Repair on the Run

Toss it, no way! ~ Repair Cafe International


Melbourne (Inner West) Repair Cafe is part of Repair Cafe International

RUDE had a fun and very busy few hours at the first Melbourne (inner west) Repair Cafe.  It was held in Seddon, Melbourne on 6 March, 2016. 

We had a drive down the highway, as the repair cafe we are participating in,  is not held in our town.  We were keen to make this event memorable. We arrived early at the cafe where the event was to be held.  Our mantra which is Beat The Man was foremost in our renegade repairer minds. 

The previous day, we had spent time trying to think what might be necessary to use.  It was a big unknown really but we gathered together enough but not too much, in order to mend and make do.  We were hoping that some fixees might also bring some of their own repair resources, like fabric for patching and appropriate coloured thread.

When the time came to start repairing, it was full on, with the cafe rocking repair.  RUDE Boy was thrilled to repair two vintage Planet lamps.  And I had a couple of garment repairs to keep me busy on the sewing machine.  There were two other fixers besides RUDE, also kept busy with repairs.  And our Repair Cafe organisers, triaged the repair jobs and gathered statistics. 

It demonstrated to me how resourceful I can be when the need arises, and is immediate.  Repair Cafe is not only a test of how quickly you can think on your feet but also your physical resilience to multitask.  I was literally juggling a couple of repairs at once, chatting with people, showing them how to repair and operating a sewing machine, filling out forms and having photos taken.

I guess debriefing in this blog post, has bought to mind speed dating.  Repair Cafe is akin to speed dating and could be titled speed mending!

Seriously, it was the most incredible reuse and repair experience for RUDE.  The best parts were meeting the fixees, discussing with them their precious and/or useful possessions before their items were repaired, and then showing them how to repair,
and interacting with them during the repair process.

The icing on the repair cafe cake was the photos taken of the fixers with their respective fixees.  The thing that stood out the most for RUDE Girl was there was not too much time to ponder and procrastinate over the repair. I just had to get to it, and mend and make do with what I had bought along.


Karen and Harley 6 mar 2016

RUDE Girl with Harley, who was shown how to sewing machine mend a very large hole, in a difficult spot,  on his favourite jeans.  Photo credit Doug Palmer



Karen and Hardie 6 mar 2016

RUDE Girl with Hardie who had a large rip in the knee of her favourite jeans.  She was shown by Barbara another textiles’ fixer at Repair Cafe [background on sewing machine] how to open up the seam of the leg.  Then RUDE Girl showed her how to patch by sewing machine and hand.  The patch is from a shirt rescued from landfill.  Photo credit Doug Palmer



The same recycled fabric from a recycled shirt, rescued from landfill that patched the jeans above, made this pocket pouch for the storage of our flash drives.



Karen and hardie B 6 mar 2016

A very easy fix of the shoulder pad on a bag strap that required some sewing machine stitching. Photo credit Doug Palmer




RUDE Boy fixing two vintage Planet lamps that belonged to Lauren’s father.  Apparently she brought in the two lamps,  hoping for one to be fixed with the parts of the other.  But RUDE Boy was able to fix the both of them!  Photo credit Doug Palmer



Danny behind counter Rhubarb 6 Mar 2016

RUDE Boy’s talents did not go unnoticed by the venue’s staff.  As a thank you gesture for letting our Repair Cafe use her venue, he ended up helping behind the counter.  Photo credit Doug Palmer

Beat the Man by cutting out the middle man, and try speed mending.  It’s free and a blast!


12 thoughts on “Repair on the Run

  1. A very productive day indeed Rude Boy and Girl. It’s a great feeling to be out and about meeting like-minded people. Your skills would have been invaluable as well as sharing your mantra re recycling and reusing. So good that you’re part of the inaugural Repair Cafe here in the West which has been something that you’ve had in mind to do for a long time. Congratulations and well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Yvonne for your encouragement and congratulations. They mean a lot to us, as we have been making a noise for a few years now, to have the repair cafe concept recognised in the west of Melbourne. It’s great the we can finally be involved and share our passion and skills in reuse and repair.


  2. love that colourful patch on those pants, some repairs make things last longer and other repairs really add something (the patch is in the latter). I am holding on to a lamp here to figure out how to repair or rewire…. jealous of those electric skills! looks like a great day, as well as meeting other repairers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Eimear, thank you for your comment. That colourful recycled cotton shirt is doing the rounds, that’s for sure. When I rescued it from landfill fate, I was like amazed at all those coloured squares of fabric serged together. It’s wonderful the fabric is able to be reused in other ways and this makes me happy.

      Yes, RUDE Boys electrical skills come in very handy. Let us know if you ever want to Skype and troubleshoot the lamp with him. They do surgery via link up, so why not rewiring a lamp. We could be the first on-line repair cafe!


  3. That’s interesting that you’re showing How to rather than just repairing for someone, it’s the same in Edinburgh, to pass on skills and tell them how to, so hopefully they’ll know for future reference. The added bonus to it all is you’re obviously enjoying it all. There’s something very satisfying about fixing or mending!

    Liked by 1 person

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