ronbreFebruary 18, 2009

well i just got through my entire pile of mending and i feel so very frugal..seeing as how my dh was nearly out of clothes..and would have had to buy some if i hadn't..also one great product, fabric glue and frey check..for those tricky mends..

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Good hints!!! A bit of iron-on tape/webbing can also stabilize a rent/tear from the back side.

I also keep my stash of embroidery floss at hand when mending. If I don't have the right color thread, I will use a strand of embroidery floss that is the right color. I also use embroidery floss for darning socks. I used to have the worlds largest collection of darning floss (LOL) purchased at "dime stores" in the notions department in the 70's and then at thrift stores and garage sales, but I've used it all up over the years.

And the ever handy steel crochet hook (one with a tiny hook on it). You can pull back snags on knits to the back side.

Mending...a dying art! You get your gold star for the day.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 3:00PM
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Most people around here absolutely will not do any mending or repair.

I ironed patches on my 8 yo ds's knees the other day. I figure spring is almost here and then he'll be back in shorts in a couple of weeks. He was absolutely uncooperative when we took him to buy jeans in the fall so I'd rather repair what I can rather than to go through the expense and hassle of new jeans even if the new jeans looked better. I don't see anyone wearing cutoffs anymore. I'm thinking about getting a new sewing machine so I can sew denim quilts and other things. I hate seeing good fabric wasted.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 3:51PM
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adellabedella - there are some of us die-hards who still mend things, me being one. It gives me a frugal hug to get extra wear out of items after I've mended them. I hope you find a machine for your sewing needs - there is so much fabric wasted in jeans that are outgrown or tossed. I volunteer sew for a local Salvation Army and we have made lots of items using the old jeans as a fabric base, these were sold and made some much needed money for various programs. While we will never make millions, I feel even the bits we bring in help others and saves these unsellable jeans from going in the landfill.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 5:19PM
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Budster - I totally agree with mending or using the material for another project. I just seem to be caught between the generations that make do or do without and those consider everything disposable. It's disheartening. To me, a pretty shirt coming apart at the seams is fabric and buttons for another project. A tin can or cardboard from a cereal box is a circle template for fabric yo yos. I grew up in a family that reused things for another purpose. I just find that a lot of people my age and younger are typically unable or unwilling to do anything other than throw used clothes and other items in the trash. They'd rather go buy some junky replacement at Wal-Mart.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 6:01PM
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yeah, while i was mending his shorts hubby was buying two new pair (guess he had given up on me..wahh..came home with them as i was announcing i finished the mending..oh well)

oh another quick thought about cereal boxes..covered in old fabric or paper they make gorgeous magazine sorting boxes for the magazines we save cause they are just too good to crochet magazine, cooking magazines..etc..just cut the front corner off at an angle leaving part of the side and top ends like the magazine files you pay $20 for 3 or the stores

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 6:42PM
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Amen to what you said. I don't think it is always the young generation that don't see outside the box (so to speak). Some of my best friends feel it is a loss of face to mend something or wear something with a patch. I just don't feel that way - and march to a different drummer I guess. Be happy DH only bought two pair.... now he has "good" pairs and serviceable ones.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 10:48PM
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I have several (as in more than a dozen) socks that need repair.

It's supposed to be a winter project and winter has been with us for a while ... but no darning done, yet.

I think it helps at least a little if you lay the needy pairs out along the edge of a spare bed ... with the idea that the one of the pair that's still intact feels sort of unused, useless, lost and lonely, accusing you of unconcern whenever you walk by.

I have some jeans with holes that need repair ... and a couple of pair that, having become too small, I'm planning to add an insert from the bottom of the crotch up along the backside to the waist so that they'll fit once again.

Shirts that need buttons.

A flannelette sheet whose binding thread along the end has come unravelled and needs resewing ... and there's some ungency to that, as the sheet that's on the bed now needs to be washed. Maybe I'll get a warm day to do the washing so that I can hang them out on the line ... but if they don't get dry and the raw-ended one hasn't been repaired, it sure would be too bad if I couldn't go to bed for a night. I do need that beauty sleep, don`tcha know!

I don't like to throw flannelette sheets into the dryer, as I think that it's hard on the nap ... wearing them out too quickly.

