I do many different types of mending, such as: visible mending, (close to) invisible mending, interior and exterior patching, machine and hand darning (including hand-knit items), de-logoing*, re-sewing seams, and turning a collar. Sometimes I'll use multiple techniques in the same project.
If you want me to mend something for you:
- first, read my policies (below)
- second, fill out my mending request form.
Click on any picture above or below to learn more about the story of that particular project.
More about my mending
Sometimes, I’ll do visible mending, using contrasting fabric or thread to proudly display the mend. Other times, I’ll do close to invisible mending, so that the garment looks like new. It all depends on your preferences and on what’s appropriate given the specifics of your garment. The type of fabric, the amount of wear and tear the garment has seen, and the location of the holes all impact what sorts of mends are possible.
Are you annoyed by tote bags and other "swag" with loud logos on them? Do you wish you could get all that advertising/word clutter out of your life?
The answer: a Marga Mends "De-Logo" treatment. I’ll sew a tasteful patch over the offending logo. If you want, I can make the patch functional: by omitting the top line of stitching, a patch becomes a pocket. See below for pictures.
What you pay
I bill my mending services on a sliding scale ($14.25 suggested minimum* - $29). See below for details and special cases.
Shipping to me and back to you
Unless you live in the same town as me, I prefer that you ship your items to me rather than dropping them off or having me pick them up. It’s nicer for both of us not to have to deal with the logistics/scheduling of pick-up and drop-off. I also like supporting the post office.
Shipping is FREE to you! After you fill out my mending request form, I’ll follow up with shipping instructions. I'll email you a pre-paid shipping label (or a code you can use to print out a label at the post office). Or you can just box up your item, go to the post office, send me a receipt, and I'll credit what you paid to your bill.
How long you wait
If your project is straightforward and small, and I don’t have much else on my to-do list, I might be able to turn it around in a couple of days. Usually, however, it takes a week or more. In my initial response to your project request, I’ll try to give you rough time estimate for your particular project.
When you pay
Payment isn’t due until seven days after you receive your mended item. I’ll invoice you, and you can pay that invoice via check or securely online with your credit card (via PayPal, but you don't need a PayPal account).
More details on pricing
- If I have to purchase new materials for a project, I will add what I paid to your bill.
- I usually charge only for hours spent actually mending, and not for the “admin” work of coordinating with clients and researching new mending techniques…..but there are some exceptions to this rule.
- The suggested minimum rate on my sliding scale is the Massachusetts minimum wage, which is currently $14.25/hr, but will increase to 15/hr in 2023. The maximum is $29/hour. This maximum is based on research indicating that emotional well-being increases as income increases, but only up until an individual earns $60,000 - $75,000 per year. A $60,000 yearly salary breaks down to $29/hour, assuming a 40 hour work week.
- All of this probably seems complicated. But don’t worry – I’ll try to give you some idea of what your bill will be before starting your mending. If the final bill is higher than expected, you can generally pay a lower amount of your choice. It’s negotiable, and I don’t want people to pay more than they can afford or seems reasonable to them.
- I’ll say this again: I recognize that the higher end of my sliding scale is quite expensive for most people. There is absolutely no shame in paying at the lower end of the scale. Frankly, even at the lower end of the sliding scale, it will sometimes be more expensive for me to mend or alter an existing garment than for you to replace it with a new, store-bought one. For that reason, and to make my services accessible to more people, if the bill seems unaffordable or unreasonable to you, please pay whatever lower amount makes you happy.
Wait….what about alterations, zipper replacements, and other stuff?
I’m de-emphasizing alterations (i.e. making your clothes fit better), zipper replacements, and custom projects (i.e. anything that falls outside of the specific mending techniques listed above or the specific upcycled items listed on my Make page.)
It's true that zipper replacements, custom projects, and alterations can be highly satisfying for both me and the client BUT these sorts of projects also tend to require more of my time, and more of the client’s time, and more “back and forth.”
Also, every year, I do get a few requests for custom projects that I simply don’t have the skill, equipment, or space to do.
I appreciate all the requests I get, but will sometimes say “no” to project requests that are outside of my wheelhouse.
In some special circumstances, however, I may be happy to do an alteration, zipper replacement, or custom project. In these circumstance, your bill will likely be on the high end, because:
- I’ll bill you $29/ hour instead of using the sliding scale
- Alterations: Your bill will also include any “fitting” time in addition to the sewing time.
- Zipper replacements: Your bill will include the cost of the zipper as well as travel and shopping time to purchase the zipper or time spent ordering the zipper online.
I’ve found that most projects fall in the two – five hours range, so a ballpark estimate for alterations, zipper replacements, or custom projects is $58 - $145.