I remember my mother making mittens out of old sweaters. She says she also made me a robe out of an old robe of hers when I was little, but I don't remember that. She was a button saver, a trim saver, a zipper saver, even a collar saver...
Useful parts of old drapes got used as throw pillow covers. I even had "old drape" bean bags to play with! Sheets...we never did do the "cut down the middle, turn, and re-sew" trick that other households did. Worn-out sheets & towels went to the rag bag. Yep, we had an actual homemade (probably from drapes) drawstring bag that hung in the cellar stairway. That was where you put rags or got one out for dusting. My Halloween treat bag was an old pillow case, until Esso gave out "Put a Tiger in Your Tank" plastic trick-or-treat bags one year. I think I still have that bag somewhere.
What kind of textile recycling went on in your family?
I don't remember the "cut, sew and turn" trick for the sheets but Mama told me that she did it before I was born. Worn out clothes went into the rag box and were used to make quilts, or for rags. Yep, buttons were cut off and saved. Old towels became rags. In fact, I do the same now with worn t-shirts. The seams get cut off and they go into the rag bin for cleaning or whatever else they're needed for. I threaten to do the same for clothes but thus far haven't collected very many. That would mean I actually had to cut them up and make quilts!!!
My mother also used feed sacks as the backing for quilts. She may have made clothes with them earlier, but all I remember is the quilt backs. Oh, yes, she did make kitchen curtains from them one time that I remember. Pillow cases, pillow covers, table scarves. Wow, its amazing how many once I started thinking about it.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Florida Farm Girl,
Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
My husband knows better than to throw out an old t-shirt. That's what he uses to wax the cars, as soon as I cut the seams out. Old flannel clothing is good for that, too.
I still save buttons & zippers & even the wool & lining material from any old suit jackets. Like mother, like daughter. I was talking to my (non-sewing) friend one day & she was lamenting the fact that her favorite pair of jeans was kaput -- zipper broken, etc. She was going to have to toss them & buy new. I would have either popped in a new zipper myself, or saved the denim for something! Can't fathom just tossing clothes out. There's always some part that can be salvaged & re-used.
DS has given me his worn jeans & I've either repaired them or used the denim in crafts. The repaired jeans, I keep in his old closet here, so he doesn't have to pack much when he visits. He can visit for a week with just a carry-on.
... the closest my mom came to sewing was replacing buttons - from the button can, and mending things, like a torn sheet corner, never saw a feed sack nor anything made from them. As far as I know. But the rare too old towel did get torn up, and mom used them for 'mop rags' in the old spring wire and metal lock handle mop she used. I'd gag at wringing that thing out with my hands! She was a hands and knees scrubber too ... nothing stayed on that floor that wasn't manufactured there - and I think she scrubbed off most of that!
And she 'sprinkled' all the laundry before ironing - yes, line dried and then re-wetted ?? and rolled all up and put in the basket under the buffet until the next day when she ironed - all freekin day! and she starched everything white with cold water stuff mixed in a big bowl,,, oh crud my petticoats were awful and when I finally began budding I asked her to stop doing mine. And she fixed everything - I remember her iron in parts on newspaper on the dining room table, where we ate as a family every night, she had all these wires and screws and things .. and she made it work.
I think those are referred to as 'the good old days' .. frankly I like having more than one working iron and sewing machine, and hair dryer, and ..... but I tear up old bath and dish towels just like she did .. but I don't think I wait so long!
thanks for the memoryjogger - that was fun
I cannot change 'things', but I can change how I feel about them. Me.
Wounded Warrior Project
Only recycling at our house was from the oldest to the next and on down the line,wasn't worth saving after that.I got my love of sewing etc from gram I guess.Mom never sewed.She did do losts of ironing,even her bras EEK!!!
BLESSED WITH THE BEST !!!!
My mom had pants stretchers for my father's pants. She would take the wet pants out of the washer in the basement, put the stretchers into the pants, and then hang them on the line down there to dry. They would come out stiff as a board, almost able to stand on their own!
She also sprinkled clothes when she ironed, but she would roll them up & stuff them in a bag in the refrigerator so they wouldn't mildew til she got around to ironing them! If suppertime came & she wasn't done ironing, into the fridge the remaining wet clothes would go for tomorrow.
