Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mending: Links How to Fix Crocheted Items

Crochet stitches are so varied and knotted, I'm often at a loss for fixing a torn thrifted blanket or handmade sweater.

But now I've found some tutorials for repairs. Should I say I'm hooked and I want my fix? Probably not.

Repair a crocheted blanket

Repair a granny square afghan

Another mend a granny square tutorial

Mending the center of a granny square

Mending crocheted lace

Mending a tarn rug

Not technically a repair for crocheted or knitted items, but this explanation for how to weave in yarn ends will make all those projects look better.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mrs. Sew and Sew 1944

It's a movie break!

How to make popcorn:

Pour in just enough oil to cover the bottom of a heavy saucepan. Place three kernels of un-popped popcorn in the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and heat the oil until you hear the three kernels pop.

Add as many kernels as will cover the bottom of the pan. Cover tightly.

Shake the pan over the fire or heating element so the kernels move. This prevents burning.

The kernels will start to pop at an amazing rate in a minute or so. When the popping sounds diminish to the point where you can only hear a couple of pops every 2-3 seconds, remove the pan from the heat.

Turn out your fresh popcorn into a bowl and salt lightly. 

Why popcorn? Because it's movie time!

If you enjoyed this movie, you might also like these books available here and there where vintage books are sold.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pin Money - A Bit of Women's History

My grandmother used to tell me stories from her life and all of them seemed to relate to one of two things: the music of the good old days and housekeeping. I learned the Charleston from her and I learned that a woman always manages her grocery budget in such a way as to be able to skim a bit of money off to save for a rainy day. 

This money was called "egg money" because often there wasn't much that could be skimmed so women sold eggs from their backyard chickens to make a little extra. Egg money was saved for emergencies or that big household purchase before credit reared its ugly head in our modern world.

But before there was egg money, there was "pin money", a term coined in the fourteenth century. 

Pin money was an allowance a husband gave his wife for her personal expenditures such as clothing and personal care items. My favorite descriptions of how pin money was used, however, dates from the sixteenth century on when pins were used to create gorgeous gifts.

Pins used to be quite expensive and were sold only a few days a year. Girls and women saved money so they could buy pins for both household and gift-related use. An allowance or spare coins were saved to purchase these and their value was much greater than we can imagine today.

Pins were bought and treasured and then used to create messages and designs on velvet or satin pincushions, often heart-shaped. These gifts were exchanged between older girls and also given by suitors to young women they fancied enough to woo with marriage in mind. WWI soldiers made them and sent them home to loved ones while they convalesced in veteran hospitals.

I also found a fascinating article regarding a man who bequeathed a sum of money to the First Lady of the US, calling it the Henry J. Freeman Jr. Pin Money Fund. This money would be paid out to the First Lady after the last of his descendants had died. Why? He felt the leader of our nation was paid a pittance and the First lady of the nation should have a bit of spending money of her own. Here is the article.

The advertisement came from an archived Louisiana newspaper, but I couldn't get the link to work. It seems that you could sell Ladies' Home Journal magazines for extra money which the ad represents as pin money.

The photo of the two heart cushions came from here.

Do you save money from your household budget? What do you call it? How do you save it? In a jar? Stashed in your lingerie drawer? 

No, I'm being nosy. I just love to hear how household wisdom has survived into our modern times.

Mending: Armpit Rip

I've been finding a number of really nice tutorials on About.com under the DIY Fashion category. This one explains how to mend an underarm rip.

It has clear illustrations for repairing a rip in the armpit of a shirt including a section on how to make a gusset to fit (assuming this is not a simple seam repair).

This tutorial would also be useful for altering those too-tight underarms on blouses and workshirts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mending: Fix a Torn Seam

A split seam can be the easiest of repairs. Seam repairs are often needed in pockets or at shoulder joins. Here are some good visually based explanations for how to repair a couple of types of seams that have come apart.

How to fix a flat felled seam

Hand sew a ripped seam - gorgeous video

How to mend a seam