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mending our clothes...do you?

 
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Years ago in the UK/Ireland when I used to mend 1st hubbys work clothes, I used to use a glue called Copydex to apply patches.  I'm not sure what Copydex is, it looks like PVA but smells fishy.  It would stand up to many many washes, and the patches are nearly as flexible as sewing.  Make the patches round or oval, or at least round the corners and they wear much better.  Put a barrier like a plastic bag if sticking over another layer or you will stick your legs together.

I shared this trick with many small holding friends and they eagerly took it up.  One guy did complain that there were so many patches copydexed on to his jeans that they would now stand up on their own.

Now in New Zealand with 2nd hubby this trick isn't needed as he wears shorts for work year round!
 
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I mend clothes where I can, although I seem to be the only homesteader that can't sew
 
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Sally Walker wrote:I mend clothes where I can, although I seem to be the only homesteader that can't sew


Sally, welcome to Permies! You need to check out our Textiles PEP Badge. Lot's of beginner projects with good instructional videos to get you started.
 
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Leigh Tate wrote:

Sally Walker wrote:I mend clothes where I can, although I seem to be the only homesteader that can't sew


Sally, welcome to Permies! You need to check out our Textiles PEP Badge. Lot's of beginner projects with good instructional videos to get you started.



Thanks Leigh, great to be here!

Oh I have tried to sew many times over 44 years, all ends in needles everywhere, dropped stitches and more holes However! It's amazing what you can do to mend clothes when you have to
 
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"What we do not use up, we use again." -Urza

I've taken to mending everything from my Smartwool pieces to rag-towels at home.  There's no sense in throwing out something that's still very usable with a little bit of TLC.

The big leap was when a coworker pointed me to some wool-rayon blended thread.  I was pretty sure I'd need some fine yarn, but ... there's a thread for that!  I'm not thrilled with the plastic content of the 50-50 blend.  I'll take a little plastic in exchange for a few more years out of my clothes!

(There's probably a PEP badge in all the mending photos I've annoyed my friends with.)

-Matt
PXL_20210524_230756559.jpg
Mended boxers
Mended boxers
 
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a book from 1942 about mending clothing
https://archive.org/details/MakeMendForVictory/mode/2up
 
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Thank you all for the inspiration and tips! I love the Sashiko circles, think I'll try that next time I need to patch hubby's jeans. (It won't be long. Never is!)

I'd love to know what other projects you're using jeans offcuts for - we had accumulated several pairs that were beyond mending, and as I deconstruct them to reclaim parts for salvage, I'm contemplating what they could be used for.  Once can only use/make so many potholders and fabric baskets, tho' I do see denim tote bag making and giving away in my future. My hands aren't strong enough yet for a denim quilt project. Other ideas?
 
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V Kay wrote:T
I'd love to know what other projects you're using jeans offcuts for - we had accumulated several pairs that were beyond mending, and as I deconstruct them to reclaim parts for salvage, I'm contemplating what they could be used for.  Once can only use/make so many potholders and fabric baskets, tho' I do see denim tote bag making and giving away in my future. My hands aren't strong enough yet for a denim quilt project. Other ideas?



I cut the facings up into strips about 1/2 inch wide (zig zag so the strip is as long as possible). I've been using it to crochet a dog bed, however I actually ran out - it obviously takes a lot of fabric. It has turned out very robust which is a good thing with big dogs.

Another idea I'd like to try is weaving:
source

That site also had some other ideas. Not mending, but upcycling?

Shorter bits could be used for a knotted/tufted rug.
 
V Kay
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Thanks, Nancy! I have seen that gorgeous rug before.

Nancy Reading wrote: Not mending, but upcycling?


Yup, I was just thinking I should see if there's already a thread on jeans-parts repurposing specifically, and perhaps start one if there is not. The internet has not yet answered some of my detail questions, but I'm guessing the wealth of talent and experience here has the answer.
Staff note (Jay Angler) :

Here is a new thread for all sorts of making new things out of old jeans.
https://permies.com/t/169867/permaculture-upcycling/ungarbage/creative-permie-jeans

 
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V Kay wrote:I should see if there's already a thread on jeans-parts repurposing specifically, and perhaps start one if there is not.


