During WWII, the British Ministry of Information distributed "Make Do and Mend" pamphlets to households encouraging housewives to repair and renew their family's clothing. It included tips on salvaging yarn from worn sweaters, patching holes and even refashioning menswear into women's clothing. Pop over to Mrs. Depew Vintage on Etsy for her $5 downloadable copy.
I was raised in a family that embraced this kind of "Make Do and Mend" mentality. My parents valued well made items, time and thought were put into purchases, and repairs were made to things that were no longer working or were damaged. I've carried this mentality into my adulthood. My aesthetic certainly has a vintage slant, but I also love the quality that comes with items that have stood the test of time. Additionally, I love the challenge of updating household items and clothing to suit my personal style.
Mending of course takes time and hauling one's sewing supplies out. I totally get that not everyone has their sewing machine at the ready for everyday tasks. So, here's an idea that will save time when you need to make a quick repair: You can easily make a stack of patches to have on hand whenever you need to cover up a hole or stain.
Felt (We love Sweet Emma Jean)
Sewing Machine (or Needle and Thread)
- Cut out bits of decorative fabric in various sizes. I used a floral print where I could follow the design, but you could also cut circles, squares or any variety of shapes.
- Pin your decorative fabric to a slightly larger piece of felt.
- Edge stitch together with your sewing machine or by hand.
- Cut out felt leaving a small border around your decorative fabric.
Now whenever you have a few minutes (while you're watching TV or whatever), just pull out your patches, and sew one onto a garment that needs a little TLC. People are likely to compliment you on your fancied up duds too! Keep a small tin handy where you like to lounge with basic sewing supplies and you are more likely to "make do and mend".
xoxo Karen June