I realized after my return from the city on Sat. that I hadn't renewed my auto licence ... and it was annual meeting of one congregation that I attend on Sun., and I thought that son needed me to help set up my new computer, so I went - driving very carefully.

After the holiday on Mon., I went to the office on Tues. ... to be told that I needed an emissions test on the car (needed every two years - costs about $35.00). The oil needed changing and it`s a good idea to change it before going for the emissions test: I`d intended to get a filter on the way home, but forgot. Having got the filter, I`d hoped that my landlord would come along today, so that I could change the oil in his warm shop ... and he did, so I did.

Having done that ... I remembered that emissions tests aren`t required for vehicles over 20 years old ... so my `88 Mazda should be exempt. We`ll see tomorrow, after the Old Farts` coffee hour at the church, I guess.

Life do have its problems, don't it?

Hope you're all having a great week.

ole joyful

P.S. Hope for me that I don`t see any of those flashing red and white lights following me till the licence gets renewed, O.K.

o j

P.S. Drat! On my new computer (including keyboard), just tried to put a question mark at the end of the ``P.S.`` above - and here is what I got: ``Ã``, which doesn`t look much like a question mark, does itÃ

(Maybe it`s a question mark in ChineseÃ)

o j

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 2:59AM
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I always take a crack at mending clothes - it's just too expensive for us not too.

But I feel terrible when a piece of clothing is really outdated or beyond repair (bad rip which is not on a seam). Before it goes I remove all the buttons, zippers, snaps to be reused on another piece of clothing. Sometimes I will keep old tshirts and turn them into car wash/dusting rags.

The rest get send to Goodwill, as I discovered that damaged clothing can be donated as well - anything they don't sell in their stores - like the less then perfect clothing is send to 2nd & 3rd world countries and badly damaged clothing is reused as industrial rags so no need to throw away in the garbage. Just wash and donate.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 2:53PM
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I used to have what is known as a comforter, made out of jeans legs and other upholstery material. There was no need for batting, as in a quilt. Just a back, which happened in this case to be flannel, but could be most anything. It was tied with yarn about every 6 or 8 inches. I remember, as a child, watching my mother and several of her "Ladie's Aid Society" members working together to tie comforters. It took a little wrangling around, but it went fast with several hands.

That was the handiest thing! On cold winter nights, you could throw it over the other blankets and quilts on your bed for extra warmth. It stayed put and kept you toasty. On warm days you could use it to spread on the grass for a picnic or a place for the baby to lay in the shade while you did your gardening. The kids would drape it over the kitchen table to make a "cave", or over the clothesline to make a tent, and have all kinds of pretend events in there. When it got old and tattered, we kept it in the trunk of the car. It was useful for covering the back seat when the dog was hurt and had to go to the vet, or for throwing on the ground while DH changed a tire.

I do mend things, but I draw the line at sox because I get them for twenty-five cents a pair at garage sales. But I've been known to use the ribbing of the sox as interesting cuffs on sleeves. Some articles of clothing are cut up into quilt blocks. I have a very colorful quilt that is made completely from shirts my son left behind when he moved out many years ago, and a wall quilt that is baskets made of his stripe shirts. Stripe material makes very interesting basket blocks -- a long piece with stripe going horizontal, a short piece with stripe going horizontal, and so on: ===#===# (that's as close as I can come with what's available on my keypad).

One thing I see is that people have so much more clothes than they used to. I used to work in the office of an agency that provides jobs to the mentally disabled, and we had a thrift shop. We got a real glut of clothing -- some of it made so cheap that it wasn't worth trying to resell -- and yes we did ship stuff like that to third world countries. But we would have to dispose of it if it was soiled or stained, and that increased our dumping fees. It would be a big problem for our disabled folks to sort out things like this because most of them had health problems or allergies. So be sure you ask before you donate something that's stained or damaged.

Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or do without. Not something most people are used to following, but something often heard in my childhood. --Ilene

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 3:34PM
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You reminded me about my grandfather who passed on in the early 70's. I have a memory of him in his work pants with a bright red patch up the center back seam where they had been let out by my grandmother. He didn't care and when I asked dear Grandma why the color red she didn't bat an eye and said not only was it the only color cloth available but it made it easier to spot Grandpa when he was bending over in the huge back garden! Not that you are going to such a thing but the repair job you mentioned brought back such a dear memory ....... why are you wasting time reading this - you have mending to do...all those lonesome socks etc. to repair! Budster who never puts her machine away it seems (or should that be seams?)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 3:51PM
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ronbre, I use cardboard boxes obtained from stores for magazine storage. Seal the box closed. Measure up about 3" on opposite sides. Mark about 2" inches into the face(and back) of the box continuing the 3" mark; you would have a mark in the upper left and lower right, connecting them with a diagonal line. Cut the sides, face marks to create 2 magazine holders.

