Sunday, February 6, 2022

Weekend Review: Mending Life


Mending Life: a Handbook for repairing clothes and hearts /
Nina and Sonya Montenegro 

Seattle: Sasquatch Books, c2020
194 p.

This week's book is another mending instructional. But this is a bit different from some of the other mending books I've read, because it started out as a zine. It still has the quiet, intimate feel of a zine, with many pages just a gentle illustration alongside some musings about the power of mending as a larger metaphor. 

But it still has practical instructions for mending, as well. There are sections on darning and patching, highlighting many of the visible mending techniques familiar to us all by now. Sashiko, needle felting and various patching is all there. But there is also a great illustration of Swiss darning -- the technique of duplicating a knit stitch invisibly is very well shown here.

There are also bits shared by other experts, like how to mend a down jacket, or zipper repair. And the final section is about "beyond mending" -- things like button replacements, taking in garments for better fit, adding pockets to hide holes or stains, or even using old clothing for other patchwork or household items. This is an unusual element in mending books that I've seen, and it's a nice addition. 

The tone of this book is gentle and encouraging, and the style is very homey. I was quite taken with it! A charming and useful book, I think. 

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