Don’t Spend, Mend!

Are you a DIY lover?

I’m actually not, but there are some things that I like to do myself to avoid creating needs for things I could simply mend and carry on using.

One thing I like to do is mending clothes. And the point is, I’m not that good at it. But I care about the things I own, I like to look after them so they can last as much as possible and if they get wounded on the way, I like to give them a hand to recover and my basic stitching skills seem to do the trick.

A button missing here, a little hole there, a stubborn stain… if you give a little bit of love and time to clothes, they will keep on loving you.

By mending things you are less likely to purchase new things, new things that needed a lot of energy and produce carbon emissions to get to you. So you’re being sustainable 🙂 oh, and you’re saving money 😉 all you need is a very basic sewing kit (I only have 1 needle and 3 different coloured cotton thread reels and manage with that).

Since the beginning of the financial crisis we have seen various “waste not want not” topics arise in different ways.

This new topic trend translated itself in creating and mending clothes too, with programmes such as The Great British Sewing Bee popping up on our screens in May last year in the U.K. and starting again next Tuesday at 8pm.

I thought of this post because I finally tackled some stitching and mending I had put aside. I “saved” 2 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of jeans, a jumper, a pair of tracksuit bottoms, a T-shirt, a bra, some underwear and a pair of tights.

All of these items had a little fault but they are now ready to be worn again, in fact I wore the tights the day after I mended them and have put off buying a new pair. Pretty good for about for about 45 minutes of mending while listening to the radio.

I have also received pretty interesting Pinterest suggestions on craft, sewing etc.

Some people are talented enough to make their own wedding dress out of fabric unwanted by others, which is ridiculously amazing and inspiring, however if you are not so good at sewing, stitching and darning you can find a lot of tutorials online or maybe someone in your family or circle of friends could help! It will give you a cosy sense of achievement 🙂

DIY Scalloped Hem Skirt

DIY Scalloped Hem Skirt Tutorial from

I am planning to save more garments by rescuing them from stubborn stains. The way I usually do it is by adding thin bleach do a little dish, diluting it with water and then gently dabbing it to the affected area (I wear rubber gloves and use cotton wool to dab it). I let it sink a few seconds, rub it gently then put the garment in the washing machine or wash it by hand.

My mum now uses a nice Summer jacket that used to be stained.

I also have the intention to refresh the look of an unwanted coat by adding colourful  buttons to it, make a cushion out of a wooly jumper I don’t want to wear and a pair of shorts out of a pair of jeans, taking inspiration from this Little Miss Bow Peep blog post.

I will update this post once I have done this 🙂

Here is some inspiration and help to mend, create and update clothes, such as this dress from the WobiSobi blog.

DIY Dress Pinterest

DIY Dress Pinterest


Pinterest inspiration:

Thrifty Crafts


Make do and mend

DIY Projects

DIY: Fashion

Pin it, Make it, Wear it

Knits and Knots if you’d like to give knitting a try



How to repair rips in your clothes video

Hand Sewing Basics video

The British Sewing Bee: How To…

And if something really cannot be mended, take it to the charity shop or to H&M’s garmet collecting bins to ensure it can be reused or recycled rather than end up in landfill.

Do you ever mend clothes?

Do TV shows and tutorials inspire you to try some DIY mending?

8 thoughts on “Don’t Spend, Mend!

  1. Hey Sophie 🙂 I know I’ve been guilty of wearing a holey nightie until it’s almost fallen apart! It is my favourite one. But now it has got to the stage where I need to make a new one, so I bought some 2nd hand fabric someone was clearing out to do that with. In the mending/sewing pile right now are a cardigan, some underwear (seriously, the elastic is kind of the most important element there and you should really be able to expect it to last more than just a few wears and washes!), and some dresses that I want to turn into skirts – because I need skirts for work, and I never really wore these dresses (they came from a charity shop though) but boy them in the first place because I loved the fabric. But yeah, I hate parting with things just because of something small going wrong. On the other hand, that’s what makes op-shop bargains so good, because that is exactly what a lot of people do who can afford to go out and buy new, and sometimes I have been very glad of that trickle-down effect! 🙂


    • Hi Trish, thank you for your comment, I was thinking of you while writing this post! 🙂
      I’d love to do more with clothes, like you making skirts out of dresses… I’ll start by trying to make that cushion that I previously told you about first 🙂


  2. I keep meaning to update my (very basic) sewing kit with new threads because I like to mend my clothes as well! Especially with a little bit of practice people will virtually not notice that you stitched a little hole or added a button, and it makes you so much more satisfied than just replacing the garment! Thanks for all the links and tips!


  3. Pingback: 100 Ways to be More Sustainable – 100th Post | GreenTrails&TeapotTales

  4. Pingback: Swap Before You Shop | GreenTrails&TeapotTales

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