30 April 2010

least said


I know that one of the things I shall recall mostly fondly about the cold winter is the reacquaintance with my sewing machine.  It's a very simple Singer, bought by mum for me 30 years ago - before that I was using a manual Singer, a perfect gift for a travelling girl - and it would definitely be a prime candidate for the personal history of my world in one hundred objects.  Our second honeymoon has been a gentle one,  No major projects - lots of simple bags, shortening curtains for the kitchen to keep out the Arctic draughts, a pinny for my niece, and many moderations to my existing wardrobe - a nip here, a darn there, and huge amounts of shortening of hems. The thrift-based impetus of this remodelling is probably worthy of a post of its own, but for now let's just note that the success rate is not one hundred percent.  I think this is because some things were never quite right in the beginning and no amount of faffing about is ever going to rectify the basic "wrongness" of some garments.  They are normally the ones that never felt quite right in the beginning, but would do for the time being, as opposed to the ones you fell in love with from first sight.

I have  been wondering about the value of some of this making do and mending. It does not always make economic sense in monetary terms, but it makes you feel good.  And here is one of the successes of which I am most proud,  one which I thought I would never ever get round to doing...


It's only an old work shirt, and a cheap one at that, but it's been hardwearing and could so at least another season.  And when it does finally die it will go on to a worthy afterlife...


I think this patchwork came out of a ragbag somewhere.  I made it into a pillowcase, but the fabric is too fragile and it's now reaching the point where there are more new patches than old.  It must have come from a household with a lot of men with a lot of shirts (each patch is different) because in this house it would take about 30 years for us to produce enough old shirts.  Especially if we carry on turning collars.

6 comments:

Joanna said...

Love the patchwork. 25 yrs ago I made a patchwork for our firstborn out of the remains of my husband's old shirts. I shd sort out the ones he's been wearing since and get sewing again. Inspirational

Joanna

Val said...

Gosh turning collars reminds me that my Gran (and my Mum come to think of it)both would rescue worn sheets by cutting them down the centre and resewing them sides to middle..."just turn them sides to middle" there is something very satisfying about such thrifty habits that goes beyond saving pennies ...satisfaction at independently sometimes ingeniously solving a problem perhaps ? :0)

Rattling On said...

My Mum does a mean collar turn! I'm saving MrH's old shirts to use as patchwork. Like you said, it may take some time...

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely blog. Please make it flawless by correcting the title. "rus in urbis" should be "rus in urbe". Sorry, I am not a pedant; Latin is important to me.

Liz said...

Oh well done with the collar turning. I think I need to take a leaf from your book as I never do any mending, just fill the charity bags. And I could certainly do with letting out some waistbands. Or maybe I should stop eating so much.

jane said...

Turning collars - how clever! I need to get better at mending and adjusting things, although your point about the fact that some things not being make-right-able is a good one.
Love the patchwork!