Spend less, Mend more

One way to slow the pace of fast fashion is to mend more. Adding patches, mending zips, sewing buttons back on and stitching tears all prolong the life of an item of clothing, and stem the tide of buying more. It also takes little time, saves money and is much easier to do than you might think (but if you’d rather not do it yourself, it’s also easy to find tailors/ drycleaners who provide mending services).

In the process of packing my bags for Glasgow and preparing for the course, I’m making sure all my clothes are in good shape, and getting a bit of sewing practice in too.

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holey pocket: before

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holey pocket: after

I learnt most of my mending tips and tricks from my granny’s little pink ‘Make Do and Mend’ pamphlet, which contains specific instructions on different types of fabric and wear, with very helpful illustrations. I’ll blog some more information and images when I’ve remembered which box it’s packed in.

In the meantime, here are a few half-decent instructions I found online.

How to sew on a button – Instructables

Fix a zip – Wikihow

How to patch a hole – Martha Stuart

The Button Queen

Yesterday I paid a visit to the Button Queen – a unique little shop on Marylebone Lane near Oxford Circus that’s dedicated solely to selling buttons. The owner told me that his parents had started the business, his mum being the original ‘Button Queen’ when she sold them on Portabello Road market. There’s a video on the website with more about the shop’s history.

I picked out some simple little ones for the shirtwaister, whilst ogling some in faux-marble and stone. Now for thinking up a garment to go with them.

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On the way back to Euston I passed half a dozen magnolia trees bursting into flower, until this one forced me to stop and get the camera out.button6button7

Back in London

No posts recently, sorry! My main excuse is that I’m just back from a week teaching art and art history in Ukraine. It was a very exciting visit and I’m looking forward to returning next month and exploring the city of Donetsk with my camera. Unfortunately, my current camera battery lasts about ten minutes tops, so no pictures from this visit.

After a couple of frenzied months, knitting has slowed down a little lately. My green swiggle jumper and I aren’t talking right now. Although we’re completely and utterly made for each other there are still some serious relationship issues. After some denial on my part, I’ve come to realise that we need to take a couple of steps back – namely reknitting the armhole edges of the front.

Tomorrow renegotiations begin.

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In the meantime, I’ve rekindled love for my sewing machine. Some beautiful blue stripey silk found in a fabric shop in Glasgow last month is gradually coming together into a shirtwaister dress. It’s working out nicely despite the fabric (and, incidentally, my mind) unravelling faster than you can say ‘seam allowance’.shirtwaister2