make do and mend

Back To Basics

Once upon a time, in days of the past, there was a woman who made her own clothing, made do and mended, was a thrift queen and lived a happy, not contributing to landfill life. Oh hold on! That’s not actually a fairytale… that’s me!

Imagine living in a world where you lived garbage free, everything was made from recycled materials and you never had to worry about your fast fashion ending up in landfill. Take a moment. Let that sink in. Ok. Ready? Open your eyes. Tada! It can happen. It has happened before and it wasn’t that long ago before it stopped happening. In the last few decades, we’ve gotten lazy, we stopped making our own clothing and rather than repair something, even with the tiniest repair needed, it would be tossed into the garbage and a new garment bought. Then off to the landfill, that pile of garbage that grows into mountains of clothing that could have been repaired and worn another day.

Before you start yelling at me, I know it’s not EVERYONE who does this. I grew up in a household that was all about creating your own garments, make do and mend and thrifting. My Mamasita is the thrift queen to this day. Between her and my Grandma Betty, I learned to knit and sew. Later in life, I taught myself to crochet (thank you Carlin for the encouragement and YouTube for the videos). I’ve never really been in a position to run out and buy myself a spanking never wardrobe, not that I would, so I’ve either depended on thrift shops or making my own clothing. The only things I actually buy brand new are undergarments, leggings, and stockings. At some point I’m going to learn how to make my own undergarments and leggings, so the only thing left is stockings and trust me, I wear those until they are literally falling apart. The 1930s/40s mentality of making do with what you have was taught to me at a very early age and I’m thankful for it. I’m also thankful to see a large number of others who do this or are beginning to do this. As a matter of fact there is a huge movement, which I am proud to be part of, of people who sew, knit, crochet, refashion, thrift, buy vintage and make do and mend. Let’s follow with their lead! We don’t need to buy fast fashion!

There is nothing more satisfying than creating your own garment or refashioning something you found in a thrift store. For those who think they can’t do it, you actually can. You don’t need a fancy sewing machine. You can find machines for a few hundred dollars that have the basic stitches, because basic is all you need! Don’t know how to sew, YouTube has a BAJILLION that’s right BAJILLION videos for beginners. All you need to be able to do is sew a basic stitch. I don’t own a serger or a fancy machine with embroidery stitches. I have a basic Kenmore sewing machine. It’s amazing the things you can make with a straight stitch! One of my favourite channels to watch is Evelyn Wood. She is a refashion genius!

If you don’t want to learn how to knit, sew or crochet, you can still help stop the contribution of adding to landfill. There is still make do and mend AND go clothing thrifting. Clothing thrifting is a lot of fun! You can make it an adventure either by doing it yourself or with friends. Do a show and tell together once you are done or take the items you found and refashion them! Anything you can do to help keep landfill from growing is a way to help Mother Nature out and trust me, she needs our help!

Today is going to be a sewing and writing day. I try to set aside one day a week to sew garments and I do my mending while watching a great classic movie or cooking shows on YouTube. I find it very therapeutic.
If you do one of these things (sew, knit, crochet, mend, refashion, thrift) you are helping. Please stop buying fast fashion and let’s get back to the basics!