Friday, January 29, 2010

Saving money with mending.

As I have been trying to clean, organize and declutter around here I have found a bunch of clothes that needed mended! It amazed me a little just how much there was! Mending is something I definetely consider worth doing ( I am curious how many others do much in the way of mending?). I like it for a couple of reasons: 1. We can wear something longer and not have to spend money on anything new. 2. We eliminate something else from heading to the dump.

Here are most of my finished products! Jonathan has the largest pile with 6 pairs of pants and a shirt (there was also a coat that isn't pictured and I need to do a few more pairs of pants!), I wonder what it is with 8 year old boys that make them so hard on their clothes?!

   This did take me a few hours (a little bit of time here and then a little time there- I don't often have long stretches of time to work on things like this) but having all these clothes serviceable again is totally worth it.

 We had a lot of worn out jeans to mend. Obviously these jeans will never look wonderful again but something we do is have "good" clothes to wear to church and other times out and about and we have "everyday" clothes to wear when we are just going to be around home or going berry picking or something like that. Even if the clothes are just going to be worn around home it is nice (and more comfortable) for them not to have big gapping holes so I do a very simple patch.

The way I do it is to simply cut out a piece of denim (from a sacrificial pair of jeans) that is bigger than the hole. I round the corners. Then I stick the piece on the inside of the jean leg, line it up and then pin it in place. Then comes the wrestling match with the pair of jeans and the sewing machine! I am thankful to have an arm on my machine but you still have to do quite a bit of manipulating to get it so there is just one layer under the foot feet at a time! But it is possible and once you get the hang of it, it doesn't take to long. The finished look is obviously not that polished but it works just fine for us for jeans to wear around home while gardening, playing, building tree forts, you know all those rough and dirty jobs. :-)

Another "mending" job was actually more covering up a stain. Mara had worn this dress to church and ended up leaning into a stamp pad in class. I tried to get the stain out and it was pretty light but I still thought it would be better to cover it up if possible.

We chose a dark green ribbon to go around the seam line and it covers up the stain pretty well. That was a very simple fix!

Do you have any favorite ways to mend or fix up clothes? I would love to hear your ideas!
For more frugal tips visit Life as MOM.


jmberrygirl said...

I mend things, especially those that we really enjoy wearing. Sometimes, when a piece is just beyond repair or we don't love it that much, I cut it up and use it for something else.

Nola said...

I do a lot of mending too, but I also find that it piles up. My husband can be really hard on his clothes especially (apparently according to my MIL even as a boy). Sometimes they are just "done" and so they get cut up for wrags or are used for gardening or painting or the like. I always make sure to save buttons and such to use for other things. I do most of my mending by hand. I only have an old sewing machine. We are saving to get a new one. My old one is beyond repair in many aspects. What type of machine do you have?

Great job on the dress! What a great idea.

Jackie said...

I do mending. I had a big pile I worked on about a month ago. I have cut pants into shorts, and turned things beyond repair into rags. I am not sure that I ever think of throwing things away without seeing if I can do something else with it first.

I love your ribbon idea for the dress. Awesome!

JoAnn said...

I'm trying to make a stuffed bunny rabbit out of a shirt that has seen it's last days. I thought the t shirt material would be nice and soft. Unfortunately, I've only made on ear so far. maybe when my kids graduate from high school, I'll have a nice t shirt bunny gift to present them...

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I have a TON of mending that needs to be done! Everytime I fix 2 or 3 things, my children bring me that many or more the next day.

Miriam said...

I mend too. And I love it. My grandma taught me how to darn socks and sweaters when I was a little girl, and I still love to do that. And of course with four children, we mend a lot of their clothes. My favorite "remake" is to add ruffles to my little girls' jeans and overalls. It makes play clothes fun.

Abbi said...

It sounds like there are quite a few that still mend! I do love that aspect of blogging, I can "get to know" other like minded Moms from all over!

Nola, I have an old machine too but it works well. It is a Singer. I bought it used when I was a teenager. I had planned on buying an inexpensive new one but the man at the sewing machine shop talked me in to getting an used machine that is really heavy duty. It is really heavy too! It has metal gears which makes it able to sew denim and the like without difficulty. I have used it a lot!

Frugal Friend said...

My DD is so petite that I've had to take in almost every pair of pants she wears. But since we've gotten most of the kids clothes free, I don't complain about the mending. Sometimes I even do simple paid alterations for friends. Every penny helps! Sewing is becoming a lost art. So keep at it!


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