Mending Matters – Katrina Rodabaugh


Mending Matters – Katrina Rodabaugh


Mending Matters explores sewing on two levels: First, it includes more than 20 hands-on projects that showcase current trends in visible mending that are edgy, modern, and bold—but draw on traditional stitching. It does all this through just four very simple mending techniques: exterior patches, interior patches, slow stitches, darning, and weaving. In addition, the book addresses the way mending leads to a more mindful relationship to fashion and to overall well-being. In essays that accompany each how-to chapter, Katrina Rodabaugh explores mending as a metaphor for appreciating our own naturally flawed selves, and she examines the ways in which mending teaches us new skills, self-reliance, and confidence, all gained from making things with our own hands.

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“I focus on fiber arts, sustainability, and slow fashion.

I’m an artist, writer, and crafter working across disciplines to explore environmental and social issues through traditional craft techniques. Mostly, I rethink the relationship between fiber art, sustainability, and slow fashion. Since August 2013 I’ve been on a fashion fast, Make Thrift Mend, to focus on mending, plant dyes, and prioritizing handmade or secondhand garments instead of buying new clothing. I also grow, forage, and harvest dye plants near my farmhouse in the Hudson Valley.

My work has appeared in galleries, magazines, theaters, books, juried craft fairs, and alternative arts venues like the tiny house my husband built out of reclaimed materials. I published my first book,The Paper Playhouse: Awesome Art Projects for Kids Using Paper, Boxes, and Books in January 2015 and my second book, Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More with Abrams Books in October 2018. I’ve received artist awards, grants, and residencies from the Vermont Studio Center, Zellerbach Family Foundation, Puffin Foundation, Creative Capacity Fund, and InstarLodge among others. My now-retired blog, Made by Katrina, won the Country Living Blue Ribbon Blogger Award.

I hold a BA in Environmental Studies and an MFA in Creative Writing but I’ve been working with arts organizations and making fiber arts for two decades. In 2013, shortly after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Dhaka Bangladesh, I combined my work and passions into one project, Make Thrift Mend. This project allows me to use my various training in sustainability, fiber arts, writing, and community organizing with a single focus on sustainable fashion.

I’m originally from Horseheads, NY, then I spent two decades between Brooklyn, NY; San Francisco, CA; and Oakland, CA before returning to Upstate NY in 2015. I now live in the Hudson Valley, two hours north of Manhattan, with my artist husband and our two beautiful sons. We’re slowly renovating our 200-year-old farmhouse and converting the adjacent carriage barn into our art studios. We’re planting fruit trees, establishing gardens, tending dye plants, and raising chickens and bees.”

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