A man's guide for mending those rips and worn elbows; Sewing Hints for Men, by A. Jay Abrams and Sondra R. Albert. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company. $9.95.

For many, the care and mending of clothing are best left to someone else, but t his book can give a measure of independence in basic sewing techniques. "Sewing hints for Men" is an excellent gift for a bachelor, a single woman, or a student away from home, although marrieds who are novices at sewing will also find it helpful.

The first chapters cover such subjects as what tools to buy, hand stitching, and how to select a sewing machine and care for and use it. The information is all helpfully presented, but it seems to be more detailed than one would need for only mending tasks. Many people would not have a sewing machine unless they made some of their clothes, and those with that much experience really don't need this book.

The most helpful chapters are in the second half of the book, and the text is accompanied by excellent illustrations. "Techniques of Mending" describes many ways to mend with patches for holes, rips, worn elbows, etc. It tells how to use iron-on patches and how to darn by hand or machine. There is even a section on how to open a seam that needs repairing (without tearing the fabric), the patch a tear or wear in that seam if necessary. There are illustrations of several types of seams, and much emphasis is given to the care of jeans.

The next chapter continues with "typical repair problems," which include holes in pockets, opened pants seams, worn jacket linings, broken and damaged zippers, and sewing buttons back on.

Another chapter can be a money-saver, as it shows how to alter trousers and jeans hems and take in the waist on a pair of trousers. The last chapter covers "wardrobe maintenance," describing the care of various fabrics and how to remove stains.

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