Mending Story: Part 3 Miun's Jacket - Mending the flaws

Dear friends,

I've been sharing Miun's jacket mending process in the past 2 weeks and details on natural dyeing at home (customized for a tiny kitchen with limited space) 

Mending Story: Part 1  Miun's JacketIntroduction of natural dye (for fabric) - great for beginners for brief ideas on what to prepare for natural dyeing process
Mending Story: Part 2  Miun's Jacket Process of natural dyeing - a full process of getting the colour dye right

Today, I'll continue the last part of the story with: Mending the flaws - fixing the flaws with thread and needle + a surprise element.

After re-dyeing the jacket into black, the fabric became stiff and hard. I started to unpick the threads to begin my needlework. Right after the previous sewing threads were removed, it left very obvious "perforated" marks which I can't be rescued. I continued with my needlework, hoping to fix that issue later but the fabric started to tear like a paper. Without second thoughts, I washed the jacket with fabric softener and waited for a day to allow it to dry. And now I am left with only one last thing to fix.

For God's sake, soaking the stiff jacket in softener did help a lot. At least for now, it left no trace of the stiff fibres of the jacket. Lesson well learnt.

Things to mend: 
1. Melted studs x 4
2. Torn (by me) portions of the jacket
3. Addition of a surprise element (which is something that I enjoyed surprising my clients) for the owner of the outfit

Fix for melted studs:
I pre-dyed some cotton threads together with the jacket to obtain the exact same color as the jacket and saved them later for my embroidery work. To cover the "melted" parts as much as possible and for a studier fix, I chose to buttonhole stitch. This technique is widely used to create buttonholes to allow a studier finishing to secure the edges of the fabric. 

After completing 2 studs in black (45 mins spent on each), I wanted to try other embroidery threads. My impression of Noreen is she is someone with an energetic spirit and who adores colors (especially the shades of green). Hence, I chose 4 colors for the remaining 2 studs. 

With 4 embroidery threads from DMC and instead of sewing the button stitch on the surface, I did an inside-out button stitch (btw, it took me 1.5 hours to complete each stud) to create a smoother surface as an end result. And it worked! (at least for me :))

Next, I moved on to the surprise element - cross stitch embroidery that was specially customized for Noreen. If you have seen Noreen's artwork, you should have noticed that she is an expert in writing her sentences inverted. The design of the embroidery " m i u n " were specially chosen in inverted small caps, with a bug as the logo (an inspiration from her recent project). 

After completing the embroidery work, I wasn't happy with the final look of the "bug" so I re-designed the embroidery. Instead of bug, I instead designed a pixelated version of Noreen to replace the "bug" and I was glad and pleased that I did.

The final fix is to put everything together after needlework, which is the time when I can fix the "torn" (by me) part of the jacket to provide a complete finishing. In the Mending Story: Part 2  Miun's Jacket, I did some natural dyeing on some of my plain fabric and now it's time to put them in use. I applied what I called grandma stitch (whip stitch) to patch up all the missing pieces. During mending, the hardest part was to gently tear everything apart and gently piece them back into one piece (like a surgeon) and let them breathe a new (second) life. 

To me, a mending project is like a free spirit. The result is very dependant on the communication and connection between the owner and the "mender" (someone who mends clothing for a living. Haha! That's me) In this case, this jacket was so precious to Noreen because "it" shared many precious moments with Noreen like a best friend. Because of this intimate relationship that she shares with her jacket, she wanted to try her best to save "it". 

Something to share:

In 2019, the textile waste in Singapore was 168,000 tonnes and only 4% was recycled.
Each garment weighs approximately 200-500gram depending on its material. 
Let's say 1 garment = 500g, let's see what the figures will look like?

1 tonnes =1,000,000g (about)
1,000,000g divided by 500g = 2,000 garments

Year 2019 textile waste
168,000 tonnes= 168,000,000,000 gram
168,000,000,000 gram divided by 500g = 336,000,000 garments

336,000,000 garments divided  5,000,000 people (estimated population size in Singapore)
Each of us throws away 5-6 garments monthly
and about 67 garments every year

4% was recycled
(Singapore is only that small, are you aware that Singapore's landfill, is running out of space for trash?)

If each one of us can change the relationship with what we wear (like Noreen), these clothes won't have the need to end up in a landfill every day/month/ year. Although they might be cheap, they are definitely not free. Cos you buy more to waste more

It's ok to wear the same garment, over and over again; Fashion dies the next day but your style will remain. You are beautiful not because of how you look but because of what you do.

Lastly, let me share how Noreen styled her old "new" friend.
Special thanks to Jimmy Phua for being the underground professional photographer, who made Noreen (and her "new" jacket) look like a star! 

Reviews from Noreen @miun

Thank you for your time to digest this far. I am hoping that this post will make you re-think before your next purchase. Knowing that every decision you make will create a big impact on the cycle of resources and waste, we will all hopefully make wiser decisions on the clothes we buy or save
We don't have a second planet like Mother earth, so let's do our best to keep her healthy and happy.

Happy planet; healthy life,
Waee Waee