This is an area for fixes & reinforcements. I love this kind of stuff, it's so incredibly satisfying to be able to extend the life of a garment. There's something magical about it. Most of the things here are smaller projects, but I'd love to sink my needles into a bigger undertaking too! If you have something that needs fixing, let me know and I'd love to help fix your things!

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This is a great pair of mittens that have become my full-on mainstays this and last winter. So, I've basically been wearing them every day when I go out and then one day I actually look at them and the knitting on the outer layer of the right thumb is completely split open! I realized it was finally time for me to actually complete a darning project... I'm so happy with how it came out though!

Also fun little story about these mittens: I found them at a friendly clothing swap, but didn't wear them for a while because I was on a different mainstay winter mitten. But! I think I lost one of the old pair inside Winco and had to use these as a fall back and fell in love. Then! I was at a friend's apartment when their roommate was like "Hey where did you get those mittens?" and it turns out she had donated them! Like small world in a small town is no surprise but I still thought it was a funny little moment.

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This is my most extensive sashiko-inspired endeavor. I previously said plainly that it was Japanese sashiko (刺し子) stitching, and while I do still think my loose definition of "functional embroidery" is a good catch-all, I'm working to develop my understanding and respect for the craft. Here's a link to an Instagram page that I've been learning a lot from.

These pants haven't actually been harmed yet, but I've had several pairs of pants in the past fail in this location, and I thought I'd get ahead of it by reinforcing them. I did the black side first in a heavy-duty Gutermann. I got way too meticulous, and it took me a very long time. The white side is in sashiko thread imported from Japan by the now-sadly-defunct Fringe Supply Co. and wow not only did the larger stitches take way less time, but they look prettier too! The patch fabric is from a pair of Levi's I had in high school that 1) I grew out of and 2) got a big tear in the butt (surprise!)

Update: A great selection of sashiko thread, as well as needles and thimbles, are available at the store run by the folks behind the instagram I linked above! Here's a link to the store.

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Decay in progress.

I think I got this shirt somehwere in the transition from high school to college. It's the only piece that remains from the "graphic t-shirts with cats on them" category which used to be a sizable part of my wardrobe.

When we went into quarantine in March, we started using "outdoor clothes" that we'd wear when we went out, then leave by the door to decontaminate. When I started working again, this become the shirt part of the single outfit I designated for "work". Because of that, it ended up wearing a lot harder than I've worn a shirt before and started decaying faster. At this point, it's going to be a fun project in the practice of making garments eternal.

Not pictured, but I tried serging the armpit-holes closed, whicih worked for a few weeks, but ended up splitting back open. Once they open up a bit more, I think I'm going to put patches underneath the holes.

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This was a quick fix that pleasantly turned out very neat. The stitch on the waist was starting to come out of a pair of arq undies. I just did a simple little zigzag over it and it's all better, stretch and everything!

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This was an interesting one. The stitching came out on the bottom of this top, and I figured I could do the same as I had for the undies above, but when I got my machine all ready and set up to sew, I started going and the thread just... wouldn't stay through? I hadn't had this happen before, what I think was happening was that the knit was just too tight and dense, so it was pulling the thread back out once the needle pushed it through.

Anyway, I reassessed the situation and figured I must be able to just hand sew it, right? After a little research I discovered that was indeed the case, so I went ahead and did that. Perfectly good, and still stretchy enough!

For Sheila.

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Of the two Willow tanks we made, this is Olivia's. Unfortunately it got a bit of a splotch of dye-fading when we were trying to figure out our new apartment's washing machine. Instead of being bothered by the discoloration, I said “Hey I could just make it even prettier!" The fabric is the original scraps from making the tank, stitched on with a nice little lavender thread. I'm especially happy with the way I hid the knots.

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This is a very beautiful cotton gauze shirt of Olivia's that started getting thread-bare in the armpits. We each stitched on a patch of the lilac linen with some white embroidery floss. Functional! Lovely!

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This Smartwool longsleeve developed some little holes. We think they're from the enzymatic detergent we were using? The enzymes break down proteins in stains, but oops, wool is also a protein! Regardless, we stitched on some scraps from the block color tee and they seem to be holding up well enough!

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A wonderfully worn leather fannypack of Abigail's. Force-over-time on the part of the zipper eventually separated it from the leather. I stitched it together and re-established a sturdy connection. Plus, a heart! Decorative and functional ;)