She had a great old laundry cart, canvas sides on a wheeled frame. There was a side for whites & a side for darks, divided in the middle. She could load up the cart & then wheel her way down the clothes lines in the basement. She couldn't lift it to go outside, so it was for the basement lines only. I can't remember when we got a clothes dryer, but it was a wonderful day when that arrived. Although I have reverted to hanging my laundry outside whenever I can, because I love that smell. Wish I had Mom's old clothespin bag! I keep threatening to make one.
When we were cleaning out DH's mom's house, we found a perforated metal cap with a hollow cork on the end. DH's sisters had no idea what it was & didn't want it. **I DID!!** So I'm now the proud owner of an old-timey clothes sprinkler, the kind you put in any discarded glass soda bottle.
Speaking of which, did I hear correctly recently -- no more C-o-ke in glass bottles??
There were seven cousins who stair stepped to get hand me downs. Luckily I was third. We did get new Easter dresses from coordinating flour sacks. Luckily when I was a teenager Mom sewed for the public and often asked as payment new fabric for my clothes. I do have three quilts that have fabrics from some of our clothes. Nowadays Goodwill is my recycler.
Now you have me on a memory trip! I remember those pants wires,and the sprinkle deal,I still keep ironing in freezer.My first machine was a wringer and tubs,had a clothes line too,good old days I rememeber grams mangle iron too,big ole hunk of thing,would be great for ironing big hunks of fabric now.I do have grams old wood ironing board.This message has been edited. Last edited by: jacky,
BLESSED WITH THE BEST !!!!
My mother had a mangle, but she rarely used it for anything other than tablecloths. It then got relegated to the basement & I guess finally tossed out. Yet another thing I wish I still had. Have you seen the prices of the ones Miele makes?!
I was kinda going, nope, nope, nope, nope as I was reading. Then I got to the part about ironing bras. We did that!!!! Had to get those points to stand out somehow. OH, gawd!!!!
Aside from everything becoming a cleaning rag, I don't really remember our house being one of recycling unless you counted that most of my clothes were made by Mom from patterns and fabrics gotten from the dress factory where she worked. She did do a remodel on one of my cousin's dresses for my first prom. Didn't have any sisters so don't really even know what happened to my stuff.
I remember using bacon grease to do all our frying and cooking. And mashed potatoes became potato pancakes, lots. Leftover corn became corn fritters (pancakes with the corn in them). Things like that happened in our house.
I just remembered we had a lot of crocheted rag rugs....now I remember where are the rags went. They are still one of my favorite things to do.
She did use old worn blankets as quilt batting.
Our home was more of a 'use it til it was worn through/out' and then "be gone!"
I have the only surviving quilt from DMs DM. The original quilt wore out. DGM made another top, took the old curtains from her FILs house for the backing and used the old worn out quilt for the batting. The "new" quilt was then tacked together.
DGM threw out very little. I almost hate to tell you, but will...she did not purchase hair nets to wear while she was cooking. Are you ready for this?! My grandparents raised their oldest grandchild. DGM wore a pair of his old underwear over her hair. Are you laughing yet?! LOL We grew up seeing it so didn't think a thing about it.
DM used old t-shirts and white socks for rags and dusting furniture. Socks were ideal for dusting what-nots.
DM made her DMs clothing as well as her own and mine. All remnants were given to my GGM for quilts.
Ragged clothing was taken with us when we went to Oklahoma to visit my aunt and her family. We would stop off in Paul's Valley at the state children's home and drop off the clothing. I had a cousin who lived there. He turned the clothing into strips, then wove rugs. DM always purchased rugs from him which we used in the kitchen, bathroom, and whatever camper we had at the time.
DH wears out most of his clothing. Stained or worn clothing go to the work clothes side of his section of the closet. He's got some fairly threadbare stuff he's still using. I donate a good portion of mine to a local clothing bank. However, most cottons are cut up for rags...the majority going to DHs wood shop.
Does this hat make my butt look big?
my mom made our clothes or they came from the used store. I,the youngest of 3 sisters got what was left, she make all bed clothes,quilts, out of used clothes, backing may be drapes etc.no batting, that would be old blankets, drapes etc... the part of the clothes that did not wear out became quilt scraps. I have quilts that I can see my sisters, or brothers, & my own prev worn clothes. Nice memories . It is a wonderful quilt top I have of my own late husbands shirts... i treasure.