I don't eat cereal, but I used to use laundry detergent boxes for holders. I store my art magazines and catalogues in them.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 3:59PM
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Speaking as a member of the younger generation (ahem, if I still may, at 28)... there are a few of us out here with these skills, suddenly finding ourselves in great demand among our formerly-un-frugal friends.

DH always chuckled at me for darning socks while watching TV, taking up hems or otherwise altering old/cheaply-purchased clothes to fit, re-binding frayed edges on otherwise perfectly good towels, etc. I just ignored him, and enjoyed my conversations with his grandmother over the years. She was delighted to have someone to pass her knowledge on to, and I've enjoyed learning some different tricks that my own grandmother (who taught me to sew) didn't have.

Anyway. In the last two weeks, DH has delivered into my care for mending: several pair of socks, his gym bag (split along several seams), pants that need a zipper replaced, and his favorite t-shirt with a rip in it. Our personal financial situation hasn't changed (thankfully), but the general economic climate seems to have made him more receptive to these types of ideas.

We've also hosted an annual "canning party" the last few years - an excuse to have friends over and make a couple of batches of salsa and the like. Wouldn't you know that a couple of those who just "came for the company" have gotten in touch already wanting to know if we're doing it again this year (six months out!), and could they come over another time to learn some more to do it on their own, and oh do we remember so-and-so we met at their Halloween party because they'd also like to come ...

There's hope!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 11:22AM
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This whole thread is nostalgic for me.
Fortunately for me, I had a father who came from a family who wasted nothing, and a mother who loved crafting. My great grandmother (dad's gma) taught me canning, along with my mother. They started me early, and now, it's a hobby.
I'm already planning a patio garden for my apartment this year, as well as my larger garden at mom's house. Some things are cheaper to buy from the local farms, and some things are cheaper to grow.
Oh but back to mending- what I mend, usually gets used around the house, for myself. DH mends his Levi's till they can't take anymore, then he buys another pair that is missing the tag, and therefore on sale. I'm collecting our boys' favorite shirts and blankies that can no longer be used (after being used by themselves and my nephews!) to be used in some special memory quilts.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 4:52PM
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At my knitting class last week, one of the ladies mentioned she buys old knitted items of clothes at thrift shops, tears them apart,re-winds the yarn , then re-uses the yarn in various projects. She made a knit afghan of knitted squares from scrap or "reclaimed" yarns, then used black yarn to join the squares togerther. Black goes with everything!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 6:13PM
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Ronbre, where did you find fabric glue? I asked for it at Wal-Mart, but they had never heard of it. They said the hem stuff would not work for my needs. I went to Dollar Tree and bought a little pack of 3 Super Glues for $1. It cost $0.33 to mend the torn belt loop on my jeans. I took an old piece of denim and glued it to the backside of the hole where the belt loop had torn. I would still like to find the fabric glue again.
Thanks, Lexi

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 11:03PM
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Any fabric store should have the glue....try any fabric department (my Walmart does have the glue but that doesn't help you I realize).

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:26PM
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Thanks budster. I bought it years ago under the name fabric glue. Is it still called that or is there another name for it?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:32PM
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This thread has me chuckling. I worked at a fabric store and one day an elderly lady came in and asked me where the darning aggs were stocked. I told her we didn't carry them. She was shocked, and asked me 'what do people do with their socks when they get holes in them?' I gently told her most folks throw them away. She sat down on the ledge and cried. She just couldn't believe the waste.

