Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Recession (sort of) Fun #9: A Day of Mending





Yesterday, I was impatiently waiting for news to arrive. Of course, like a watched pot of water refusing to come to a boil, the news proved elusive. Waiting deserves a place high on the list of worst states to find one self in. So there I was, in a state of waiting and in dire need of an activity to distract myself with. Of all things, I chose mending.

I ended up mending what seemed like endless tiny holes in a sweater. At one point, I was ready to give up and just chuck the sweater in the garbage. I think it is fair to say that based on the number of holes, the sweater is well past it's prime. I wavered back and forth between two minds. One part of me was voting to chuck the sweater and the rest of the items that had formed a "To Be Mended" pile in the name of less clutter and simpler living.

The other half, which ended up winning, might have been influenced by the Foyle's War episodes I was watching. (I was multitasking.) Certainly people weren't chucking out clothing just because of a couple of tiny holes during WWII. I convinced myself I was taking a positive step towards being more frugal.

Honestly, I think the fact that the sweater is black cashmere and feels really comfy on might have helped save it too. Oh and I'm not crazy, there's a Comme Des Garcon skirt (from a less frugal past life) in that mending pile with one teeny moth hole.

So, while I felt a bit ridiculous spending so much time on a summer day fixing a sweater that will probably never be perfect enough to wear out again, I stubbornly persisted. I remembered an article in Selvedge magazine titled "In Praise of Mending" with photos showing clothing from past centuries that had been mended in the extreme. The garments were quirky, beautiful and most of all touching. Sadly, the photos are not available online to share.

The pictures above are examples of Japanese Boro from Kimonoboy, an amazing site featuring Japanese folk textiles. Browse the "Tattered Treasures" section and I think you'll agree, there's a lot to be said for mending. And when the weather turns, I have one imperfect black sweater waiting.

8 comments:

campbellaguilar林志易 said...

大肚能容,了卻人間多少事,滿腔歡喜,笑開天下古今愁。..................................................

Belle said...

Mending is becoming a lost art. It's nice to hear people are still doing it.

xoxoxoe said...

I am still unpacking and finding myself in a similar quandary. What to discard and what to save? Some things that I take out of boxes seem fine, treasures I am glad I brought along with us - now I just need to find a place for it. Some in the harsh light of day seem too shabby or no longer have use here. I am building a pile for the Salvation Army. I'm also finding lots of things my mom has saved over the years - I come from a family where no one wants to throw anything out. This is wonderful in the case of old family photos and letters. Not as wonderful when it's cabinets full of old shopping bags! I think this is definitely influenced by living through the "Great Wars." My grandmother was a baby in WW1, and had her baby, my mom during WW2. I think your post has inspired a future post of mine...

jane said...

Thanks for the great comments ladies.
Belle it certainly seems like a lost art in our society where we are all too busy and it has become normal to discard anything and everything that is in need of repairs. I have an image of all the toasters that must make it to the dump each year. We are such wasters.

On the other hand like my friend xoxoxoe I also have grown up in a family that finds it hard to let go of things and find the weight of so much stuff a bit heavy these days. I'm also glad that photos and other treasures were saved. I even love the button collection I have inherited. Remember when people cut the buttons off clothes before discarding them? Most of my old stuff goes "buttons on" to the Salvation Army, but I recently cut the buttons off a favorite jacket that was ruined beyond giving away.

I find myself questioning just how much stuff do I need these days. I have many treasures I feel compelled to keep but don't want to find myself caring for objects over enjoying my everyday life. I have thought of what it would be like to just not buy any non-essentials for a year and really just make do with what I have. I'm sure it would be hard in our buy buy culture but I might also have a better idea of what I really needed and loved by the end of the year. I'm not ready to take on the challenge yet but will certainly keep everybody posted here.

琬安琬安 said...

逛街不如逛部落格,省錢又開心啊............................................................

吳怡君吳怡君 said...

每日都有新日光,每日都有新希望。..................................................

RicoLisi0802志竹 said...

每天都是新的心情~~希望都是好心情!!!!............................................................

蕙王帆蕙王帆蕙王帆 said...

Lets cross the bridge when we come to it............................................................