Friday, 10 December 2010

Make do and Mend.

Well, I've spent the last few nights snipping and sewing stuff from the little scraps I've had lying around, and some of the pillowcases I obsessively collect for 10p from the local Sally Army ("It's only 10P!!!! I MUST have it!") I whizzed up some bunting for daughters room to brighten it up a bit (must snip that thread!), using pillowcases for some of the flags and bias tape, and some leftover quilt patches for the rest.

I snipped at the shrunken jumper to fashion it into a bag. It's not quite done, some applique to do, but it is a bag from a jumper, albeit an odd shaped one due to the armholes, but a bag nonetheless. I've mended my jeans and even saved all the little itty itty bits from my cutting mat for stuffing toys. I'm being tight, i'm mending and making do. It's partly part of my year of thrift (see previous posts about not buying any new clothes for a year: nearly there!) , and partly because I've been inspired, again, by my Nan, now passed on, whose sewing box I inherited in April but only recently picked up.

It is GORGEOUS. Not to look at, just your standard wooden box, one knob missing. Butinside there is a wealth of making-do. Alongside the box, I got a tub of crochet hooks, a tin of ribbons and ric-rac, a tin of elastic and fastenings, and a tub of needles and scissors. Nothing was ever thrown away by my nan. Every ribbon from every present was tucked away. Every sequin that came off saved. The cotton reels alone are amazing, some of them are wooden, and wound with silk thread that was made in Britain. But this little envelope I found truly amazing. A little selection of nylon and silk thread in stocking colours, wound round card, with their own matches attached to melt the threads together. Imagine. Not throwing away a stocking, but darning it and melting it, and using them till they dropped. Last night I took a leaf out of my nan's book and what I couldn't mend from my mending pile, I unwound or cut into patches for later, some old trousers are earmarked for a doorstop. God, even the words "mending pile" sound great, but kind of 1950's. Inspired by my Nan, and by how easy it was to not buy any clothes this year, I am going to do it again this coming year. A bit early for New Years Resolutions, I know, but really, one purchase of snowboots in a year was actually quite easy, once i'd gotten over the thrill of spending. And this year, I promise, will be even better. This year I will not only buy secondhand (my limit was £5.00 a week), I will REFASHION. Take a look at this lady, who did a dress a day, from charity shop jobs, every day for a year. Now if that isn't inspiring enough to get me to learn how to seam, nothing is. I WILL learn how to hem properly, I WILL use my nan's thread to sew up a storm from a size 20 charity shop dress, and I WILL, (maybe) learn to crochet).
And check out the "Mend and Make Do" thread on Netmums, where ladies are going crazy on their machines.


Jan said...

Sheridan your wodden bobbins are really quite rare, now hang on to them ,I made french knitting bobbins for my Grandkids with some of mine ,by hammering four small nails into the top,and yes the words 'mending pile 'certainly takes me back Jan xx

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Great blog! You've just motivated me to check out MY old sewing basket (My Great Aunt's). I've got some of the old wooden thread spools too. Coats and Sylko. One even has the price still on - 6/12p Decimal from Woolworths!

I have also inherited my Grandad's candle stash, legacy of the 1970s power cuts. Guess it may come in handy in the months to come?