Anna Borstad is an artist and mender in Hamilton; she has been experimenting with mending and repair for many years. During the pandemic, Anna started offering her repair services to her neighbours as a way of giving back. Anna views mending as a Revolutionary Act, taking pride in making clothes last, the visible mend is a badge of honour, worn on your butt.
We have no desire to, as they say, reinvent the wheel. There are literally gazillions (gazillions!) of people who know how to weave, sew, felt, full, quilt, darn, knit, hook and otherwise manipulate fabric and many of them have generously shared these ancient media techniques in the modern fashion online (we have posted a few on this website under"useful info" ) But sometimes trying to do things "right" can keep you from starting.
We are interested in the artist's approach, the experimenters who learn through doing, researching and questioning. We are interested in works-in-progress, and want to join the journey.
Part of the Works-in-Progress manifesto is to share skills and encourage makers, so when Anna wanted to run an online mending workshop, we offered to host the workshop online if she advertised and ran it- and it worked out great! The workshop quickly filled up with neighbours and friends (about 20 people) and Anna led a fantastic, inspiring mending session, which we recorded. She came to (metaphorically) teach us to fish; to share not just how to mend clothes but encourage all participants to join the mending revolution. She is inspired by the problems of each mend, and has years of experimenting under her belt- her enthusiasm for repair is infectious.
This first video Anna clearly lays out the basic rules you need to know to approach your mend-: knits vs. weaves, patching vs. darning- and gives you permission to ignore the rules.
If you want get some more specific tips and steps, the two videos below are step by step approaches to a simple top patch and a simple woven darn. Settle in! Grab those PJs or socks you have been meaning to fix and press play.
art experiments turning waste into beauty