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Comment: Clean. Great Binding. Cover Shows Light Wear. Interior is clean and crisp.
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Mend It Better: Creative Patching, Darning, and Stitching Hardcover – January 31, 2012

31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Craft blogger Roach's first book is an excellent addition to any sewer's collection. Instead of presenting another plethora of patterns, she seeks to empower her readers by teaching the skills they'll need to mend nearly any piece of clothing, from ripped buttonholes to torn hems. While there's no substitute for learning in person, the publisher and author should be commended on creating a book with excellent, clear photographs that show, step by step, how to complete basic repairs. The chapter Stitch Smarts, which covers everything from the blind hem stitch to the little-known prick stitch, is particularly outstanding. Roach also presents a few patterns, most from other crafters, that provide inspiration towards more mending, less discarding of torn clothing. With the exception of the odd placement of two projects before instructions on the stitches required to make them, the book unfolds in an accessible manner; great layout (and lovely photos) provide eye candy. This is the rare sewing book that will be pulled off the shelf for reference again and again. Full color photos and illustrations, 13 patterns. 

From the Back Cover

Wear Your Patches with Pride

Patch, hem, and darn new life into your torn and tired clothing. Kristin Roach's creative techniques, along with original mending ideas from guest crafters, will inspire you to adjust your hemlines, play with creative stitches, add pops of color with vintage buttons, apply boldly patterned patches, and so much more. Simple step-by-step instructions and basic sewing supplies are all you need to make your worn clothing better than ever. You'll love the fun and frugality of upcycling!

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603425640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603425643
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kristin M. Roach graduated with a BFA in painting in 2008 and is currently teaching art classes, organizing community art programs, and inspiring others to live life creatively with her websites and She has been published in Interweave Knits, KnitScene, Craft, Make, and was a contributing designer in Button it Up by Susan Beal. Her work will be included in the upcoming Best of Knitscene book.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By CostumeDesigner on February 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book gives step-by step instructions for the most common mending techniques, such as darning, patching, hemming, and replacing buttons. Both hand and machine mending are discussed. Beginners will like it because it starts from the absolute basics, including how to thread a needle. It's a cheerful little book full of color photos (and oddly, it has padded covers). However, sewists who already have some knowledge of these techniques, or possess any of the standard sewing manuals listed in the bibliography, or even a 1940s mending pamphlet, will not find this book a useful addition to their libraries. There are no innovative techniques or projects in here. Furthermore, this book glosses over the reality of vintage and well-worn clothing, which is that the fabric is inherently weaker than new fabric. For example, one project shows a vintage dress with both the sleeve and the bodice horribly ripped at the right underarm. The writer breezily says she just sewed up the many tears and the dress was fine. However, an underarm area is subject to considerable strain. Probably the tears will all replace themselves after one or two wearings. The sensible solution would have been to turn it into a sleeveless dress, or to replace the bodice with another thrift-shop bodice or blouse (a technique somewhat more advanced than this book).
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Eliot Von Braun on February 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I always wanted to get into stitching and fabric work but had no clue where to start. I didn't know a French knot from a garlic knot, so I was totally lost. Roach's book really lays the groundwork for people who have no idea what they're getting into. I don't need a book that shows me how to spin a shirt out of a curtain, Scarlet O'Hara style, but I'm pretty sure I could if I wanted to with some of the tricks I picked up (I've since spotted a couple of drapes that would really lend themselves well to my wardrobe). With all the money I'll save on doing my own clothing repairs, I can just buy myself some new curtains - win/win!

But seriously, good stuff between the covers of this book. And a pretty good read in its own right. If you ever had a hole in the crotch of your favorite jeans and hated the idea of breaking in a new pair (we've all been there, amirite?), pick up a copy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shala Kerrigan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Mend It Better: Creative Patching, Darning and Stitching by Kristen Roach is a wonderful resource for mending clothing to keep it wearable, or for buying clothing from thrift stores and garage sales and being able to mend it into something for your wardrobe. Mending is one of the most ecologically sound choices you can make.

It's well thought out, and the instructions are clear enough for beginners. Even experienced sewers may find new things in this volume. There are instructions for doing mending that's meant not to be noticeable, but also ideas for turning your mending into a way to decorate your clothing and make it uniquely your own.

She starts by offering suggestions for when you should mend and when something should just become scrap fabric or rags. Then explains the basic tools you'll want in your mending kit. Then she gets into instruction.

A lot of the mending techniques she suggests are things that can be done by hand. As someone who likes sewing by hand in the evening while watching television with my family, I love her stitch suggestions and mending instructions for doing it by hand. She also talks about machine mending and hemming as well. She explains different stitches well.

The photographs for the mended projects show the new stitches in contrasting colors so it's easy to see how things are done.

The chapters are laid out by types of mending, patches, surface fixes (like snagged threads), seam fixes, straight hems, fixing waist bands of different types including the kind with sewn in place elastic, how to darn a patch and more intriguingly, how to crochet a patch for socks and other knits, fasteners and closures, zippers and the final chapter is decorative accents.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By KaoticKrafter on February 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book initially from my local library, as I do with all books that I have an interest in. Not all of the books I borrow make it into my personal library, but this one will. I am a self taught crafty person and I make all kinds of things from clothes to toys, but I never really thought much about mending my clothes. With a copy of 'Mend It Better' on my shelf, I will have not only the ability, but the knowledge to repair clothes that in the past would have been sent to the upcycle pile. Not only did I walk away from this book with a better understanding of mending and repairing an assortment of items, the beautiful pictures inspired all sorts of crafty thoughts to swirl through my mind!

Can't wait to get my own copy of 'Mend It Better' so I can start making notes of all the ideas it creates!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Martha54Mc on February 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As a long time sewer and crafter I thought I owned all the "How To" books I needed. But one look at Kristin Roach's book, Mend It Better, changed my mind! I found it to be, not only a beautiful book, but one full of refreshing and creative ways to bring new life into worn down pieces of clothing. This book is perfect for the novice and seasoned sewer, and craft person. Pick one up today!
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