Book Review: Joyful Mending explores the joy of mending the garments we love

Book cover - Joyful Mending by Noriko Misumi

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The practice of mending has had quite a resurgence in the last few years. For those of us that see the value in repairing an item, rather than throwing it away and buying a new replacement, it’s heartening to see that mending is being embraced by a broader audience.

Read about why I think mending is so importantLet’s Talk about Mending

Visible mending has become a real statement. Patched up clothing is no longer something to be embarrassed about, like our grandparents may have been in the past. Now you can show off your mending with pride, and wear your patches as a badge of honor!

Joyful Mending, a new book by Noriko Misumi, explores the joy of mending the garments we love.

Book review Joyful mending

Filled with practical mending techniques, both visible and invisible, Noriko approaches every mending project as an opportunity for creative expression.

Once you know how to mend, any hole or stain becomes a fount of enjoyment. – from Joyful Mending

Translated into English from the original Japanese version, this book has the classic minimalist ‘zakka’ aesthetic that we’ve all come to love about Japanese craft books.

The book is divided into 8 main parts:

Part 1 – Mending consultation booth

Includes ‘case studies’ from the authors mending workshops with easy instructions for repairs featured.

Part 2 – The Art of Joyful Mending

A short essay on the pleasures of mending and darning the objects we love.

Part 3 – Basic Mending Techniques

Includes step-by-step pictorial instructions for how to darn a circle, square and rectangle. And also how to needlefelt a patch.

Joyful mending -book with darning instructions

Part 4 – Invisible Mending vs Statement Mending

Examples with instructions on various ways to repair garments and other textiles both subtly and with creative flair. Includes fun ideas for embroidery, crochet and felted patches.

Joyful mending book review

Part 5 – Mending with Patchwork and Rug Hooking

More examples and instructions for creative repairs. This time with patchwork, and a technique I’d never thought to use, rug hooking.

rug hooking to make a patch

Part 6 – Mending Socks and Gloves

Especially handy for your favourite hand knitted socks that you just can’t part with.

mending socks

Part 7 – Mending Techniques

An illustrated glossary of embroidery stitches, crochet techniques and pattern charts.

Overall, Joyful Mending is a lovely read. It’s full of practical instructions and lots of creative ideas to approach your next mending project with a touch of whimsy.

Joyful mending book review

It even inspired me to visibly patch up the thoroughly worn out elbows of my favourite linen shirt. Scroll down to see how it turned out.

Joyful Mending : Visible Repairs for the Perfectly Imperfect Things We Love!
Paperback | 88 pages
by Noriko Misumi
Publisher – Tuttle Publishing
Language – English
ISBN 9784805315743

Buy from Dymocks (AUS)
Buy from Book Depository with free international shipping
Buy from Amazon (US)

Hand Stitched Elbow Patches inspired by Joyful Mending

Worn out shirt sleeve

As you can see, I’ve worn this linen shirt till it was thread bare! I have invisibly darned it in the past, but unfortunately my repairs needed repairing.

Some fabric from some old shirts in my scrap bag were the perfect solution to patch up my much loved shirt. I pieced a few off-cuts together to make a patchwork patch large enough to cover the worn out area.

patching Worn out shirt sleeve

With some embroidery floss I stitched running stitches to hold the patch in place ans reinforce the fabric. The colourful thread added some texture and visual interest.

patching Worn out shirt sleeve

After this photo, I was kind of hooked and continued to add more stitching, as well as adding a similar patch to the other sleeve, which was in a similar worn out condition.

I can’t wait to wear my favourite shirt again and show off my mending handiwork.

patching Worn out shirt sleeve

You may also enjoy the following Craft Book Reviews:


Joyful Mending Book Review

This post contains affiliate links. The featured book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


  • patricia says:

    I never dreamed there were enough other people who love to mend, the way I do, to write an entire book about the subject! I have loved to mend and embroider over holes, etc, since I was a teenager. I must buy this book. Thank you for writing about it, I would not have known it existed otherwise. I love your book reports!

  • Rosie says:

    I once splashed bleach on a favourite dark green skirt. I embroidered sequins in a random pattern to cover the white spots. I worn it for years after, quite pleased with myself.

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