Thursday, May 8, 2014


Simple repairs to our clothes save me a ton of money in the long run.  I usually keep a spool of thread and a needle handy so I can quickly mend a hole or sew a button back on.  Sometimes repairs need a little more work like patches or the use of the sewing machine but for the most part if I get it done early on it is a quick and easy task.

I think it is important to mention that not everything needs to be tossed out just because it has a flaw or defect.  With a little creativity it can be repaired, re made or repurposed.

Do you have a button jar?
One of my favorite things to do for my girls is to cut the legs off of their holey school jeans and make them into their summer shorts.  They love that too.  I know a lot of people will turn the remaining legs into lined cloth baskets, purses or quilt squares.  I've actually thought of trying some of those things myself.

I've seen some of the cutest gingham patches sewn onto a hole in a dish towel to extend the life of it just a little longer.

Last year I took a dish towel that had the corner worn off of it, cut it in half and made a hanging dish towel with it.  I use the other half with the torn corner as a cleaning rag.

I used a black felt square as a patch for a hole in the elbow of my favorite black sweater and stitched it on by hand with black thread and hidden stitches.  I was able to continue to use that sweater for another year. 

I have my great-grandmother's darning egg.
I darn socks, replace worn out elastic or zippers, re-hem pants, sew up seams, stitch on loose or missing snaps or buttons, fix loose stitches in knitted or crocheted items and patch worn knees.  I've taken a worn out bath towel and cut it into squares which I stitched the edges (a serger would have been handy here) to make nice cleaning rags with.  I'm still using them.

I had a blouse that I loved lose a button.  Rather than not wear the blouse anymore I went through my button jar until I found enough matching buttons to replace the ones on the blouse so they all matched.  Another time I didn't have enough buttons to do that on a sweater so I went to the fabric store and bought a set for much less than the cost of replacing the sweater.

One time I had a blouse that used to pop open because the button holes were too big for the buttons that were on it.  I used a needle and thread to close up the button holes enough to stop that from happening. 

A little time mending can save a lot of money and extend the life of some of your favorite things.  I'm a firm believer.  How about you?


  1. I try to repair things too, but I can't do as many things as you can. I patch holes, sew buttons & snaps on & other little things, some of the other things I do not know how to do. I cheat & use iron on hem tape when I need to shorten a pair of pants.

    1. Hey, whatever works, I say. I went to high school with a girl that used a stapler to hem her pants once. I think I'd rather use the tape. And I have. ;)

  2. Do you know that sometimes it is scary how much I can identify with you- haha. :)
    I also have a full button jar- it looks very much like yours.
    I am all about mending- I feel like it saves a bunch of money. I try to repurpose and reuse and restore things when I can. My son had the cutest little t-shirt when he was younger with a picture of some aviator teddy bears embroidered on it. A few years after he had outgrown it we ended up cutting the picture off the shirt and making a cute little pillow out of it that he gave as a gift to his baby cousin. He was so proud of that little pillow he helped to make.
    AND... you will not believe this but I have my grandmothers darning egg too! it looks exactly like yours and I LOVE it! I have looked to see if they sell things like that anymore and I had a hard time finding any. The ones I did see were priced a bit ridiculously, in my opinion. I am happy to have my grandmothers- it is one of those little treasures of mine. :)

    1. We are kindred spirits to be sure! I inherited a lot of my buttons from my grandmothers. I love that jar. The egg was in my grandma's mending kit and she told me it had been her mother's. I still have the kit too along with the pin cushion my great grandmother crocheted like a ladies hat and her thimbles.


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