|Joyful Mending / Noriko Misumi|
Tokyo: Tuttle, 2020.
This is another mending book, but one with a very Japanese aesthetic. It's charming, quirky, and has a definite slant toward the visible mending end of the spectrum.
It's a short book but quite cleverly put together, with lots of ideas to inspire. The author started out running a "mending consultation booth" in real life and this book is structured around that concept, which is adorable and fun. Each technique features an "advice seeker" at the top of the page, a customer who has a valued item of clothing and needs mending help. The relevant technique is then demonstrated on that item. I think this adds a lot of personality and charm to the book, and shows how these mending interventions really matter to real people.
The techniques covered include basic darning of square, circular or larger rectangular holes/stains, as well as the use of needle felting to mend woolens. This last technique can be nearly invisible for those who prefer subtlety, or in one case, a variety of colours to add a polka dot flair to a wool scarf.
There are examples of embroidery to cover stains and embellish further, or basic edge stitching for heavier items like rugs or bags. I found some unique ideas in her use of crocheted mini-pockets or patches to add to the look of an item by covering a stain and adding a useful pocket too! The basic crochet techniques are included in the last part of the book which covers all the necessary embroidery and darning techniques as well.
She also uses patchwork for coverage, and one neat way is folding a circle or square in half around the edge of a collar, cuff, or hem in the spots that are most likely to wear out, and then covering the patch with some running stitch. It's cute and reinforces those frayed edges. Adding more where they are not strictly necessary can add a more aesthetic effect as well. She even mentions rug hooking techniques as a potential addition to hats or bags if you want a textured look. Lots of ideas, and many, many cute illustrations as well as extensive and clear process photos.
This book is quite charming but also practical in its inclusion of some more unexpected ways of mending and making do. The inclusion of the stories of both the author and her "advice seekers" adds a lot of personality. Really enjoyable book on this topic.