When your shop sells clothes that frequently are over 50 years old, you find yourself with quite a bit of mending. I have a wonderfully talented friend who has the skill, patience and technology to do the major reconstruction jobs, but I do the hand mending. As boring and tedious as that sounds to most people, I really enjoy it. Giving a stunning and unique garment a second, third or sixth life is truly one of the main reasons I love doing this job…it makes this little recyclers’ heart very happy.
Sometimes, when I find myself with a garment in my lap, that wonderful smell of attics and old suitcases filling my head, I will realize that my needle is following the path another woman made with her mending needle, so, so long ago. Time fades and I am one of many women who have sewn for their families, or kept their own clothes wearable by the application of a bit of time and focus. Maybe it was during a hard economic bump, or the desire to keep wearing something that was showing it’s use, or it was a favorite piece, and a stitch or 20 would give another season of wearing to her….because it was almost certainly a her. And, I am now connected with that woman, and her effort to give more life to this garment. She and I are sisters, of a sort. I will never know her name or her story, but I can feel her with me, smiling.