How to mend and repair your clothes

May 14, 2019 by  
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There are many benefits to clothing repair. Fixing a hole in your favorite jeans or re-attaching a broken button can extend the life of the piece, which is better for the environment and your wallet. From hemming jean bottoms to fixing zippers, here is a quick look at all of the ways you can repair your own clothes . Sewing kit If you are serious about clothing repair, you should have a sewing kit on standby. A good kit includes items like needles and thread, scissors, a tape measure, a seam ripper, spare buttons and sewing pins. You can even put together a traveling sewing kit for whenever you are on the road and face a clothing emergency. Buttons Repairing a button on your favorite shirt can seem daunting at first, but it is actually a fairly straightforward process. According to The Spruce , there are two basic styles of buttons that are commonly used on shirts. The trick is picking the right type of button and the right size. Fortunately, you can usually reference other buttons on the shirt when selecting the perfect fit. The first type is called flat buttons. These are, well, flat and have exposed threads. These are the most commonly used buttons on shirts. The other type is called a shank button, which hides the thread. These are typically used in heavier pieces of clothing. Jean repairs Denim requires a substantial amount of water just to make one pair of jeans, so you should treat all of your jeans with care to keep them in top shape for many years. Rips Jeans often develop holes after extended use. Before you toss your favorite pair of pants, you can extend their life by repairing those rips and tears. All it takes is a patch of fabric  similar in color to the jeans and some thread. You can use a fusible patch, though you will likely need to sew it in place if you want it to last. Related: How to sew together ripped jeans Zippers Broken zippers are another common issue with jeans. Replacing a zipper is a little tricky, but it can be done. You will need a replacement zipper that matches the old fabric and some thread. Start by removing the old zipper entirely. Then, cut the new zipper to fit, and sew it in place. Belt loops Hardy belt loops are a requirement for a good pair of jeans , but they can fail after constant tugging. To repair a belt loop, you will need some denim thread, scrap fabric and a sewing machine. Start by patching the hole where the loop broke off. Once that is done, simply sew the old loop back into place, making sure you use plenty of thread to keep it strong. Mending Most clothing mends you will need to make are either for the seams or hems of your favorite clothes. Seam mending Seams are the most integral part of a piece of clothing . Seams can be curved or straight, or they can run into each other at intersections. The issue with seams is that they frequently rip, especially in areas you do not want exposed. Luckily, you can easily repair seams with some thread or by using fusible fabrics . Fusible alternatives remove the sewing element and are a great option for those less experienced in mending. There are a variety of fusible options on the market, so make sure you shop around for the right type before you start a project. Hem mending There are many reasons why people choose to hem clothing. The most common hem is done on jeans and helps prevent the bottoms from dragging on the ground. Jeans that are too long can trip people and will result in frayed ends. Hemming is also used to make pieces of clothing, like skirts, fit better and look more custom-made. Related: 11 ways to be more self-sufficient Common stitches By learning some simple, common stitches, you can easily repair a variety of fabrics. Running stitch If you only learn one sewing technique, it probably should be a running stitch. According to Life Hacker , the running stitch is a fundamental technique and one of the most basic stitches out there. By learning a running stitch, you can easily sew patches, fix hems and mend holes in clothing. This type of stitch basically runs in and out of the fabric without ever doubling back on itself. Back stitch A back stitch is basically a running stitch with a slight twist. This type of sewing technique is ideal if you need something that is both strong and flexible. This includes attaching zippers or fixing tears in fabrics in areas that take a lot of stress. When sewing a back stitch, you always take one step back with every stitch you make. This results in a line of thread on the backside of the item and a running stitch on the front. Whip stitch A whip stitch is slightly more advanced than the previous two techniques but still easy to perform. These stitches can repair torn seams, pockets that have come undone and split hems. A whip stitch is ideal whenever you are sewing two pieces of fabric together, like the opening of a pillow case. The threads will be visible in a whip stitch, so make sure you select a color that closely matches the original fabric. With these basic stitches and methods in mind, you are on your way to becoming an ace at basic clothing repair. Best of all, this will save you money and the planet’s resources. Images via Shutterstock

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11 ways to be more self-sufficient in the new year

