Friday, January 21, 2011

In the Studio this week

Jeans were patched, jackets were mended, cozy fleece sweaters were finally put together, aprons were sewn, some valentine decorations were finished and hung, and fabric was cut for a long dreamed of table runner. My basket of sewing to-dos is considerably emptier- but there are still a few projects that need finishing; a button decorated pillow that I started when I was pregnant with N, a quilt that needs one square (yes one square!) added to it, a favorite chenille blanket that needs some care, and yet another one of K's work jackets to mend.

K is so hard on jeans, that this year I finally started patching them for him, he's been wanting me to do some for a long time, but in the past I was too busy working outside of the house to get to them. Also I didn't have a space for my sewing machine to sit permanently, so every time I needed to add a patch I had to drag it out on the dining room table. As I was patching these ones for the second time (some are at their last patch job I think as the fronts are mostly patches by now), I was thinking how uncommon it is for people to make their clothes last in this way anymore, it used to be common, and expected to patch clothes- work clothes especially.

It's not a huge amount of money to buy new jeans when one pair wears out, but it is money, and it's also not exactly necessary to have pristine work jeans. Patching clothes is a way to make them last a season longer than they would normally, but also a way to add value or recognize the value of the items that we use. When an item is thrown away (or turned to rags) when it could be fixed, we're wasting so much of it. It may seem overly cheap and miserly to patch clothes in the big scheme of things, but I think that type of frugality is important, and it relays into other aspects of life, if you're willing to make the most of the smallest things it gives a feeling of resourcefulness that can seep into other parts of your life.

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