All Posts · Brocantes and reclaimation · Making and crafting · My Company Projects · Renovation work

Make do and mend

Moving crates and boxes of fabrics into the Factory sewing rooms, found these wonderful old linen sacks and strips. Not only are the textures wonderful, but so too the painstaking work to repatch and darn the holes or tears.

The patches to me create a new design. I don’t see them as repairs of damage, but more of adding a history of use to the fabric, of showing someone cared enough, or had little choice, but to repair….that is their value. Recreating this is not easy and often looks contrived. Hence my excitement when a piece turns up.

Downstairs cutting room. Walls are going to be painted a rich blue.
Upstairs a comfy space where the small machines will be.

This brings me to an issue I feel strongly about…reuse and recycle. These linens in their day were costly, so much so that the owner deemed their precious time worthy to patch them. I have sheets with new sections added, or where sheets need to be made larger, sheets are combined. Scraps of worn fabrics join to make new large pieces and so continue to service.

The fabrics are so tactile too, different weaves, different weights, little knots, caught plant matter woven in, uneven wefts. The flat world of poly-cotton is so desperately sterile.

I am treasuring these and hoping to use many in my own projects. There cannot be anything more rewarding than using a pre-loved scrap of fabric and bringing its history, its worness into a new design. My remnant basket is a place where nothing will go to waste!