I mean- not just terrible at finally getting around to it, but even at the stitching itself. There must exist a time-honored method to darn a holey sock so that one does not have a bunched up bit of thread and knots afterwards pressing on one's toes, making it constantly feel as if there is a pebble in one's shoe. The proper method surely exists, but the training thereof was sorely lacking from my upbringing. I rarely darn my socks because having a hole in one's sock is more comfortable.
But I know how excellent a practice it is to mend things. Of course, when a favorite shirt looses a button, I sew it back on. I even make the directions of its threads match the other buttons' threads, Jerry Seinfeld-style!
I have recently stooped even lower (or is it higher?) in my thrift-store shopping, to the point where I will actually buy something that needs mending, if it's a great item otherwise and for a steal of a bargain. For example, this gorgeous table-cloth:
Though it had a large hole in it, I was thrilled to find it! Ask Leslie: I did a little dance right there in the store. I love the Indian pattern, the colors, and the fact that it's pure rough cotton. For two bucks (I know, right!?) I knew that even if I couldn't mend it, the fabric could be used in so many ways. I've admired exotic tablecloths like this, in fancy kitchenware shops, and they cost more than 100.00 each.
But I did mend it.
Maybe my foremothers would squirm in their graves if they saw how I did it, but I managed. I used a patch from an old yellow pillowcase, and placed that behind the hole, securing both pieces in an embroidery hoop. The frayed bits of thread that were still hanging around the hole I smoothed back into position, as flat as possible. Then I just cross-stitched over it all, onto the patch! I used yellow, blue and red thread and tried to follow the pattern on the fabric so that the patch would blend in. It's not an exact match, but the patched area blends in over-all and is not eye-catching. You'd only notice the patch if you looked for it.
I am so pleased to be able to salvage this tablecloth for it's true purpose, because look how enormous it is! Our large dining-room table is lost under it. God bless the housewife, somewhere, who did not think it worth it to mend her tablecloth. At least she donated it to the thrift store! Lucky me.
(PS- If anyone out there does know how to properly mend a big hole in fabric, or even how to smoothly darn socks, please teach me!)