Friday, March 22, 2013

Mending: A Frugal Duty

I don't know a lot of younger people that mend these days. It's a shame because it really can save a family a lot of money. I remember my mother sitting at the kitchen table doing her mending. It was just part of her household routine.

I am not nearly as diligent about my mending as my mother. I have a mending drawer in my sewing room. If something needs to be mended or darned I just throw it in that drawer until mending day. I've been in this home since last June and mending day has not come.. until this week.

I enjoy mending once I start the task. It's just setting aside the time. My mending drawer was full so the time had come to tackle the job.

Mending really is a necessity for a frugal household. This is what I found in my mending drawer:

  • 2 pants (I bought them at a thrift store. They needed to be shortened into capris). 
  • Hanky (Hem needs to be sewn)
  • Skirt (Like new, needs to be taken in).
  • 2 undergarments (Mend a tear)
  • A new blouse ( I've only worn it a few times because it's too big). 
  • Blouse (Needs a snap sewn on)
  • Dress (Needs to be taken in)
  • 4 socks (Holes need darning)
  • Apron (needs the tie sewn back on)
I would eventually have to replace these items if I gave them away.   I believe there is at least $80-100 worth of clothing in the list above. I'll save myself a lot of money once these items are mended.

I had planned on purchasing some new capris at the thrift store for summer. I had forgotten I had 2 pair waiting for me in the mending drawer.

A few months ago I mended my granddaughter's pants. She had a hole in the knee. You couldn't even tell it had been mended once I finished. She was so surprised.  I used to save old jeans to use for patches on my boys pants when they were young. I'd use a zig zag stitch to make a solid stitch over the patch. The patched jeans then became their play pants.

Here is a great video on how to do a 'blind stitch'.  This stitch can be done by hand. I did a search on You Tube for mending videos and there were a lot of them.

Hand sewn items go next to my chair in the living room so I can work on them in the evenings.

Do you mend your clothes? Do you have any tips to offer?


  1. Georgene, I love this. I need to be reminded to do my mending. It is really a joy to me to do, but I hardly ever sit down and do it.

    1. I feel the same way Sheri. Once I sat down this week and actually tackled it piece by piece I found I enjoyed it so much. I guess we're always blessed when we do what is right.. not that mending is a command but if we determine to do it and put it off it seems to wear on our minds. :-)

  2. I do mend our clothes and keep the ones that need mending in a separate area as I come across them while doing laundry. Mending does prolong their useful life, although my problem is finding the time to sit down and do it! I've been out of a sewing machine for about 5 years and didn't want to spend the money to buy one, so always used my grandmother's when I needed one, if it wasn't something I could fix by hand. Since she doesn't sew anymore, she recently gave me her old 1940's Singer that still runs like a charm, and I feel very blessed to have it. She taught me to sew on that machine when I was about 8 yrs old (pillowcases and doll blankets) and I made my first dress on it when I was 18.

    1. You were so blessed to have a 'hands on' Grandma. My granddaughters and I were just talking about our plans for this summer and sewing was on the list. Maybe I'll find some flannel material and let them make some pillow cases and doll blankets. That is a great idea.

  3. I remember taking in mending as a young mother. It was a great way to earn extra money while staying at home. You could probably still do that today.

    For those of you who do not know how to mend, you could always hire it done. It would still be a cost saving over buying new. And/or you could always barter . . . trade time or something for the service rendered. I've done that too.

    1. You must be a good seamstress if people paid you to mend. :-) I'm not sure my mending would earn any pay. Maybe if I practiced more. Great advice about hiring to have it done. Love you Susan!

  4. I put items to mend in my guest bedroom/craft room and recently discovered pants that my husband can wear. They had been there since his heart attack in 2004 when he lost a lot of weight, but they fit him fine now.

    I am making quilts. Two of my husband's shirts had ink on them and he didn't need them as much as I could use them for quilts. I cut them up for quilts for his grandchildren. Several shirts have pockets that I am putting in the quilts with a little love note in each from him.

    Quilts used to be made from chothes. My grandmother did this.

    1. That's so funny about the pants Carol! :-) Awesome though that he can now wear them.

      I knew an elderly lady who made her quilts out of old moo moo's. I thin it's a great idea. I made a Dresden quilt design out of my daddy's ties and made pillows to give to my mother and sister. Someday I hope to make one for me.

  5. The mending / altering box in my sewing room is full too. I really need to make time to get caught up. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. I do a bit of basic mending but do not have enough skills to do the harder things.
    I really enjoy your blog!

  7. I love your blog ; I have been living with less for some years now and the worst is yet to come, when I retire. I find your posts very inspiring! Thank you !

    1. Thank you for replying. I always love to hear from those who read but haven't posted.

  8. You can also cut the pockets off
    an old worn out pair of jeans to use as a patch or an old red bandana kids love these!


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