Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Saving Money on Clothes by Mending ~ How to Get it Done

Saving Money by Mending Clothes


A stitch in time saves nine. Have you heard that old saying? Housewives of old knew that a little job grows bigger when neglected. Mending clothing is a time honored way of saving money on clothes. Torn jeans. Split seams. Missing buttons. Clothes that cannot be worn, but we don't want to discard.  Why do we let them pile up wasting our precious real estate?

Often, our little mending projects pile up simply because we procrastinate. Instead of stitching up a tiny hole or tear, we wait until we have a full sized rip. We go without a favorite blouse, pair of slacks, or dress, sometimes for months, because of a lost or loose button.

Looking at the growing pile can be discouraging, so we just put it off for another day. In truth, most mending is rather simple.  Most projects take only a few minutes if we catch the problem while it's small. 

Here's how you can take control of your mending pile!


  • First, gather everything you can find that needs mending. You can add to the pile as you find things in the laundry that require attention.
  • Go through the items, and see if anything just needs to be thrown away.  I once spent an hour on a rather difficult fix for my son's jeans. I was so proud of myself—until I found out he had outgrown them! If there's something beyond your skill level, consider whether you want to pay to have it mended. If not, toss it. Your pile may be a bit less daunting now!
  • Next, make two piles.  One pile is handwork. This would include buttons, small seams or rips, loose hems, anything you can do with a needle, thread, and a little time. The other pile is for machine work. This might include patching jeans or mending larger seams.
  • Gather your supplies—a needle, some thread, and whatever mending supplies you might need together in a box or basket.  Put it someplace handy. 
  • Utilize small snatches of time.  Use your minutes. When you notice a missing button, it's easier to replace it right away if your supplies are handy. If you'd rather sit down and work on a pile of mending, put it all in a basket. I like to mend while listening to the Bible, a podcast, or watching a movie.
  • The key is to mend regularly. Don't let the basket get full!


Let's take care of the little things before they become big things...good advice for mending...good advice for life.



Be blessed, snatch some quiet moments, and mend!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage
Happy at Home





This article was featured in issue #130 of
The Christian Home Magazine.






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49 comments:

  1. Years ago, I had a neighbor with 3 children. We were both Marine wives but her husband was several ranks above mine. She told me she only repaired clothing if it could be taped or stapled. If not, she threw it away.
    I've been sewing since middle school and that was about the craziest thing I'd ever heard. I have always fixed things, even things like socks and underwear. We had a small budget and I did whatever needed to be done. Just like you!

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    1. Imagine that!
      We have to do with what we've got, Rhonda!

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  2. This is on my list to tackle. Sadly I have let that pile grow. Now it seems like a daunting task. Sigh. I know once I get moving it won't take as long as I fear.

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    1. It never does, Wendi. It's getting started that gets me!

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  3. I;m really bad at staying on top of my mending so I'm grateful for this post. Thanks Laura!

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  4. Laura, this is one area in my life that is in total control ha ha!! My best friend is in Cali and she calls me every morning for a 20 minute chat. I have a phone headset so I use that time to mend. Or embroider. And it never piles up. You're so right that if you stay on top of it, it's much easier.

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    1. I haven't embroidered for a long time, Debby. I'd like to do it again.

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  5. Yep, totally agree...shh...don't tell anyone, but my hubby does all the mending, thanks to the Marines teaching him when he was in boot camp, wink.

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  6. Very good post. I can sew a button but never did learn how to mend. Never to late, I am sure someone in the neighborhood would barter time to teach me.

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    1. You can learn so much from YouTube, too.

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  7. Great advice, Laura! Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. You're welcome.

      I've been carrying the black bag you gave me. I adore it! It's the perfect size to carry a book, my needlework, a bottle of water and whatever else I want. Thank you SO much! I noticed recently that some of the other moms at our homeschool co-op are carrying similar bags. I guess I'm not the only one who likes to be able to reach in and grab what I want quickly.

      God bless you friend!
      Laura

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  8. Laura you have so many good ideas, you have inspired me to start keeping track of how I save money at our house. A good friend of mine just came over and got my sewing machine going after two years of me trying to use it. Now I am going to try to make something!

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    1. Good for you G Dazeez. May I suggest something simple like an apron?
      Have a terrific week,
      Laura

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  9. I have a pile that never totally disappears. I get to it once in awhile, do up several things, but by the time I get back to the pole there ar at least three more things waiting. My worst culprits are torn jeans because I am so hard on them. Writin this while wearing my most favorite pair, nod thigh is graced by a thin three inch square, while the other is a four or five inch hole strung every which a way. I did consider mending them, but they are so worn and thin, it would be a waste of thread. I think thread prices are outrageous these days, and it does not wear as well as it used to.
    Perhaps maybe this will be the week I finally get to the bottom of that pile, there is always hope, I know.

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    1. Annie, may I suggest you watch yard sales for thread? I know you don't have many where you live, if I remember right. Also, you can use 40% off coupons from JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby. I rarely buy thread at full price. I must admit, I tossed a pair of my son's jeans yesterday. Sometimes they aren't worth fixing. He's at the age where he's getting pickier, too.

