Jun 25, 2012

Make Do and Mend Project

Image: green LA girl
Buying jeans has become a bit of an ordeal for me.
I know that might sound a bit extreme when put into context with the real issues of the world today but I feel I'm not alone in this torment.
Like most people, I have a few eccentricities, which seem to bubble to the surface with quickening pace any time I find myself buying new jeans. In particular, I have two - let's call them - "quirks".

One. (minor) Shop assistants asking me "D'ya need any help?"
I won't even go into why this annoys me for fear of 'losing it' mid rant and spontaneously combusting.

Two. (major) Being able to find a normal pair of jeans without the following 'designer touches'...dirt marks, added stains, paint splashes, custom rips, bleach marks, light wash, mid wash, stone wash, extraneous pockets and/or zippers, flared legs, skinny legs, twisty legs, elastic turn ups and most worrying of all - randomly placed belt hoops.

More times than not, I find myself walking out of the shop with nothing but the already 'falling apart at the seams' jeans that I supported on the walk in.

It's for this reason I must 'make do and mend'.

Image: Sierra Bernia School
It's more than 70 years since the outbreak of World War 2 and although food rationing was common enough, governments also started a Make Do and Mend campaign to encourage people to recycle and reuse old clothes and other fabrics and resources.
Taken from The National Archives and Nettlesworth Primary School websites:

"Everybody was given a ration book with 66 clothing coupons that had to last for a year. Each item rationed was worth a certain number of coupons, which added up to one outfit a year. 

Clothes bought from the shops were designed to use as little material as possible. A mans suit would have only three pockets, no turn ups, three buttons and a maximum trouser length of 48 cm. 
A woman's dress - no elastic waist bands, no fancy belts and a maximum heel height of 5 cm.
A mans overcoat - 16 coupons , 4 coupons for under pants and 8 coupons for pyjamas.   
Women were encouraged to repair and remake their family's old clothes. Old curtains were cut up to make skirts and dresses. Unwanted jumpers were unravelled and knitted into something else."

And it didn't stop there 

"Some women would draw a line down the back of each leg and pretend they were wearing stockings. Others used gravy browning to dye their legs but on a hot day this drew the flies."

So, I need to either get rid of my 'quirks' or learn how to sew.
I think we all know the answer to that head scratcher.

For those of you interested in the 'no sew' jeans repair method. Try Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs for this tutorial.

Image: Kelleigh Ratzlaff Designs
You can also try out this tutorial over at instructables.

Image: instructables
For those with a little sewing knowledge, hop over to Adventures in Dressmaking where there are some great tips and advice on repairing those favourite jeans of yours.

Image: Adventures in Dressmaking

Now is probably a good time then to invest in a sewing machine. My son is getting older and as a child I rarely had a pair of trousers without holes in the knees, if he's anything like me he'll be the same, after all, they say it's in the jeans.


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