Resourceful Repair Project

My broken object is a pair of jean shorts originally purchased at Topshop. I adored the stitching on these shorts and wore them whenever the weather permitted!

The shorts became torn after the pre-distressed portion reached too far down the leg of the shorts. My mother had tried to stitch them back together with a hidden thread about two months ago, but it did not hold up and they tore again. After examining the object, I considered mending again with an invisible, yet strong stitch. I also considered patching the shorts, looking into using a bold fabric to create a new aesthetic, or using denim.

I discovered sashiko mending and became obsessed with this technique. I decided to use a denim patch and thread that matched the pre-existing embroidery. I knew I would not get away with avoiding purchasing items for this project as I did not own a needle, thread, or any fabric. I was taking on the daunting task of sewing for the first time! I went to the fabric store and purchased needles and thread. I asked for swatches of the fabric I wanted and this small amount was all I needed for the small patch, so I did not spend a dollar on denim!

I had to begin simple research on how to stitch, and how to specifically repair with the sashiko mending technique. I began by sewing the denim patch onto the inside of the jeans with a simple, white, sturdy thread. This ensured that the entire patch was secure and allowed for me to move on to reinforcing with decorative and bold thread.

Then, I started to create patterns and floral shapes, inspired by stitching I researched online. I followed my sketches in my sketchbook and created multiple elements, beautifying the area. One challenge I had was not having a dense thread. I ended up quadrupling my thread to create a thicker stitch, but it would’ve been helpful to have a more obvious thread.

My final result was better than I’d expect from a person who is very inexperienced with sewing and repair. I surprised myself with a product that I ended up wearing the next day as I left class feeling confident with my shorts. The feedback I received during critiques encouraged me and instilled a sense of confidence in me about my work. I am inspired to work more in 3D mediums and try new things as I typically work digitally and I’d like to branch out.

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