January 11, 2019 by  
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Self-sufficient living is all about providing for your own needs— and the needs of your household— without resources or help from the outside. To become more self-sufficient, you need knowledge and skills, plus motivation and a spirit of independence. The reasons for living a self-sufficient lifestyle can be political, social or personal, but whatever the motivation may be, learning how to become self-sufficient can offer a feeling of security, even in the event of a disaster. There isn’t a handbook for becoming self-sufficient, but once you change your thinking about dependency, there are things you can do to start living life off the grid in the new year. Plant a Garden Not only can you grow your own food and save the seeds for next year, but you can also plant herbs in pots in your windowsill and use them for medicinal purposes or create your own spice blends . Cook From Scratch This goes hand-in-hand with planting a garden. Cooking from scratch instead of pre-packaged meals in plastic or take-out is a big step towards becoming more self-sufficient. Make A Food Storage Plan Gardens are great, and not having to rely on the grocery store to feed your family is a fantastic goal. But, that will mean that you need to have a plan for storing your food. After properly storing the fruit and veggies from your garden in a freezer or cellar, make a plan for acquiring basics like flour, sugar, water, salt and powdered milk. You can do this one week at a time , and after a year, you will have plenty of essentials. Make Natural Cleaners Ditch those store-bought cleaners that are filled with potentially toxic chemicals and instead switch to making your own natural cleaning products . You can also make your own laundry detergent and set up a clothesline or drying rack for your clothes instead of using a dryer. Learn To Sew This is a big one. Back when our grandparents and great-grandparents were young, there was always someone in the family who knew how to sew anything and everything. Not only could they mend their clothing, but they could also make entire outfits instead of buying clothing from the store. But it’s not always about clothing, as you can sew a number of things like blankets, curtains, towels, napkins, wipes and handkerchiefs. Sewing is a skill that is essential for self-sufficient living. Get Out of Debt When you owe people money it’s impossible to become truly self-sufficient. So, cut up those credit cards, make a budget and put together a plan to get out of debt. It’s not easy, but neither is living a self-sufficient life. Drastically cutting your spending to pay off your debts can be a great experience on what it means to live a self-sufficient life. In addition to getting out of debt, stash some cash in a safe place in your home. Having an emergency fund is a huge advantage when unexpected things happen. Start an Emergency Kit Stock up on basic medical supplies like band-aids, gauze, rubbing alcohol and OTC pain meds, but you want to be prepared for more than just medical emergencies. You also can prepare for power outages with an emergency candle kit . Collect Rainwater Having access to your own water source is a big part of becoming self-sufficient. If you don’t have a well, but want to use your own water to take care of your property, set up a rain barrel with a hose to water your garden. Basic Car Maintenance If you don’t know how to change your own oil or replace a flat tire, now is the time to learn if you want to become self-sufficient. Also, washing your car at home instead of taking it to a car wash is another step you can take when you want to rely on yourself instead of outside sources. Start Exercising If you aren’t in good health it’s difficult to be self-sufficient. Eating food from your own garden and cooking from scratch are big steps towards living a healthy life. Once you add exercise into your daily routine, you will become your healthiest self, which makes it much easier to be self-sufficient. Solar Lights and Windmills One of the biggest ways to move towards a life off the grid is to produce your own power. You can install solar lights outside and put up a windmill on your property to help generate the power you need. Via The Real Farmhouse Images via Couleur , FitNishMedia , Shutterstock

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11 ways to be more self-sufficient in the new year

DIY gift: make adorable felt drink “koozies” for all your friends

December 14, 2015 by  
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DIY: How to sew your own (adorable) upcycled picnic blanket

June 30, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of DIY: How to sew your own (adorable) upcycled picnic blanket Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: blanket , crafts , DIY , DIY picnic blanket , festival , green home decor , how to make your own recycled picnic blanket , how-to , picnic , recycled picnic blanket , sewing , summer picnic blanket

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Donate Your Old Sewing Machines and Help Create New Opportunities for Individuals Around the World

