Women & Bicycles: Darning for an Active Lifestyle

Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 6:15 PM

WABA HQ, 2599 Ontario Road NW


As a part of WABA’s Women and Bicycles program, this event is only open to anyone who identifies as women/trans/femme. Not you? Lots of other WABA events at Know someone who should come? Please share this event with them! 

Biking can ask a lot of our clothes and many issues or damage can be fixed with a little bit of time and a few supplies. Darning is a great way to honor the resources and time that went into making the item, use less resources, keep beloved items useful, and use our money and time for other choices and needs.

Ursula is bringing her personal mending studio, a whole lot of examples (socks, sweaters and more!), and we will learn-by-doing to keep our clothes and gear lasting longer this open working session!

Issues that can be fixed: Holes in socks, sweaters or other knitted materials, places where weaving new material to cover the hole is an appropriate solution to the damage. Wool socks are a classic item to darn. 

Issues that cannot be fixed: Completely shattered or destroyed material, anything that is dirty, anything that needs to be fixed with other sewing techniques (some basic mending tutorials here). 

We are going to start right on time so that everyone can learn at the same time. Please bring a sweater/sock/other item that needs darning (preferably one of them with a hole the size of a quarter or less – bigger holes can take a lot of time!) and something to stabilize the item as your work such as a darning mushroom or tennis ball (see this basic tutorial for design intent and other ideas). 

There is limited time – Ursula can advise on larger or more complicated projects, and has some resources for other options but we do not expect that 2 hours is enough time to learn and fix everything! Small holes are fixable during the workshop, but you may have to purchase needles or additional materials if you do not finish during the workshop. 

We will have: yard and thread (limited thicknesses, materials and colors), some needles, a few darning mushrooms.  

Additional Details: 

Know how to do some darning? Please come either to work on your projects, support others and/or learn something. If you have supplies to share, we would appreciate you bringing them! Please keep in mind that what works for you may not work for everyone, there are a lot of different techniques, and unsolicited advice can feel unwelcoming and condescending. Please come in the spirit of solidarity and communal problem solving. 

Do you have knowledge, including lived experience, that would be valuable to include in organizing or hosting this event? Please email me at – I would love to have a few folks helping to host this!  

We will have some snacks to share but feel free to bring food (either to share or just for you). Do keep in mind that darning involves lots of hand contact with your project so messy/oily foods are challenging. 

Want to start before the workshop? A basic darning technique here and DC Public Library books on mending, including darning, here (my favourite is Mend It Better).   

Getting to WABA HQ: The office is halfway between the Columbia Heights and Woodley Park Metro stations, and close to many bus lines. There is plenty of bicycle parking in the office. There is very limited car parking on the street. 

This event is taking place on unceded Nachotchtank land. (Learn more here.)

Need accommodations, have questions about access, something the organizer should know about you (ex: severe peanut allergy) or have questions about the event? This event will be in our back conference room which requires no stairs. Let us know if we need to turn on Google captioning – current setup is oral English.

Not sure if your item(s) are fixable? Send us an email at Women & Bicycles is a WABA program formed to empower, educate, and encourage women/trans/femme identifying bicycle-riding persons in the DC, Virginia, and Maryland metro areas. Learn more at

Having trouble registering? Try this link.