Mending with a Mathstodon

A pale beige fabric with criss-crossing darns on it

We noticed recently that there was an unexpected hole in a pair of The Australian’s trousers. Unexpected, because above the knee, nowhere near a pocket, and the surrounding fabric was in better condition than the hole would suggest.

I am sure I couldn’t achieve an invisible mend on a fine cotton twill such as this, so then it became a matter of considering Visible Mending – making the whole thing look deliberate and considered, rather than pulled together any old how. So, I asked, what sort of patch would you like?

A section of the Mathstodon header image is on a desk, with a small cut out mastodon on top of it

Which is how I came to be messaging The Australian’s co-moderator on the Mastodon instance, “”, to ask for permission to use the header/logo image he had sketched as the basis for an embroidered patch.

I did think of using the whole thing, embroidered on a larger piece of cloth, but I felt it would make the trousers a bit uncomfortable, so I am extracting the Mathstodon himself, and his counting frame, and I can always add more diagrams and formulae if the trousers wear in other places…

Mathstodon cut out in grey quilting cotton laid over the pale beige fabric

I wouldn’t normally use a hoop when I’m mending a pair of trousers, but it did make it much easier to keep track of where the darned bit was.

The Mathstodon himself is cut out of grey quilting cotton with a slightly marbled print, and I’m going to attach him conventionally over the darn, first held in place with small running stitches and then with buttonhole stitch around his edge, and a few extra details on the inside.


  1. This will be a unique patch! My American quilting friend here in Japan also patches her worn jeans with animals – patches featuring butterflies and squirrels. They have been known to be show-stoppers at quilt shows!

  2. Sue Jones says:

    That’s lovely, Rachel! It will be admired and remembered by all who see it! Well done.

  3. Alex Hall says:

    That’s so cute, as well as being an awesome pun and potentially a conversation starter for the curious!

  4. Jillayne says:

    What a great idea – and so unusual!

  5. Meredithe says:

    That’s a unique solution!

  6. Linda says:

    What a good idea.

  7. Carolyn Foley says:

    I like that patch.