I might be the last woman left in America who says “darn” to mean what I do by hand to repair clothing

I was just ironing (thanks to two podcast episodes of “This American Life,” I’m all caught up,) and found a hole in the sleeve of this dress of Mabel’s  (link).  So I fixed it:


Can’t see it?  Here’s a closer shot:


I do really hope the hole happened when Mabel snagged her sleeve on something, and not as the first sign that the entire dress is about to disintegrate.

I don’t hand-darn every hole that happens to my kids’ clothes — only if the hole is on something nice and worth rescuing.  Less-nice things I’ll darn by machine, and yes, sometimes I’ll even throw something out.  (I did spend forty minutes the other day mending a hand-me-down dress my sister loaned to Rose, only to discover that Rose had outgrown it.  Oops.)  And, while there are some types of mending I despise, hand-darning’s not too unpleasant, usually.

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8 Responses to I might be the last woman left in America who says “darn” to mean what I do by hand to repair clothing

  1. Beck says:

    We darn! Or more accurately, my husband darns. I can’t sew.

  2. Lis says:

    I always wished I knew how to darn.

  3. Melanie J says:

    I absolutely love This American Life. Half the time I wouldn’t do weights at the gym if I didn’t have that to listen to. So I guess TAL is the only reason I don’t weight 300 pounds. Thanks, Ira Glass.

  4. Virginia Wood says:

    My husband frequently throws in my face the fact that HIS mother darned his socks. I do not darn socks!


  5. zstitches says:

    Perhaps you could point out to him that one of your niece’s blog friends’ husbands does all the darning for their family.

    I do NOT darn socks, either. (I do kind of want a darning egg, though. And I wish they still sold darning thread.)

    • lili says:

      I actually did sew up a pair of tights (so, not socks, but close enough) a few weeks ago. They were thick brown expensive tights I’d only worn once or twice, and they already had a big unsightly run in them. So I darned them up and they’re happy again. Can’t even tell. That’s the best kind of mend, right? When you can’t even tell?

    • lili says:

      Oh yeah. I meant to say that as I darned the tights, I thought to myself, I bet more people will be darning their clothes again now that the economy’s collapsing? I bet I’m right, too…

  6. Heather says:

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who still darns things.

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