I bought on sale at Anthropologie a long time ago. I love them. They fit well. They're the perfect weight for summer. But ugh, the holes. So this morning I cut patches from cotton sheeting left over from this project, then zigzagged the crap out of the area. Finger's crossed this gets me a another couple of summers! Here's one tutorial for this kind of patching. And another one I'll probably use soon for jeans.


Full post about this baby is here. In short, I had two shirts that were unwearable for different reasons. So I combined them and now have one thing I love. 


Confession: these are brand new jeans. I tried to hem them myself and ruined them, mostly because they're made of stretch denim and I didn't take that into account. So they ended up both too short and horribly ruffled around the hem. This means they've been sitting around for over a year. Now, they're cute cut-offs. And, miraculously, both legs are the same length! 

That weird little thing in the bottom-left corner of the collage is the beginning of a skirt for Ms R's new doll ("new" as in bought-at-a-yard-sale-last-Saturday). Guess what I'm going to do with the other piece I cut off? Patch thigh holes in jeans! 




And finally, the shorts I bought four years ago that haven't fit since. Why? Because I was running regularly in 2012. I'm not able to do that anymore (left knee, 'nuff said) so I need a little more wiggle room around the waist. They still fit fine everywhere else (whew) so I experimented with this Cotton and Curls idea. Clearly, the result is far from perfect. Because I was using a stretch knit, it was really hard to size correctly when I pinned everything. But honestly, no-one is going to see this un-pretty sewing so it doesn't matter. I have shorts I can wear again and that's a win!