Even the most expert mending has its limits. Your daughter may love that dress to pieces (literally), but at some point it’s going to become unfixable. Is it garbage at that point? It can be. But here are a few options you might not have considered:
Break it down. Strip the item of any usable hardware – buttons, zippers, cute patches and appliques if they’re in good shape, and fun ribbon or reusable belts. If some of the fabric is in good condition, consider saving it for future mending projects.
Upcycle it. Can it be refashioned into a smaller item, maybe for a smaller member of the household? Pants can be cut down into shorts, long sleeves of adult-size shirts can be made into leggings for toddlers, old T-shirts into yoga pants or dresses, jeans into purses. Focus on the parts of the garment that aren’t patched to hell and back, and see what tickles your fancy. And if you come up with something cuter than this insanely adorable toddler dress – I wanna see it.
Cut it up into tiny little pieces. Okay, but cut it up with a purpose. I’ve already started a toothbrush rug, but a friend sent me this link and now I’d like to make a hula hoop rug too – I’m sure, over time, we will wear out enough T-shirts to do both.