Please do! One of us has probably encountered whatever hurdle you're facing.  I use a lot of old jeans for stuff, and I know I'm not the only one here.
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:Please do! One of us has probably encountered whatever hurdle you're facing.  I use a lot of old jeans for stuff, and I know I'm not the only one here.

Yes -  someone used salvaged jeans to make a roof for his packing skid "yurt" guest room - I'm sure the picture's somewhere here on permies. Way better than using plastic tarp and not much difference from "canvas". People can think up all sorts of cool and practical ideas - the rest of the internet can do the floofy stuff!
 
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Jay Angler wrote: the rest of the internet can do the floofy stuff!



That really made me laugh.

Bits of jeans are great for so many projects.  I've just earmarked the legs off a pair of jeans to make safety sleeves for the  long blades of my Austrian Scythe .

It might take a while because of other commitments but I will post pics when I'm done.  
 
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Sarah Elizabeth wrote: I've just earmarked the legs off a pair of jeans to make safety sleeves for the  long blades of my Austrian Scythe .  


Great minds think alike!!!
It ain't pretty but it works-- after losing my machete in its lovely leather scabbard* I made a sheath for my new machete out of old jeans. Simple, just 2 layers. I meant to finish it off all pretty but-- it's a machete, I love it just the way it is.




* Lost by leaving on top of my car and driving away and probably having it go flying off at the first speedbump. Le sigh.
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I've found that if I talk to the people at the thrift store and tell them what I'm looking for, sometimes they'll save me something they would otherwise have thrown out or direct me to something I've missed. It can't hurt. I sold a lot of denim patchwork squares from jeans that were destined for the dump. I have a wool blanket that partially shrank - don't ask me how that happens. It's quite odd but I'm going to cut it up and make a wonder box out of it. So glad I didn't buy the synthetic pellets that were recommended for filling it.
 
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I've managed to reincarnate a nice polo shirt:

Rejuvenated top


This is workwear from a previous lifetime, but is a good quality top. I am having trouble with the underarms on several cotton shirts rotting and splitting, so this is one way of making them good again. I didn't try an invisible repair, but a patch with a contrasting fabric.

Underarm patching


This is a bit of fabric from another dead t shirt, slightly different weave. A patch and stripe makes it look deliberate. You could go all down the side of the tunic as well, but I couldn't be bothered. Hand sewn since I still haven't been brave enough to try my walking foot on my sewing machine yet. It's all a bit fiddly for machine sewing anyway, so I got out my Harry Potter talking books again (4 CDs to complete this repair).
 
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So five years ago in this thread I posted about how I don't mend clothes because so much high quality clothing is available for practically nothing at second-hand stores. That is still true, but I realized there is one piece of "clothing" that I actually do mend: my wetsuit. About half the seams have been resealed, and if the rubber keeps cracking off at its current rate, that number will be 100% in a year or two. Of course, if $400+ wetsuits in my size were plentiful at thriftstores, I wouldn't be repairing it either.
wetsuit.jpg
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Matt Hauer wrote:"What we do not use up, we use again." -Urza
... The big leap was when a coworker pointed me to some wool-rayon blended thread.  I was pretty sure I'd need some fine yarn, but ... there's a thread for that!  I'm not thrilled with the plastic content of the 50-50 blend.  I'll take a little plastic in exchange for a few more years out of my clothes!
...
-Matt


In my schooling (to become a teacher in textile crafts, but I never became a teacher) I learned about all kinds of materials. So I can tell you: 'rayon' is not a plastic, it's not like synthetics made from petroleum. It is made through a chemical proces, that's true, but out of the cellulose of plant materials. Can be made from trees, bamboo or other plants. There are different kinds of rayon with other names like viscose, bamboo, tencel.
How I see it it is still not a natural material, but to wear it it feels better than synthetics like nylon or polyester.
 
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DH has a strong preference for the waffle-weave lined thermal hoodies. They're getting hard to come by, and he wears them out quickly. So I mend them, using tops from worn-beyond-darning socks for new cuffs, and patches cut from the salvage clothing stash for other areas. Fortunately, he's content wearing Frankenshirts.

