This challenge has come at a great time for me. I love making and mending, and have a number of half finished projects lying around, some have been waiting for years! A new added incentive is that last year my mother died, and left me and my siblings a house full of things. Lots of decisions needed to be made, and I’ve said yes to loads of stuff.

I can’t bear to throw things out! The waste of resources and adding to landfill horrify me, so I end up with a lot of ‘clutter’ that might come in useful. And my experience is that it does! But to stop myself drowning in it all, I resolved to clear out some cupboards and make this my year of making and mending, and that was before Zina told me about her festival.

So, the projects I have on the go at the moment are

  • Patching and decorating some pairs of old jeans
  • Making curtains out of bedspreads for bathroom and toilet
  • Making a fruitcage out of home grown hazel and salvaged trampoline poles
  • Making a dress out of a top and a scarf
  • Making a net curtain for our bedroom to replace the ripped one
  • Decorating boxes with pictures from flower catalogues as filing containers

Others I’m planning are

  • Mending socks and tights
  • Mending duvet covers
  • Mending my canvas tent

My way of doing things is a bit chaotic, so I’m not going to show neatly finished things before I start on the next project! Part of my reason for doing this is to finish things I’ve already started, or had planned for a while, so that I can actually use these things, instead of having them sitting in the cupboards.

I was cutting out patches for jeans when I remembered the curtains for the bathroom would help reduce our energy bills, so moved onto that. Then I realised the currant bushes  and cherry trees needed to be netted to stop the pigeons eating the emerging buds, so the sewing had to wait. And of course, there will be all the normal interruptions of daily life: housework and childcare, and the garden…

I’m not in the habit of taking photo’s, so I may forget sometimes but I’ll try to show most stages of the process. Here are some pictures of some of the things I’ve done so far.

Cutting our patches, and some of the holes that need repairing. These jeans are my favourites!

Here’s the first bedspread cut in half to make two curtains. The colours were the inspiration for the tiles we chose for the bathroom more than ten years ago, so I’m excited about finally completing the scheme!

And here’s the fruitcage being made! Coppiced hazel from the garden, and 8 sturdy uprights from my neighbours’ trampoline net, offered at exactly the right moment!

I’m really looking forward to hearing about and seeing your projects, to feel part of this making and mending buzz, and to get inspiration and encouragement.