Saturday, May 15, 2010

Extending the Life of Clothing

It's a nice, quiet afternoon at my house!  Bruce and Norah (my chattiest child!) are outside doing yard work, and it's just Owen, Gavin and I in the house.  My mending pile is out of control these days, so I've been trying to chip away at it here and there when I get a few peaceful minutes.  I had made these pajamas for Norah a couple of years ago, and she's stretched a few inches since then.  The top had become a bit of a belly top...  not cool.  :)  But she loves these pajamas and I couldn't convince her to give them up.  Originally they didn't have any banding on the bottom, they were just hemmed, with small slits on each side.  I unpicked the slits, sewed up the side seams, and added banding to the bottom.  And voila, a pajama top that is approximately 3 inches longer.  :)  This should buy her another year with these pajamas.  I love extending the life of clothing and other household objects by doing things like this.  What a great sense of satisfaction it brings, not to mention it saves us money, and reduces our overall consumption.  Have you extended the life of anything lately?  Can you think of anything that you can extend the life of by doing something similar?  Adding an extra flounce to a skirt?  Some ribbon and lace at the bottom of pants?  Turning pants with the knees blown out into some summer shorts?


  1. Inspired by your post I worked on my sewing pile sat. & sun. and got so much done and only spent 3 hours total!
    ...hmmm some things I do to extend life.. when a towel gets holes in it I cut it and sew it to become either bath mats, wash cloths, or cleaning cloths. Basic repairs instead of donating makes a big difference! Like covering holes in pants, putting in new elastic, sewing on buttons. In my area most of the moms I've met just donate and buy new - it's crazy!

  2. Bridgett, that's so awesome! Wow, 3 hours working on your sewing pile. I'm so jealous! lol. Mending/sewing is one of my favourite parts of homemaking so it actually feels like a treat to be able to do it. Is that weird? :) Your ideas are great ones. Putting in new elastic is something I do often. It seems the dryer is really hard on elastic and I end up replacing a lot of it. I'd probably save myself a lot of time if I used my clothesline more! I know what you mean about people just donating and buying new. It seems so crazy to me. I think that's part of why it's such a blessing to be able to be at home. I'm sure if I was working I wouldn't have the time to do all of those little things.

  3. Great tips- I need to start doing some clothes recycling and rejuvenation!