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Mending by Hand: Visible Stitching 1S23

Age Group: 
Teens (17+), Adults

This workshop focuses on a technique called "darning," a fabric mending technique that involves re-weaving a portion of fabric by-hand.  Add new life to a beloved garment by darning tears, weak patches, stains and more. You may elect to make your darned repairs invisible, or embrace re-imaging your garment with an intentionally visible repair. 

In this class you will practice surface darning first on scrap fabric, and then use the second part of class to apply what you’ve learned to your own garment.

Bring a garment to practice on! (If you want to darn a garment with a hole, it’s best to start with a hole no larger than a quarter!)

Types of garments suitable for this type of darning:




Medium-weight woven shirts


Types of garments not suitable for this type of darning:

Athletic wear or anything super stretchy and form fitting

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Jessamy Kilcollins


Jessamy Kilcollins is a textile artist, fashion designer, and mender with a focus on sustainability and handcraft processes. Her work explores the physical and the metaphysical properties of textiles. Using fabric scraps, secondhand clothing, and vintage materials, plus handwork techniques such as embroidery and beading, she explores the way the human experience is intimately entangled with the textiles that constantly surround us. She creates a new chapter in the lives of these reclaimed textile elements by interacting with their innate histories and teasing out new stories.

Jessamy holds a BFA in Fibers and a Certificate in Fashion Design from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In January 2020, she was one of eight designers from the Northeast selected to participate in a sustainable fashion design competition called Project Upcycle, and was awarded second place for her gala look sewed from repurposed secondhand clothing.  Her upcycled work has also been shown at Eileen Fisher Chestnut Hill, and local independent music festival Starlabfest.  She has coordinated and participated in sustainability-focused mending pop-up events in and around Somerville, where she lives with her partner and two cats.

Fibers, sewing, mending
Materials to bring to class:

A garment to repair.

needles - chenille needle, size 22 and tapestry needle, size 22 

darning egg for socks & small areas, or 6”-8” embroidery hoop for sweaters or larger areas

yarn or embroidery floss - it’s best to match fiber content as closely as possible (ie cotton embroidery floss for a cotton shirt, or wool yarn for a wool sweater). You may wish to match the color or choose one or several contrasting colors!

*Darning eggs and hoops will also be available to use during class, but not to take home. A kit of two needles and a selection of yarn and floss will be available for purchase form the instructor for $10.