      Just sort your pile Annie; you can do more later.
      Blessings to you!
      Laura

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  10. I rather like mending clothes or reusing them in some way.

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    1. Yes, the photo is a before picture of my mending basket a few years ago. I have a few things in a pile now, but I keep up much better than I used to. Last week I wrote about fighting colds, then got one the same day I published! This week, I need to attack that small mending pile. Sometimes I just cannot get to everything on the to do list!

      Blessings,
      Laura

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  11. I need to learn how to sew a button on. I'm not good at sewing. I always want wanted to be.

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    1. I'm sure there's a great tutorial on YouTube, Mrs. Chrissy T. I've learned about knitting and crochet there. Threading the needle is the hardest part.

      Hugs,
      Laura

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  12. I spent many years as a professional seamstress, so I love these tips! Of course, my mending pile is growing everyday... need to get to it! Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Thank you. I appreciate that Victoria. Happy week!

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  13. I'm looking at a chair pad that could use some mending. I have a bad habit of not darning our socks when the holes are very small and then by the time I decide to fix them the holes are too big!

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    1. Honestly Regina, I've never darned socks.

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  14. So good---and so true! My biggest problem is that my sewing stuff just isn't very handy. I need to make it a priority to put everything together in one place. In fact, I'm going to put that on my to do list right now! :) Thanks for the encouragement!

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    1. Good idea Sarah. You're welcome. I need to reorganize my sewing things so that I can be more productive.

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  15. This is wonderful advice! I have tried to check clothes each week when I do the laundry for things that need mending but so far all I managed to do was sew a pocket shut when trying to mend my husband's pants! While I'm not so good, at least I'm trying...right? LOL

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  16. Thank you for the encouragement. I just noticed a rip in one of my daughter's favorite teddy bears. You've motivated me to fix it!

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    1. You're welcome, Ann. I'm sure Teddy will feel much better!

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  17. What a fabulous post with helpful tips, my friend. Thank you ever so much for sharing and encouraging us.

    Hugs to you!

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    1. You're welcome, Stephanie. I've got a little pile I need to work through. I hope to get it done this week.
      Blessings,
      Laura

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  18. Hello Mrs. Laura,

    As always, terrific advise. Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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    1. As always, sweet encouragement. Thank you Mrs. B!

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  19. I often think of the little quote, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" and it seems to always spur me into action to starting a job I don't really want to do, and then of course, once you get started, there is a sense of satisfaction in completing it! Great tips that you shared, about sorting, and making sure it is worthy of being repaired! Right now, I have a coat jacket zipper that is broken, and I just bought a new zipper to put on it, and just need to do it, tomorrow hopefully will be the day :) Hugs to you today dear friend!

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    1. Oh zippers! I have limited experience with zippers. I don't exactly fear them, but I do avoid them! You are so sweet to drop in and talk to me so often. I'll be by for a visit in a bit.
      God bless you and your family,
      Laura

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  20. Great ideas!! I love mending clothes and my kiddos are huge fans of patches. The one thing i've never attempted mending is socks... do you?

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    1. How cute Nadine! I remember my kids liking patches when they were little.

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  21. I try to mend instead of throwing away as well. I have a big pile waiting on me right now! I try to save any fabric I can from articles that can't be fixed for quilts or patches for other clothes.

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  22. So true. But one of my dreaded chores for sure. We need to share this with our younger sisters. My daughters generation sure isn't repair/mend/fix motivated.
    Come over and link at the party this week and share this!
    This weeks theme is 'Warm Heart'. Your post is perfect to share! The party is over here:
    http://ourholidayjourney.blogspot.com/2017/02/fabulous-warm-heart-week.html
    Enjoy your week!

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    1. I shall come over and share some posts. Thanks for the invitation.

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  23. Great post Laura. It amazes me how many people don't mend now days. Is it becoming a lost art? Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  24. This is so true Laura. My husband is a metal fabricator and is constantly loosing buttons and burning holes in his clothes so I have a constant rotating stock:). I do have him trained to try to find the button so I don't have to pull one off of another part of the shirt. Sometimes a specific shirt will go through the mend pile multiple times before it's too far gone to salvage so it really does save $.

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    1. You made me grin, Lady Locust. I have pulled off buttons from the bottom of a shirt to put higher up before. Then I replace the bottom one with an odd button.
      Blessings,
      Laura

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  25. This was very helpful. Thank you for sharing these hints and ideas.

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    1. Glad to help Graefull! Be blessed, and do come back and see me.
      Laura

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Hello! I love it when y'all talk back!

I read all the comments I receive. I'm taking a short spring break, so I will have a lot of messages when I get back online. If you would like a reply to your comment, please be sure to leave your email address and ask me for a response. I moderate all comments, so it your comments won't show on the blog until I get back in the swing of things.

Thanks so much for your patience!

It will be good for me to unplug for a bit. Know what I mean?
Be blessed!
Laura