The memories keep on coming! Phone party lines, Kaffee Klatsches. 6 kids- the 1st 3 girls were a year apart and an inch different in height. Mom made our dresses, mittens, hats, and topper (swing) coats and we rotated them each year. Sant or the Easter Bunny brought a new headband, and sometimes patent leather shoes. Underwear and socks came from Grants, Woolworths, or Montgomery Wards in multipacks to fit the largest girl for us to divvy up and embroider our initials on. By the time girl #4 went to kindergarden she had store bought clothes that fit! Mittens were made from itchy wool. Socks were held up w/ rubberbands and the cuff folded over, plastic bags were worn inside our shoes,skates and boots- which never fit right. No heat in the bedrooms, thick ice on the windows. I do remember the Coke bottle sprinkler for the wrinkled clothes, but often as not the ironing was delayed a few days and mildew spots were common. Every adult we knew smoked, and all 6 of us had undiagnosed asthma by the age of 10. Sewing and clothing scraps went to Great Aunt Eunice in the Adirondacks for her hand sewn quilts. She'd barter them for about $15 and sold eggs for 20 cents a dozen. Remember putting the car to bed? A light bulb was placed on the engine and heavy blankets piled on the hood. The older 4 kids had to get up early to shovel so Dad could get to work. Mom's car had the heated basement. By Jr High we wore Mom's hand me downs- and no Nehru jackets or go go boots that I wanted. At least we had the hair down to our tushes. It was better than having Mom or worse yet Dad cut our hair! We were dirt poor, but so was everyone else. Dad worked 2 - 3 jobs. He'd bring home damaged or returned clothes from working at Wards. There was a lot of Use it up- wear it out- make do with- or do without! I have been collecting jeans and men's shirts for Christmas quilting this year, and I've even saved the buttons but not sure what to do with them!
Both my grandmother and my mother used to save buttons, zippers and trims from worn out clothes. Mom had a one of those 1-1/2 gallon Tupperware containers that was filled to the top with white buttons. On rainy days, she would get out that container and we would spend hours creating pictures out of buttons. Of course, they all had to be gathered up and put back into the container when we were finished playing with them. I've started my own button box and sometimes I just open it and play with the buttons, trying to find ideas for using them.
I looooved sorting buttons as a kid. Best done when home from school, sick in bed, using a cookie sheet with sides.
Wow, I hadn't thought of knee socks with rubber bands in years! What was it about those socks...never would stay up after about the 3rd washing! You'd have to search the rubber band jar for just the right size band, then you'd have marks on your legs when you took your socks off.
I had hand-me-down white "go-go" boots from a cousin. I wore them with white fishnet tights -- thought I was hot s-n-o-t! That was probably 4th or 5th grade. (Oh quit trying to do the math -- yes, I've lived that many moons, LOL!!!)
Remember when those double-knit clothes with the spongy fabric backsides came into vogue? Mom tried to save some of her dresses from that era but the spongy stuff disintegrated. Wonder what (toxic) stuff it was made from back then?? I'm guessing that was about 1968 or '69 or so?
Anyone ever look at a Sears catalog from back then, or even some old magazines? A HOOT to look at now -- those clothes! What were we all smoking?!
I think 90% of my allowance got spent there!
Jump ropes, paper dolls, jacks, hula hoops, coloring books, bubble blowers, Lifesavers, wax bottles, candy cigarettes, gumball machine charms, plastic coin purses, lace anklets, hankies...and later, 45rpm records!
Seems like the report I heard about that was just one particular size.
All of these memories are fun to read - and most are familiar to me. I can't think of anything to add.
We just saved buttons and zippers. Old clothes for dust rags and cleaning rags. My mom didn't like to sew, so the only thing I can remember being remade is a skirt of my sisters into a blue & white gingham check dress which my older sister made. Was SOOOOOOO upset as I wanted the one in the catalog NOT one made out of my sister's old skirt!
Yes the sprinkler accessory and clothes rolled up in the refrigerator. Did that with some fabric recently that came out so wrinkled I never would have gotten it close to anything I would use without it... Chris
For years, my grandma had a rug base stretched over a frame and kept it behind the bathtub. She would work on it when she got a new old piece of wool clothing to tear into strips. I loved to watch her hooking a rug but it wasn't very often she had anything to use. Grandad was a miner and his work clothes weren't fit for anything but the fire when he was done with them. It's not often he got dressed up. But buttons, zippers and trims all got saved. That rubbed off on me. The first quilt I made used cut up clothing from Salvation Army, an old blanket as filling and a flannel sheet as backing. My husband used it as his hunting quilt for years.