(Tried to embed an image of a particularly patched piece, but...I don't have a url for it. Is there another way?)

edit: typo
edit a'gin: image! (?)

Seeing it in better light here on my monitor makes me realize how beyond-shabby the bottom is. I haven't come up w/anything yet for how to fix that - don't have anything in the salvaged clothing stash that looks like a good reinforcement/replacement at first glance.

Feel free to share your brilliant suggestions for how to prolong the poor shabby thing's wearable life.
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Jay Angler
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V Kay wrote:

Seeing it in better light here on my monitor makes me realize how beyond-shabby the bottom is. I haven't come up w/anything yet for how to fix that - don't have anything in the salvaged clothing stash that looks like a good reinforcement/replacement at first glance.

It wouldn't be perfect, but what about doubling over the bottom of a cotton T-shirt and encasing the hoodies bottom 2 inches in the patch? As if you were applying extra wide bias tape to an edge - this is hard to describe in words, sorry! Inge, can you picture what I'm suggesting and provide better words?
 
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Jay Angler wrote:... It wouldn't be perfect, but what about doubling over the bottom of a cotton T-shirt and encasing the hoodies bottom 2 inches in the patch? As if you were applying extra wide bias tape to an edge - this is hard to describe in words, sorry! Inge, can you picture what I'm suggesting and provide better words?



I get what you're saying, Jay. You explained it pretty well, thanks! (And this piece is far beyond requiring "perfect".) Now to cast about for a stretchy T (so it will help keep the cold out) that's not too worn and isn't, say, lime green? XD
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Jay Angler wrote:V Kay wrote:

Seeing it in better light here on my monitor makes me realize how beyond-shabby the bottom is. I haven't come up w/anything yet for how to fix that - don't have anything in the salvaged clothing stash that looks like a good reinforcement/replacement at first glance.

It wouldn't be perfect, but what about doubling over the bottom of a cotton T-shirt and encasing the hoodies bottom 2 inches in the patch? As if you were applying extra wide bias tape to an edge - this is hard to describe in words, sorry! Inge, can you picture what I'm suggesting and provide better words?


Hi Jay. I think I understand what you mean. So I think V Kay understands too. :-)
It would not be my way of doing this. If this were my jacket (and I were very attached to it) I would knit a piece of ribbing to replace the old worn edge (ribbing) of the jacket.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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V Kay wrote:

Jay Angler wrote:... It wouldn't be perfect, but what about doubling over the bottom of a cotton T-shirt and encasing the hoodies bottom 2 inches in the patch? As if you were applying extra wide bias tape to an edge - this is hard to describe in words, sorry! Inge, can you picture what I'm suggesting and provide better words?



I get what you're saying, Jay. You explained it pretty well, thanks! (And this piece is far beyond requiring "perfect".) Now to cast about for a stretchy T (so it will help keep the cold out) that's not too worn and isn't, say, lime green? XD


Yes, I see you understand what Jay means.
Why not Lime Green???
 
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[quote=Deb Rebel]Still  trying to keep us clothed, and still have a Chesstock Speedweave staring at me. I have looked at the machining and jigs, and am saving for a 3D printer to try some of this. Alternative may be to cut a ring of hardwood, predrill, and make pegs to produce the 'round' that the Speedweve handles.[/quote]

Deb, did you develop a design that you can reproduce and sell? One YTer said they preferred the Chesstok style, with the bar across the top to make changing direction on the hooks easier. The exposed curves, aka "Soviet" style, is apparently harder on the fingers.
 
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Inge Leonora-den Ouden wrote: Why not Lime Green???

Heh!
This is not the piece I'd want to draw that sort of attention to. Tho' I'd happily do it with others.
wrt knitting ribbing - knitting is not a skill I've ever learned. I was thinking about purchasing some ribbing, but again, this piece doesn't look to have a lifespan long enough to warrant that.
But it's a good practice piece.
 
