I’ve written on darning as a method for mending holes in fabric before, (see here) but today I had A LOT of fun with patches!
My beloved LUSH tote bag has accompanied me most days for over a year. It’s well-made, ethical, made of natural fibres and is best of all sturdy. Unlike the cotton totes I used to use, this one is considerably thicker, tougher and the straps can support a lot of weight. It even has a little pocket inside for your phone/keys (I mean, pockets are the real MVP in life aren’t they?!)
The only downside I’ve been able to think of, is that moths have taken such a liking to it. I’ve had a bit of an infestation recently (understatement) which has led to a number of holes appearing in my bag- some of them quite sizeable. In classic Lydia fashion, I assumed it was something else for a while.. Maybe the washing machine is chewing it up. Maybe I’m catching it on things or throwing it around or carrying heavy/sharp things in it too often. It had to get to the point where I was seeing moths everywhere before I put 2 and 2 together!
Anyway. So I was left with this chewed up bag, thinking what now? The whole reason I bought this bag was so that I could have a tote that would last for years as opposed to weeks or months like my old flimsy ones! I thought about replacing it and just being really careful with the new one.. Thankfully this morning I thought it can’t hurt to see if I can repair this one. Worse case scenario I do have to buy a new one. Can I just say I am SUPER pleased with how it turned out!
I started out by cutting a square or rectangle out of some thick, sturdy cotton fabric big enough to cover the hole, with about half a centimetre to spare. I then zigzag stitched around the edge of the patch on my sewing machine. (I should’ve taken a picture of how they looked at this point, it wasn’t great..)
The bit that really sets it all off and makes it look quirky and beautiful is the sashiko stitching over the top. Sashiko is a japanese embroidery technique made up of a running stitch formed into geometric patterns and images. Search ‘sashiko embroidery’ on Pinterest or Google Images/Ecosia for inspiration. It’s a really great way to incorporate patches into garments without it looking scruffy. I went for the most basic version involving straight lines over and over, but crosses or a geometric pattern would also have looked cool!
I love the thought of caring so much about your things that when they are damaged you add something beautiful to them and keep going! Happy mending, friends 🙂