This light grey and thinning wool sweater was last winter’s bedtime favorite, but when I pulled it out of storage this fall, it had grown noticeably holier.
The mends here are all this season’s, a thrifted 6” quilt square of bright vintage cotton the palette and a variety of secondhand threads hand stitched around each hole. With this, it’s been upgraded to everyday wear.
The first clothing item I remember trying to mend was a baseball-uniform-inspired cotton weave pajama set with purple on white vertical stripes like ticking, a rare new purchase that my parents gave me when I was 10. As it became threadbare, I tried to sew it, picturing it as a family heirloom, imagining the original fabric as wisps peeking out from repairs. But its rate of decline was faster than my self-taught mending skills based more on reading books like the Five Little Peppers than on, say, any actual visual—let alone tactile—experience with mended clothing. And my high school self declared this a child’s folly, a conceit that some future offspring would want my worn pajamas, so off it went, discarded.
That said, one of the tiny personal joys of this particular sweater is that it has some earlier mends (not shown), a progression of fixes that start with a grey darning as I tried to hide its brokenness, to a few darns in reds/pinks, to the full on visible mending love fest you see here.
I no longer regard wear and moth holes with dismay (I’ve legit cheered on noticing them, tbh). It’s easy to say fashion is art but readymade fashion is creative expression in the same way putting a poster in a frame is art. Yes, there’s something there, but there’s also so much more to explore and express! (And, as always, there’s the bonus of not emitting more greenhouse gasses by buying new when we’re already spiraling into climate breakdown.)