Book review: Mending Life by Nina and Sonya Montenegro

Mending Life: A Handbook for Repairing Clothes and Hearts by Nina and Sonya Montenegro is a charming and useful little book on a wide range of needlecraft techniques to mend damaged clothing items. Her clear, concise explanations of techniques like patching, darning, and sashiko. This book is great for anyone rethinking fast fashion and the unsustainable disposability of contemporary clothing

Montenegro presumes no sewing expertise whatsoever on the part of the reader. She literally describes and diagrams how to thread a needle, several ways to knot the thread, and several useful stitches for mending both wovens and knits. She includes a list of mending tools you'll need if you decide to take up the "mending life" seriously--darning eggs, glove darners, etc.--but she also discusses ways to work around not having those specialized items.

Interspersed among the practical techniques/diagrams are sweet, peaceful illustrations of stitchers mending various garments and philosophical musings on how positive the act of mending garments can be on one's psyche. This book has no new information for an experienced sewist in terms of the how of mending/darning/patching, but even a seasoned seamster/mender may find something new and uplifting in the introspective portions.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


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