17 February 2010

Mending and repairing - revisited

I slept in this morning.  I was exhausted last night and still feel tired.  I don't have time to write now because I have a deadline today for a writing assignment.  I'll be back tomorrow with another reader's kitchen  photos.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy re-reading, or reading for the first time, this post from January 2008.  Is about the important skills of mending and repairing.

There is mending to be done today. When I stripped the bed yesterday, I noticed a tiny rip just under Hanno's pillow. The cotton sheet is thinning, but it's still worthy of repair. Mending will give that sheet at least another summer with us before it goes on to other duties like polishing clothes, tomato stake ties or wipes for Airedale beards.

I have to tell you I love mending. It is one of those cherished homemaker duties that really connects me to this life we are living. It is a firm reminder that Hanno and I don't want to live in a throw-away world, that we care for what we own and we reduce, reuse, repair, recycle, renovate and revive. We are renegades and rebels, we don't throw much out. We want to resuscitate the planet, we are into renewal, we want to make reparation. Okay, enough of the "re" words. LOL

I am ashamed to tell you that back in my free-spending years I would throw away a perfectly good shirt or pants rather than repair them. That included throwing away clothes that just needed a button sewn on. : - ( I wish I could take back all those wasteful times but the best I can do now is to make sure I remain a good steward. Whatever needs to be repaired here now, is, and not wasted in the ever growing piles of "landfill" rubbish dumps.

Sometimes I come across a small rip or missing button in the course of my day but I usually find mending jobs when I'm washing or ironing. I make sure now that I look carefully at the fabrics and fasteners and put aside any that need repair. I have a spot in my sewing room where broken clothes and household goods sit until I have enough for a mending session. In the past couple of weeks, I've sewn on a number of buttons, reinforced handles on cloth shopping bags, and patched an old business shirt of Hanno's so he can wear it in the garden. Today I have the sheet to repair and I will also strengthen the top of a zipper on a pair of shorts and hand stitch the hem.

If you're new to mending and repairing, there is a nice little guide here that might help you. Get into the habit of collecting any buttons you find in your home. Have a small (recycled) jar handy to collect them so that when you find the shirt or dress with the button missing, you'll know exactly where to go to the find the matching button. When you're ironing, check hems and collars so you can repair them before they get out of hand. I remember my mother removing collars to turn them over on my dad's shirts. I have no doubt this almost doubled the life of his shirts. I haven't had to turn any collars yet, but it's something I will do in the future.

Here are other guides on how to sew darn a sock or a jumper/sweater, how to sew on a button and how to mend a tear (video). This is a lovely article about mending and the art of living.

I'm off to tidy my sewing room and start my mending. I hope you're having a good week and that you enjoy your time reading here. I send warm hugs to all of you.
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