Thursday, May 03, 2007

America has become a throw away society. We have let our lives become so busy that we don't know how to make things last any more. We have also accepted cheap consumer items in the market place so they don't last. I started realizing my part in this a few years ago. My first endeavor in mending items was socks. I still haven't learned a good way to mend socks. I ask an elderly lady who grew up in Switzerland some ideas in mending. She is great at it. When she was younger they learned how to mend. She gave me some ideas and I need to learn more. My next foray into mending was t-shirts. The General wears t-shirts working at his maintanence job and doing odd jobs around here. He gets lots of holes in them. T-shirts can be purchased inexpensively, but why throw a good shirt just because it has a hole near the bottom. The lady I ask gave me great advice and I am getting better at mending t-shirts. You almost can't tell I fixed them. Over the years I have tried to mend jeans. Jeans are not so easy. Especially since my guys seem to rip them at the belt loop or corner of the back pocket. This pair pictured has a hole where the belt loop was caught on something and it ripped. I will remove the bottom of the belt loop. Then stabilizer is important. You can get iron on patches, but they don't stay. If I have some denim around I use it as stabilizer, if not I use a blue or gray material. They key to mending or even hemming jeans is the right color thread. Blue thread doesn't work. Grey works best. Sometimes if the denim has more blue in it I will use a blue in the bobbin and grey on the top. If you look at jeans you will notice they are a blend of colors. With a hole, I stitch around the outside first to secure the hole from distorting. Next I sew back and forth across the hole from side to side and then do the same from top to bottom. On this pair I will then change to a dark gold thread and reattach the belt loop with a tight zig zag. Mending takes a little time and it would be easier to chuck the jeans and go to Walmart and get a new pair for $10, but is it really better? I keep thinking about the old saying, "Waste not, want not."

Sew long for now!


Alberta ('Berta) said...

Cindi, I was brought up in a frugal home where nothing was wasted, especially clothing. Clothes were mended, handed down, and then remended! Final stop...into the rag bag. Who ever heard of wasting money on paper towels!

I'm not good at mending socks but it is easier if you insert a dead light bulb...the old type!...the heel is so much easier to access.

Thanks for a great post! We should all heed your advice.

lindiepindie said...

My good friend Monica mends everything, including socks. She's originally from Columbia and last week she gave me a gourd from Columbia. It's all dried out and it's for mending socks! I had never heard of it before, but it's the same idea as a light bulb. :o)

Good for you mending and making things last longer.

Anonymous said...

You said in this article that you got some great tips on mending holes in T-shirts. I really would like to know what those are! Is there a way you could pass them along to me? I mend almost everything of my family's clothes. It is so nice to know that there are other conserving people out there! Margaret ( Thank you! : )