list of additional pages, click on any one to view

Saturday, 16 August 2014


I was looking through my copy of Make do and mend issued by the ministry of information and it set me thinking.

First issued in 1943 it was written in order to show us how to get every single ounce of use out of our clothes and household items. Whilst I do not entirely advocate every single suggestion in the book could we all not do more to recycle, upcycle, mend, renovate?
For example do you throw good shoes away instead of having them mended or died or whatever?
Do you throw old T shirts away instead of cutting them up for dusters and polishing rags?
Reading the book reminded me of the importance of not putting away an item of clothing or footwear until it has been aired or cleaned. Coats put away whilst still damp take on a musty smell.
New garments can be made from old - your winter coat can be unpicked,the parts cleaned or washed carefully and be remade into skirts, childrens clothes etc using the wrong side of the fabric as the new front side.
Take the sleeves out of a shirt you do not wear any more, make a bow from the sleeves  to tie around the neck and give it a new lease of life!
I quite often visit charity shops where curtains and bedding can be bought for next to nothing, the material can then be cut up for cushion covers or used for patchwork.  These fabrics are perfect to make toilles or muslins out of. And why not save your clothes from spills and make yourself a pretty cooking apron?
For example, i had a dress which just did not suit me. Rather then throw it out I cut it apart, pressed it, kept the lining for another project and made this pretty shell top from the skirt fabric.

So, although I no longer have the dress, I do now have a top which I love and which will get worn, the dress was just taking up space, and I never felt good in it anyway.

Some of the book is dedicated to knitting. I doubt that I would ever unravel knitwear and make fair isle pullovers well, you might,but those of you who know me are fully aware that I am still knitting a cardigan I started four years ago, so that is just never going to happen,but i have cut up jumpers to make fingerless gloves, I  have chopped them up to use as stuffing and i have embelished jumpers and cardigans with beading, buttons, crochet  collars. Have you seen my post on how to make a too small jumper into a cardigan?

This again was a garment I could never wear, now it is my favourite cardigan!

Another point I want to make is this. How many times have you bought a sewing pattern, made it up and it did not fit? How did you choose the size? Did you buy your normal dress size and hope it would fit?  Clothes you buy in shops have changed in size and shape over the years and todays size 12 dress would bear no resemblance to a size 12 in 1960 for example. Unfortunately whilst ready made fasion has changed, commercial patterns mostly have not. I know i have mentioned this before but do cut out a pattern to your actual measurements as printed on the pattern envalope, ignore your normal dress size. Dont forget there are no size lables in your own makes! Any garment made exactly to fit you personally  will look and feel great,and  in this instance size (label) does not matter!

It really does pay to be thrifty with your clothes, I personally have not bought a hand made garment for over a year now, and I doubt that I ever will again, i love my hand made clothes so much more.

I hope you have found this interesting,  do keep your comments coming in, and tell me your thrifty tips.