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here is a link to a post in the frugility section I did a couple of years back showing how I patch dennum jeans.
this is how mom did it for jeans worn out from loading hay bales, some times the whole area from the thigh to just over the knee was cut out and patched .
https://permies.com/t/19028/patch-jeans
 
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So far I haven't done so but I think it's a lovely idea. Some stylish mending can give a new look to the item, especially if it's something casual for everyday wear.
 
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My weekly project is darning my old tattered coat. It's seen a lot through the years but its still warm.
Jacket.jpeg
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Darning.jpeg
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Inspite of the current fashion to have holes in jeans, I'd like to repair/mend my husband jeans.
I'd like it to be discrete. Any suggestion or tutorial to follow ?
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Heres a link: patching jeans with some nice photos on how someone here patched their jeans. If you search the forums for "jeans" with "mend" "repair" or "patch" I'm sure there will be more suggestions.
 
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Sam Robertson wrote:Inspite of the current fashion to have holes in jeans, I'd like to repair/mend my husband jeans.
I'd like it to be discrete.

For "discrete", I'd want to put the patch on the inside, do it by hand with the most "invisible" stiches I can to hold the patch in place, get thread that matches the "worn look" and consider on the out-side to do the "re-weaving" technique. There's a decent video on the PEP page (take the pictures they ask for and you can even earn a badge bit for your effort)  https://permies.com/wiki/146953/pep-textiles/Invisible-mending-small-hole-tear  

I also like to repair, although I'm less concerned about the jeans showing it. Cotton as it is currently being grown, tends to be hard on our environment. The longer we can use existing cotton clothing before it needs replacing, the more we capture its embodied energy and the lighter we live on the land.
 
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I don't tend to mend clothes. I've lost 155lbs over the last 6 or so years and while I can shrink trousers, shirts are beyond my skill.

I've just taken 6 inches out of a batch of boxer shorts with the same method I use on trousers. Flip them inside out and run a length of stitches down the outside edge. Cut 1 side of the spare cloth close to the new seam, fold the remaining cloth over the new seam, trim to size and another straight stitch line.

Anyone who regularly does french seams will roll thier eyes at this but.. it works for me.

Any advice on how to make the elastic waistbands last longer?

Gotta remember to order a rolled hem foot for the machine I inherited from my grandma.
 
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James Alun wrote: Any advice on how to make the elastic waistbands last longer?

Wash in warm or cold water with minimal detergent and *never, never, never* put them in the dryer.  Get a spring rod for over your bathtub, or any number of other ways, homemade or commercial, to air dry clothes that you either don't want to hang outdoors, live somewhere you can't (although even those places will often allow a portable rack), or there's a week of rain.

We do run a dehumidifier in the winter, so I'll put the clothes rack near it. We save the water it collects in jugs and add it to the wash cycle so it gets reused! Any electricity the dehumidifier uses, is electricity the dryer doesn't use, and we save lots of money on clothes. People will tell you that modern washing machines wear out your clothes, but I believe that the dryer is even worse - you just have to look at the lint it produces to be suspicious of that.
 
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My husband and I both abhor waste. Not to mention that every time we throw something out, a month or so later, we wish we'd kept it.

Although I have a clothes dryer, I very rarely use it, as it seems to destroy clothing at a much faster rate than line drying. I bought 2 of those little darning machines to repair holes in socks, as we are REALLY hard on sock toes and heels. I had though about making rugs out of the socks, but how many rugs can you realistically make? I'm a terrible darner, and those little darning helpers work great. He doesn't like to wear repaired jeans to work (engineer), but they're still good enough to fix and wear for working around the yard.

Over the next few years, what with inflation going out of sight, it will be interesting to see how many Americans will finally stop tossing so much, and figure out how to repair, reuse, and repurpose. We've been doing it for decades, so no big deal to us. Our garden beds were made from scrounged lumber, but in our area, we're great scroungers.

I'd like to thank all the posters on this thread for showing me new ways to salvage clothing. Alas, some of my husband's old t-shirts have been worn past the point of even being useful even as rags, but he claims "ventilation", and won't let me toss them.

I can only hope as time goes on, that sites such as this explode into popularity. So much trash out there that really wasn't "trash". I don't throw out old material. At some point, I'm going to take up quilting and use all that old stuff.
 
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