’tis the season to be crafting

As we spend more time at home again, make the most of chilly days and early evenings by taking up a new craft project.

Hikaru Noguchi-darned jumper

Darn it! As discussed in a recent article by Rosanna Dodds, visible mending is about more than thrift – it is a process by which we can save favourite garments and make them unique to us. It is also a craft that can fit into the time you have available. As Hikaru Noguchi, author of Darning: Repair, Make, Mend says,

“Most projects are finished within a few minutes to an hour. There’s no need to take out a sewing machine; the tools are as simple as a darning mushroom, needle and scissors. You can darn just as quickly as sewing on a button. If you’re set on darning a larger area, you can continue to enjoy the pleasures of sewing and working methodically, giving you a great sense of satisfaction in a job well done.”

Whether you are new to darning, or already an enthusiast, join us for a new season of Meet Make Mend with Katy Bevan and Kath Child from Atelier Stroud. The mending and darning circle meets on the first Wednesday of each month, starting on Wednesday 4th November at 7 p.m. Register here to join us online.

Rainbow peg dolls by Steffi Stern, inspired by Making Peg Dolls by Margaret Bloom

If you prefer to make rather than mend, then one of our many craft titles could inspire you, from needle felts to knitted animals and soft dolls. For online guidance author Steffi Stern runs a number of YouTube tutorials, which you can follow in your own time. These include a soft dolls workshop, with accompanying materials kit that can be bought from Steffi’s shop, The Makerss. You can also find more craft ideas on our YouTube channel.

Steffi is running a brand new workshop on Sunday 8th November at 11 a.m. celebrating winter with a hands-on robin masterclass.

Learn to make needle felted robins in Steffi Stern’s online workshop

Throughout November Steffi will also be running workshops on making nativity figures, from her book Making Simple Needle Felts. Watch live or catch up on YouTube.

For more seasonal crafts, both indoor and outdoor-based, The Children’s Forest, Findus, Food and Fun and Making the Children’s Year all have a variety of activities that are fun and educational.

Many of us may find this winter more challenging than usual. We hope that by immersing ourselves in the fun of crafting, we can make the most of this unusual time.

We’d love to see the results of your projects! Do share pictures of them on our social media – Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. We look forward to it!

Darning: repair, make, mend in the news

Hikaru Noguchi’s Darning: repair, make, mend has received some great reviews recently and has featured in several articles on darning.

The Simple Things

The book has been reviewed in magazines including Juno and The Knitter already this year and is the focus of a four page feature on darning in the February 2020 issue of The Simple Things magazine.

“The humble tradition of darning is elevated to an artform in this guide by Hikaru Noguchi. She explores fundamental techniques to repair worn-out socks and moth-eaten sweaters, and also provides ideas for making your darning stitches into attractive features on your clothing. This guide has step-by-step tutorials and beautiful photography.”

The Knitter

Inspired by the book, the Meet Make Mend darning circle run by Katy Bevan from Hawthorn Press and Kath Child meets again on 24th February at Atelier Stroud. Visit Eventbrite for more information.

Darning: repair, make, mend is the first publication for Quickthorn, our new imprint for books about sustainable making. Inspiring, manageable and quick to read, subjects will include sustainable living and making for wellbeing. Mindful of our impact on the environment, Quickthorn will be commissioning books with an emphasis on recycling, mending and re-use.

This is the first UK edition of the cult darning book by Hikaru Noguchi who has become a guru of visible darning in Japan. This detailed step-by-step guide makes the methods easy to follow even for non-sewers. The stylish photography shows off the artistic and minimalist style of the designer’s work.

Repair, Make, Mend

Darning events with Hikaru Noguchi

Darning was once- and still remains in many households across the globe- a necessity. With the advent of fast fashion it became cheaper (and more stylish) to buy new clothes rather than spend the time fixing those we have. But more and more of us switching on to the fact that this behaviour is not sustainable and we need to reconsider the way we consume. Artists like Hikaru Noguchi are changing the way we view darning by bringing us techniques of visible mending that can be worn as a mark of pride, showing that you can literally wear your values on your sleeve.

Darning: repair, make, mend, Hikaru Noguchi ISBN 9781912480159, £19.00

Here are some events coming up where you can learn more about Darning from Hikaru herself and other associated artists mentioned in the book…

Book Launch: Darner’s in Conversation with Hikaru Noguchi, Rachael Matthews and Celia Pym. Wednesday 27th November 6.30pm, Loop London (sold out)

Mending and Darning Circle with Katy Bevan of Hawthorn Press and Kat Child of Atelier, Last Monday of the month 7- 9pm, Atelier Stroud, Oct 28, Nov 25.

Darning and Embellishment Workshop with Hikaru Noguchi, Friday 20th October, 10.30-12.30pm, The Garbstore London

Stroud Darning Launch Stroud Book Festival, Wednesday 6th November 5.00- 6.30, Atelier Stroud

Mending with Celia Pym Stroud Book Festival, Wednesday 6th November, all day workshop at Atelier Stroud. Tickets £75 includes materials and lunch.

Bespoke personalisation with Hikaru Noguchi. Friday 20th October 4pm – 7pm, The Garbstore London