Mending Life by Nina Montenegro and Sonya Montenegro

Mending Life: A Handbook for Repairing Clothes and Hearts

by Nina Montenegro and Sonya Montenegro

Mending Life is a beautifully illustrated, practical tool kit for repairing the clothes and belongings we love. It is also an exploration of how mending can be a gently healing practice in our daily lives and a small act of rebellion in a world where many things are discarded without thought.

Mending Life encourages us to cherish our things by repairing them rather than discarding them. It also encourages us to change our consumption habits so that with small mends here and there, we extend the life of our garments and other household items. This handbook is for beginners but also offers more advanced techniques to those with some experience in mending.

You’ll learn basic techniques such as patching, but will have options to take it a step further with decorative sashiko stitching; you’ll also learn how to darn socks and mend sweaters, as well as things like a tear in a bedsheet or down jacket. And along the way, the authors share heartfelt stories about the powerful act of mending, which strengthens not only the object we are repairing, but ourselves as well. Vibrant, full-color illustrations are woven throughout the handbook.

Mending Life is a timeless, practical guide to cherishing and caring for our belongings.

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: March 10, 2020.

Length: 224 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Non-Fiction. Craft and Hobbies.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.

My Thoughts

Mending Life is equal parts a a book about mending clothes and philosophical statement on how learning to mend can change your life. Throughout the book you will find information on not just how to repair and care for clothing but how you can learn to cherish clothing and make steps away from our throwaway mentality around damaged items.

While I do alter a lot of my clothes as I am quite short, Mending Life has provided me a number of different techniques to try. Certainly all knowledge of how to hem my pants were self taught, so all but the most basic stitches included in this book were revelations.

Certainly I could have googled these things but the truth is – I haven’t.

Mending Life is a great resource for those of us who have been making do with our own self taught techniques or those of us who have tried to follow YouTube videos and haven’t really gotten them. Mending Life not just a helpful how to guide but it offers so many more tips on how what you’re doing to mend your clothes could be better. (While I have fixed holes in my socks, I have not been doing it the way shown in the book which would explain why the socks keep falling apart 😅)

In addition to providing easy to follow steps on how to repair items of clothing, just from reading this book I have been inspired to reuse some of my favourite clothes – these items of clothing are ones that I haven’t thrown out because I just love them so much and wish I could still wear. While some of these clothes are completely beyond repair, I now have a project in mind to use the material as pockets on my plain black shirts!

The biggest draw card of all of this is that Mending Life is all about how you can do all of this with just a needle and thread – for those of us making do it is an amazing book that empowers you to make your own repairs. All without a sewing machine!


If you’re a self taught mender or looking at learning how to keep your clothes for longer – Mending Life is an amazing resource! Not only does it have clear instructions and helpful step by step pictures, but the book is so encouraging in regards to cherishing clothes and taking steps to change our consumption habits.

Mending Life is a great book if you are looking towards making positive and sustainable steps in your lifestyle. Or if you are looking to make a change from our throw-out culture.

Please note: I received a copy of Mending Life from NetGalley.

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