Visible Mending

Visible mending has always been something on my list of “things I’d like to try”, especially as I love sashiko style stitching so much. Then I had the perfect excuse to bump it up the list because the May Aurifil Artisan challenge theme is visible mending.

I chose Aurifil 100% cotton 12wt as it’s perfect for sewing tasks like hand quilting and sashiko.

Sashiko is traditional Japanese stitching. It most commonly uses plain running stitch in geometric patterns for decoration and/or functional reinforcement of fabric items. This could be to strengthen a fabric’s worn areas or to add patches.

Visible mending does not always use sashiko techniques and designs, and sashiko stitching can just be purely decorative. But using sashiko as a technique for visible mending (which seems to getting a resurgence of popularity recently) is a very popular combination.

To mend a hole in my denim jeans I added a fabric patch behind the hole and then stitched the fabric to the jeans using a mix of rows of running stitch, running stitch circles and simple crosses. I spread the hand stitching well beyond the edges of the patch, partly for extra strength but partly for the decorative look too. I marked a few guide lines to help keep the straight lines straight and to help keep the circles actually circle-shaped. But I didn’t mark everything because this style is very much meant to have an organic feel.

I used Aurifil 12wt in 2024 (white), 2600 (dove) and 2846 (iceberg). Although the thread colours are similar, the slight difference in the shades added even more texture to the finished project.


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