June 11, 2013 by  
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What if your old, unused sewing machine could help mend the lives and create opportunities for woman around the world? It can! Eco entrepreneur and creative activist Jenelle Montilone recently partnered with Bernina of America  and is celebrating their Give Back Get Back program with a slew of exciting new initiatives. Now through September, you can drop off a sewing machine of any make, model and condition to your local Bernina store, and in exchange you will receive a discount on future purchase. The machines that are collected will be passed along to  The Sewing Machine Project , and then onto individuals or organizations in and around the Gulf Coast, Mexico, Kosovo and Sri Lanka. The Sewing Machine Project, Bernina and Jenelle all believe that when people grow stronger, so do their communities. + The Sewing Machine Project Via Trashn2tees The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bernina of america , give get back program , Gold Sewing Machine Planter , jenelle montilone , Sewing Machine Reuse , the sewing machine project , used sewing machines where to donate sewing machines        

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Donate Your Old Sewing Machines and Help Create New Opportunities for Individuals Around the World

The INLET Wall Socket Conserves Energy While Increasing Child Safety

June 11, 2013 by  
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Since its invention, the standard electrical outlet has changed little in function or appearance. The INLET by LivingPlug seeks to not only change the aesthetics of the standard wall socket, but to increase efficiency and improve child safety. Their flagship product can be inserted into a normal duplex unit and includes a high capacity 2.1v USB charger that powers three tamper resistant outlets. Read the rest of The INLET Wall Socket Conserves Energy While Increasing Child Safety Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “energy efficiency” , California , child safety , china , face plate , forest lake , inlet , kickstarter , livingplug , Minnesota , outlet , Sacramento , usb charger , vampire charge , wall socket        

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Corning’s Gorilla Glass Could Make Cars Lighter and More Fuel Efficient

June 11, 2013 by  
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Corning’s Gorilla Glass is used in the screens of about 1.5 billion mobile devices around the world — you might even be reading these words on a device made from the material. It’s scratch resistant, lightweight, and very durable, making it perfect for smartphone touch screens. But Gorilla Glass could soon be expanding its reach to automobiles . Replacing some of the windows in a car with Gorilla Glass would help reduce the vehicle’s weight and lower its center of mass, which would lead to gains in fuel efficiency. Read the rest of Corning’s Gorilla Glass Could Make Cars Lighter and More Fuel Efficient Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: car windshield , corning , Corning glass , Corning gorilla glass , fuel efficiency , gorilla glass , gorilla glass windows , gorilla glass windshield , noise resistant glass , windshield        

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Corning’s Gorilla Glass Could Make Cars Lighter and More Fuel Efficient

Hans Rosling Uses LEGO Bricks to Explain Climate Change and Population Growth

June 11, 2013 by  
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We’ve seen LEGO bricks used to build tons of unexpected creations – from wheelchairs to chandeliers . But everyone’s favorite toy brick can also be used to teach – Hans Rosling, a Swedish doctor and Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute , has done just that. His simple demonstration uses LEGO bricks to explain the current and future state of population growth and climate change, showing us where we are and where we’re going. Read the rest of Hans Rosling Uses LEGO Bricks to Explain Climate Change and Population Growth Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon emissions , carbon emissions and population , carbon emissions by population , Climate Change , global population , Hans Rosling , Hans Rosling LEGO , Hans Rosling LEGO video , Hans Rosling YouTube , lego , Lego bricks , LEGO illustration , LEGO teaching , population growth , population increase , YouTube videos        

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Hans Rosling Uses LEGO Bricks to Explain Climate Change and Population Growth

Not Just for Grannies Anymore: The Rise of The Urban Sewing Lounge

October 26, 2010 by  
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Photo: Thread Den Sewing Lounge Just as community gardens all over are bringing together urban gardeners, there’s an updated version of the old-fashioned sewing circle popping up in many city neighbourhoods: the sewing lounge. With crafting and the DIY mentality making a huge comeback, activities like sewing and knitting are moving out of the home and onto the streets.

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Not Just for Grannies Anymore: The Rise of The Urban Sewing Lounge

Tutorial: Stenciled Bean Bags

January 28, 2010 by  
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I like to make educational toys for my girls– matching games from their artwork , file folder games, extension activities for the books they read, anything that will allow them to incorporate what I want them to learn into the pleasures of their lives. These particular bean bags were inspired by my three-year-old, who hasn’t yet memorized her numbers. Sure, she can count on her fingers and plays a mean game of Uncle Wiggily, but sit down long enough to figure out the difference between a 5 and a 9?

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