Make Do & Mend – Saving Money As You Sew!

While it’s nearly 70 years since the printing of the famous 1943 government booklet on making the most of limited resources – Make Do And Mend is making a revival!

Issued by the Ministry of Information it offered tips on how to make thing last longer, particularly focusing on clothing – for example how to re-invigorate old clothes and keep moths away. We are now going back to the idea that keeping your clothes in good condition will not only save you time but also a lot of money and what better place to start than how to do this in the modern world.

Particularly at the moment we are all looking for ways to save money and are going back to the days when people wouldn’t dream of getting rid of something unless it was virtually falling apart! Make Do & Mend really is making a comeback…. it’s even becoming trendy! Where clothes are concerned this mainly means some very simple measures by making minor repairs.

Some skill is required with tasks such as sewing a seam (or at least sewing a straight seam!), turning a hem etc, but you don’t need to be a wizard with a sewing machine to tackle repairs such as sewing on a button! Indeed most repairs are small and hardly worth getting out a sewing machine. I’ll run through some great tips to ensure you keep on top of repairs and a cheats guide to mending without much effort or skill! Talking of which the first thing in the novice sewing kit has to be Wundaweb. Is this cheating? Yes, but it does the job quickly and with very little effort! If you don’t have time or knowledge this is a life saver. With lots of different types available it can take care of numerous jobs. Use it to fix hems on skirts, trousers, dresses, curtains and much more. Wundaweb is a fine fusable fleece which bonds fabrics together quickly & easily, providing a natural firmly joined finish.

Good old reliable Velcro is another perfect addition for so many jobs. I recently used it to sew a piece across the inside pocket of a jacket to secure it for use with money etc. Don’t forget to cater for emergency repairs whilst out and about by keeping a pack of Velcro Hem Fix in your bag to get you out of trouble until you can repair it more permanently.

Velcro Sew and Stick TapeI’ve previously made use of other brilliant time and money-saving supplies which are ideal to have in your sewing kit for dressmaking and repairs.  Sew on Tape (plus Anti Snag Sew On Tape) and Iron on Tape are also great for use when you don’t need an instant fix.

Velcro® Sew on Tape is ideal for many Home Furnishing and Dressmaking tasks. It can be used for hand or machine sewing of soft furnishings, garments and more.  Each pack contains 20 mm x 1 metre and is very long lasting and durable.

Velcro Iron on TapeFor those who are really struggling to get along with sewing skills try the Velcro® Iron on Tape which is great for non-sew applications. Ideal for repairing and making clothes – use it instead of Buttons & Zips.

If you are finding loose buttons on your clothes, don’t wait until they fall off! Instead either sew them on immediately or keep them in a safe place until you can – such as a container which you keep especially for this purpose. It’s a good idea to keep any spare buttons here also, for example those you get when buying new clothes, this way you always know where they are when it comes to using them.

Anyone can sew on a button! One tip is to use a separate piece of thread for each pair of holes on a 4 holed button, this will save it falling off if the thread comes loose and you won’t lose it! Having trouble threading the needle? Apparently hairspray stiffens the thread and removes any fraying enabling it to glide through the needle eye.

Of course some things can’t be repaired, and when holes start appearing in your jumpers you know that you have allowed Moths into your wardrobes! Infestation can happen quickly so take immediate action by protecting your clothes from Moths with the correct products. See our Moth Deterrents Range and our FREE 10 Point Moth Guide to ensure you choose the right one.

Of course this is only the beginning. Moth Deterrents last a long time but when they do run out you must make sure you replace them to ensure continued protection. Don’t forget to also wash clothes before you store them and include a Moth Deterrent in your storage bag.

Just as important today as it was in the original Make Do & Mend booklet, moths have also made quite a comeback especially this year – you’ll regret it when you find holes in your expensive jumpers! –  you can’t afford not to take action!

Next time I’ll go through how to care for your shoes to ensure you keep them in tip top condition for years to come…. they can be the most expensive items you wear let’s face it!

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