Do you have holes in your clothes and don't know how to fix them? Would you prefer to learn mending from a human and not a book? Are you bored and lonely from self-isolation?
Learn how to make your clothes better than new with me, professional mender Erin Lewis-Fitzgerald, author of the book Modern Mending.
This course focuses on visible mending – creative, colourful repairs – but also covers some invisible methods. You'll learn a wide range of clothes-mending techniques, including hand stitching, patching, darning and needle felting. And you'll gain mending confidence and learn how to troubleshoot when things don't go to plan.
Based on my popular Melbourne mending course, this course is taught live online (not recorded), giving you the opportunity to ask questions and have them answered straight away. And you'll be able to chat with other students and see what they're mending.
The online version of this course has a few advantages to the in-person version:
- You don't have to leave work early or cross town in peak-hour traffic to get to class on time.
- Students outside Melbourne can join us (International students: read my note below).
- I draw on your photographs of items that need mending (with my magic computer) and illustrate specific mending solutions in class.
- I show live video of my hands at work, so you don't have to crowd around me while I demonstrate a particular technique.
- We will all be safer and not infect each other!
The course is suitable for ages 15 and up; no mending experience is required.
Modern Mending is the course textbook (my dream come true!) and we will be referring to it often. Purchase it here or support your local bookshop if you're in Australia or New Zealand (some are offering free local delivery at the moment). If you're outside Australia/New Zealand, please ensure you have a copy of the book before you purchase the course, as the book is highly unlikely to arrive from Australia in time with current international postal delays.
Class dates & times
Sunday mornings, 10am-noon, Melbourne time:
- Australian Eastern Standard Time (UTC + 10) x 4 sessions
- Australian Eastern Daylight Time (UTC + 11) x 2 sessions
Daylight saving occurs in Melbourne on Sunday 4 October.
The first four sessions are devoted to specific techniques. The last two sessions are open, where you can work on your mending projects with my guidance, and we'll spend more time discussing complex mending problems and how to tackle them.
- 6 Sept 2020 (AEST): introduction + hand stitching
- 13 Sept 2020 (AEST): patching
- 20 Sept 2020 (AEST): darning
- 27 Sept 2020 (AEST): needle felting
- 4 Oct 2020 (AEDT - daylight saving begins): open session
- 11 Oct 2020 (AEDT): open session
Unlike my usual course we won't cover machine darning, as I can't provide sewing machines or safely supervise your use of them online. But I've written incredibly detailed machine-darning instructions in the book, should you wish to learn it.
I've assembled a basic course kit (optional) that I can mail to Australian students before the course starts. You're also welcome to purchase only the individual items you need from this shop, upgrade to fancier supplies if you wish, or get similar supplies locally if you're not in lockdown/quarantine.
Kit contents (colours will vary):
- combination pack of 50 hand-sewing needles (sewing, embroidery and darning) with needle threader
- wool mending yarn for darning x 1 colour*
- wool fleece for needle felting x 2 colours*
- foam block for needle felting
- felting needles x 2
- Steam-A-Seam 2 Lite double-stick fusible web - 12x15cm piece
- Rooftop honey 15g beeswax block*
- stranded cotton embroidery floss for stitching/darning x 2 colours
- assorted fabric scraps for patching and practising needle felting
* If you're vegan, let me know in the comments at checkout and I'll substitute the animal products for vegan ones.
Not included in the kit / please BYO (but if you are stuck in quarantine and can't get these things, let me know):
- cup or pot of tea
- computer with a decent internet connection and webcam or a smartphone that can run Zoom teleconferencing software
- clothes or other fabric in need of mending
- sharp scissors (ideally one pair for fabric/thread only and another to cut cardboard and sticky stuff)
- safety pins or fabric pins
- tea towel or other tightly woven cotton fabric to use as a mending sampler
- small piece of thin cardboard (e.g. cereal-box weight) to use as a patch template
- clothes iron
- Modern Mending, the course textbook
Optional tools and materials:
darning mushroom or a small orange if you'll be darning socks
- embroidery hoop
- fabric-marking tool (e.g. water-erasable pen or fabric chalk)
The course timeslot this term is suitable for North Americans, who missed out last time, but not so much for Europeans unless you're night owls. The course kit is an optional purchase but the book is not, as it is the course textbook and we'll be referring to it often. International post is experiencing significant delays due to COVID-19; if you don't already have a copy of Modern Mending, it's probably best not to enrol this time, to avoid disappointment.
Terms & conditions
If you wish to withdraw from this course, you must notify me at least 7 days before the course begins in order to obtain a refund. Refund requests may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org - a refund will be made less a $10 administration charge.
No refunds will be provided for class kits or books, and no partial refunds will be provided for missed sessions.
In the event of a course cancellation all fees will be refunded in full.
Student testimonials for previous masterclasses
"Erin’s mending course was exactly how online courses should be. It was live and interactive, so we got to see and speak to real people, just like a regular class. She made great use of technology, including her ingenious hand cam for demos, and breakout rooms for smaller groups. My sewing skills are pretty basic, but even I easily learnt darning, patching, stitching and needle felting and have already saved a big pile of loved-but-worn-out clothes from ending up in landfill. Most surprising of all, I learnt that there are really no rules in mending, it’s actually really creative and fun." -- Linda, 2020 online student
"Erin’s mending masterclass was absolutely inspiring. From someone who is technically already a professional mender, working in alterations, I learnt so much! We delved into many creative and modern mending techniques I hadn’t tried before. The classes were well structured and easily adaptable to all different skill levels. I fell even deeper in love with mending as a creative way forward for sustainable fashion. Thanks Erin!" --Tali, 2019 student
"It has been so rewarding to breathe new life and creativity into my clothes. I've fixed ripped jeans, patched my jacket and finally learned to darn socks. Now I see moth holes as opportunities for visible mending art projects, and old favourites that I thought were just rags are now back in active use. Erin leaves you with the confidence, skills and inspiration to tackle your mending pile and the techniques are so straightforward that I've already passed them on to friends and family. Your wallet and the environment will thank you - you can't afford not to do this course!" -- Kat, 2019 student
"Erin’s mending course is fantastic. I learnt loads of new mending skills (plus some good sewing tips) and had fun doing it. Erin’s a very engaging presenter who explains things well and is generous with sharing both her expertise and her mending supplies too. The group doing the course together were lovely, so supportive and encouraging." -- Claire O, 2019 student
"I really enjoyed and recommend the mending course. Erin is a wealth of knowledge and generous in sharing her tips and tricks, along with other resources from great books to mending supplies and tools. Lots of inspiration too with the beautiful mending samples Erin brought in to share." --Claire L, 2019 student
"Thank you so much for an incredible class! I am so inspired and have already volunteered (eek!) to mend some friends' clothes. I am also planning to start a group in the New Year that meets once a month to make, create and share our knowledge on mending, crafts, making :)" -- 2018 student
"I loved this course. It gave me lots of techniques and inspiration for mending clothes in a creative and practical way." -- 2018 student
"The course was really well balanced and certainly delivered on its description, I definitely feel I could/can mend my own clothes - now just to find the time. Erin was a great teacher and helped develop a great group dynamic. Thanks for the new skills. The course was also excellent value." -- 2018 student
"Erin was very generous with her time and knowledge. It was great to hear about her philosophy, experiences, and see examples of her work. She was also excellent at encouraging everyone's projects." -- 2018 student
"Erin has a wonderful positive approach and makes everyone feel like they can achieve." -- 2018 student