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Visible Mending on Kids Clothes – Try Something New Every Month

Trying out visible mending - fixing boy's pants with sashiko!

I am excited to have finally jumped aboard the ‘visible mending’ trend train! This is my May project for Try Something New Every Month; you can see more details about TSNEM 2016, and join in with us, in this post. I actually tried this style of stitching as a part of TSNEM 2015 – you can see the sampler I originally worked on here.  But this is the first time I’ve used it to mend a hole, after seeing it pop up on Pinterest a few times.

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I already shared a round-up of sashiko projects in this post, but I still found a few inspirational things when I was researching. I liked this round-up of patching ideas from My Make Do and Mend Life. I also learned something new, about ‘kaketsugi‘ – or invisible mending. You won’t believe your eyes when you see the before and after from this craftsman who practices it!

I think the idea for this project was planted when I read Mend It Better: Creative Patching, Darning, and Stitching* by Kristin Roach a month ago; I didn’t end up writing  a review but it had several great ideas! I’ve been actively working towards being more thoughtful about all of our clothes, our trash production, and our attitude towards fixing vs. replacing so it was timely.


My son has always been on the go, hard on clothes, etc. but it wasn’t until this past year that he was in the same size long enough to actually do much damage. These holes popped up in a pair of camouflage pants and I decided to mend them instead of turning them into shorts or recycling them.

sashiko mending

I have a tutorial for how I did this, in a separate post, but it’s pretty easy! I like the obviously hand-sewn aesthetic, and it was a fun way to add some color.

visible mending before and after

Before and after. My son was pretty apathetic and my husband thinks it looks bizarre but I really love how it turned out! The denim-y fabric I used for the patches is actually a knit, scraps left over from the romper I sewed my daughter.

boys pants mended

Have you done any visible mending?

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