As some of my readers know already, I am really trying to shift to a life a bit more frugal than we used to live. One of the main reasons, going from two good incomes to only one; and trying to raise a family of five on said one income. So I am always on the look out for some way to save money. The other day I hit upon an AHA! moment and bopped the back of my own head, Gibbs-style, for not thinking about it myself.

Rachelle at Magpie Girl recently wrote a post about her goal of going a year without buying any new clothes. This got me thinking. I sew. I’m a fairly decent sewer. I learned from my momma and mawmaw, as well a whole list of other skills any homesteader needs to survive and hobbies to keep you from going nutso.

Most of our family members are set on clothing. I don’t really buy a whole heck of a lot clothing items, at least not new. Get me in a thrift store and I can tend to go nuts. After all, who can resist buying five bags of clothing for less than $40.00?! Sometimes I do go a little overboard, because there aren’t many thrift stores with decent things around these parts of the woods, and over pay for items at Walmart or Target. [Side note: thrift stores really need to go online for those of us who live in the sticks.]

So, after reading Rachelle’s post, I have decided to give it a try. The little ones have a huge amount of clothing, which need to be sorted through and the baby clothes donated or freecycled. But the clothes which fit, but are just too short because of how tall they are – I blame that on their six foot father – I can take the hems out and redo them to be a better length. Maybe sew on a new fancy nancy bottom on the shirts, to make them functional, as well as new looking, again.

Socks, of course, can always been mended if they get a hole in them. Though, don’t tell, some of hubby’s socks are really really worn. Those, those can get a bit of reinforcement on the bottom from scrapes of fabric I have laying around for quilting.

Lost a button? I have a tin of mismatched buttons. When I take a piece of clothing apart, for the scrap pile, I always remove the buttons and zippers for recycling on new projects. This also comes in handy if a zipper fails on a piece of clothing.

Holes in pants or shirts can get a fabric patch, also out of my scrap pile. Or, if patching is objectionable, sometimes they can be sewn together without affecting the integrity of the garment.

Underwear I have never attempted to fix before. My mawmaw used to make lingerie. My mawmaw’s skills rocked! I still, after over 17 years, miss her something fiercely. Especially when I come across something I can’t do, but remember her doing. I always regret not getting her to teach me so many things she knew. If you have a family member with awesome skills like this, run, don’t walk, to them and beg for lessons. We have lost so many skills with dawning of automated machinery and computers, we need to keep this vast amount of knowledge and pass these skills on to new generations willing to learn.

This is not about feminism. This is not about burning your bras. I have read articles where women thought it was the right thing to do to have cobwebs in their ovens and play basketball with their friends, never anything “girly”. These skills aren’t just for women. They aren’t just for “girly” girls. These skills are something you can use everyday, to cut costs of energy consumption, to cut down on your carbon foot print, for men and women to use. These are skills which are on the verge, in my opinion, of being forgotten. This is why I created this blog. To help people of all ages, races, religions, etc, to learn and grown. Some may call going green the new black. I call it survival skills for the future.

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