My generation doesn't do a lot of mending, but some do. I met a lot of customers who mended, and yes fabric glue and Stitch Witchery can save money and time.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 4:06PM
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A light bulb will work in place of a darning egg.
That said, I love my darning egg and boy am I glad I have it. Of course I inherited it. I have no idea if it is even possible to purchase one!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 10:39PM
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I have been abundantly blessed with clothes and have never had to mend to much.I recently caught a work shirt on a rough spot and tore a hole in it.I wasn't happy.My BF said,'just throw it have more.'I said,'no,I'll fix it'.Not because I have to,but because I want to and there's no reason not to.I might have to learn to darn my wool socks when they wear,but I never seem to get holes in my other socks before the elastic wears out.I do have a few pair of older socks that I wear specifically to do yard work in to save the wear and staining of newer socks.
One glue I love is E6000.This isn't fabric glue per say,but
can be used on fabric and a lot of other things.You can get it in the craft dept at WM.Comes in a tube and usually hangs on a peg.Good stuff.
Happy Mending :)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 1:42AM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

One thing I will say is that many of us have absolutely no idea how to mend or sew. Part of the problem for many of us in the younger generation is that we have had absolutely no exposure to it so the concept is completely foreign. My grandmother, born in 27, hated to sew even though she knew the basics and was quite please when she had enough money to just throw things away. Needless to say, she taught my mother nothing about it and thus she could not teach me.

When I was in middle school (roughly 15 years ago) we took what was the state mandated version of home ec. However, it was then called careers. It was supposed to be more of an exposure to different career options rather than teaching kids important aspects of home management. Planning meals, mending, never did a lick of it. Perhaps a home management and a separate household finances class would bo wonders in preparing our youth for the future, no matter what it may look like.

I personally would love it if I could find a skilled woman to teach me the essentials. I have some clothes put aside for that exact purpose (although I will still gladly pay someone to do alterations).

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 9:28AM
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Tishtosh, I hear what you are saying. I was very fortunate growing up because a lady down the street from us was a professional sewing teacher. In order to keep all of the neighborhood occupied during summer vacations, she taught all boys and girls to sew.

As an adult, though, I come and go with mending. When I've chosen to look for someone else, the one place I can ALWAYS get a referral from is a store that sells bridal dresses. No matter where I've lived, and I've moved around, bridal stores always know someone who sews.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 9:38AM
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I grew up watching both my Grandmother and mother sew and make do, budget etc. It seemed second nature. I remember asking my mother to show me how to turn cuff and collars on men's shirts. She did one and watched me do one. It was a skill I was happy to have, should I ever need to use it. As a teen I had a great interest in the great depression and loved to read stories of the make do efforts put forth by others. In one museum I particularly enjoyed an exhibit put out showing how some people made do
with little or exhibit showed a simple crochet "dishcloths", made out of parcel string (use what you have on hand) was nothing but the odd stitch and great holes......the other complete and new looking. The little cards beneath said something like "used daily - the newish one said Sunday only". Don't know why it stuck in my mind but it did. You can still buy a plastic version of the sock egg.....notions departments sometimes have them. I have a handmade wooden mender, not so much an egg shape but it says sock darner right on it. I'm still looking for a real "egg" darner. For me, mending is just a regular thing.......for others it is a new skill. To each his own. Tishtoshnm - I wish you luck in your search, maybe you will have to take the bull by the horns and just attempt some small things yourself (imagine you feeling of success!), kec01 you also provide an excellent tip on how to find a seamstress....I also would inquire at dry cleaning places as they do some repairs as well. If you really are stuck - advertise..someone out there wouldn't mind picking up a little extra cash. Just MHO

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:19PM
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"Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or do without."

Gosh, this brought tears to my eyes; I remember my grandmother saying that to me. Thanks, Ilene, for bring up such wonderful memories! :)

And I'd love to learn to sew more than passibly--love to learn to darn socks, too. (I use duct tape for hemming; have been known to use staples,too.)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 7:32PM
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I remember my grandmother sitting next to me at the dinner table, reminding me that pouring out the last half inch of milk in my glass would be "like pouring pennies down the drain."

I sew for a living. I wonder what the next couple years will bring. Very few people sew, and I wonder if more people will take up the skill, and/or folks will buy clothing that's worthy of repairing when it's time. I've had people decide not to have zippers or linings replaced because it was "more than the cost of a new one."

People are shocked when they are told the store I work for charges for altering clothes. I don't know why: the price list for alterations is posted in each dressing room. Full-service stores who rolled basic alterations into the price of the clothing have become almost extinct as customers considered only the purchase price in their decisions. The manager of one of the last full-service stores closing because of this used the phrase "knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing." That just about sums it up.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 9:31AM
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