Gosh darn!

You often hear reference being made to darning, especially socks, but it’s a skill or technique seldom used these days. It’s certainly not one I’ve mastered but I’m quite happy to put it to practise to mend a favourite comfy skirt I wear about the house.

First things first- get a cup and place it beneath the hole in your piece of clothing. Stretch the fabric a little to keep it taunt (as you can see I hold it between my knees).

Step 1

Next using a needle and thread that matches the fabric (stripes make that a little difficult) sew vertically across the hole.

Step 2

Then it’s time to go horizontal! Weave the needle through the vertical stitches (under over etc) making sure to alternate each row.

Step 3

That’s it- you’re done! As you can see below I’m no expert but the hole is mended and I can wear my favourite house skirt again. Have you attempted to darn a piece of clothing? Or is there a mending skill you’re determined to master?

All done!



  1. Delurking…… I was lucky enough to inherit from my Nan (Grandmother in the UK) a darning mushroom and I still use it to this day. I love the thought that it has been used to mend my family’s clothes for at least 3 generations 🙂


    1. Isn’t that wonderful! One of the beautiful aspects of learning/using old skills is that you are connected to the people in your history. It’s very easy to imagine your Grandmother sitting and darning using exactly the same darning mushroom way back when. It also tells you something about the quality of that darning mushroom- built to last!

  2. I just commented on Rhonda’s blog this morning about darning a pair of handknit socks, something I haven’t done for a very long time. My grandma taught me and I’m now a grandma myself.

    I ran a thread of tiny stitches all around the hole, but beyond the thin material. This stabilises the material and stops hole enlarging. Then threads one way across the hole to the border, as tightly packed togethr as possible. Turn mend around and weave under and over every one of those original threads. Finish off and hopefully it lies nice and flat. I’m out of practice, but it felt good and my favourite happy socks have a new lease of life.

    I don’t have a darning mushroom, but a very old cowrie shell serves the same purpose. A cup, light bulb, even an orange all work too.

    1. Sewing tiny stitches around the hole for stability is a great tip. I’ve never actually watched anyone else darn so am still learning. It’s great to hear what others do.

      Now hand-knitted socks, what a luxury! My knitting skills aren’t quite up to sock stage (they’re still at dishcloth and scarf stage) but hopefully I will get there one day!

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