My grandmother lived here in Maine and raised nine children-six boys and three girls while working as a nurse.
She took all the useable fabric from any clothing worn out and made utility quilts and backed with sheets. They might not be pretty, but they were warm during those cold Maine winters! Remember, back then the three girls all slept in a full-size bed and the boys in two full-sized beds. They also doubled as tents on those rainy days they couldn't play outside.
When my mother moved to California to marry and raise her family, she sewed all our clothing, even my brothers and my father's shirts. She took all our fabric scraps and mail boxes to my grandmother to make quilts for us kids. While we really didn't need the batting in sunny CA, I fondly remember my quilt, especially when I was sick in bed, fondling the fabrics while I recovered. Finding strips and squares made from a special dress or nightgown was so fun. No wonder scrap quilts have always been my favorites. I have one of those quilts packed away--not an heirloom by any standards, but treasured by a greatful granddaughter.
Years later, with 63 grandchildren, I was the only one who sewed and then quilted. She was thrilled beyond belief when I presented to her a simple rail fence quilt for her bed. She brought it with her to the hospital where she died of kidney failure at age 86. My wish was that she be buried with her quilt to keep her warm, but unknowned to me my mother had the quilt removed from the casket and gave it to me a few days later. I know she meant well, but I really do wish Grammie had her quilt to keep her as warm and cozy as the quilts she made for me over the years.
My grandmother passed away about 10 years ago at the age of 83. She used and reused everything. When she passed away we found a box(about shoebox size) filled with bits of string on the end she had marked "string to small to use" She labeled everythingI still have some of her material tht she bought for quilts before she died. Not something I would buy but I keep hoping to find some use for it. She would use a paper towel to dry her hands, then put in on counter laying flat to reuse on whipping table or window, then save it to reuse on whipping spills on the floor. We never got new plastic bags for our lunch. she saved bread bags and cut them down. all school papers were saved to practice spelling words or math homework. We did the seam down the middle on the sheets, or made pillow cases or aprons out of what was good. bath towels, were made into washclothes, saved the grease from bacon or anything that was fried and reused it. I don't know how we never got sick.
How about some of the prices back then. I can remember bolonga for 3 lbs for a dollar, kool aid 5 cents a pack,Bread 25 cents a loaf.or it was all home made and the local candy store. we got a nickle and either got a popsicle, or some penny candy I was born in 1943 and can remember having no Television. I got married in 1962. washed clothes in a wringer washer and dried them in the bathroom over the tub. and this was with 2 kids in diapers(cloth) by 1965. also rode a bus every where we went. My husband and I did not have a car until 1969. remember ou payments were 25 dollars a month for a year and a half. and that was a used car. Well that is my trip down memory lane.This message has been edited. Last edited by: applebetty,
Quilters lead a piece-ful life
StarrySky! I still have a pair of green bell bottom pants made out of that "bonded" knit. The yoke is leather-look vinyl. AND there's a matching middi-vest. I kid you not!
The foam bonded stuff has turned to pure grit. I still can't bear to throw the pants away. I kid you not! LOL I took them outside and shook the grit out. Ah...memories!
Ditto the stretched out socks.
What about little girl's cotton panties and the elastic wore out of the legs. As Maxine says about thongs, "When we were growing up we spent all that time keeping our panties out of there, why in the world would we buy a pair of thongs?!"
Does this hat make my butt look big?
How sweet it was that she had your quilt! Your Grammy probably didn't even have any of her own quilts in her old age- I bet she'd given them all away.
Great trip down memory lane. My mom sewed & made everything for the house & mended & altered clothes for all of us. With seven girls all a year or so apart there were hand me downs. A new coat had to do till you outgrew it & then a younger sister got it. When the color was so faded mom would take the coat apart & remake it inside out & reattach the lining so from outward appearances we had a brand new coat. We delighted in pulling up the lining to show everyone how mom had done it, showing how our red coats were a faded pink inside.
Grandma had a large button box--many unusual buttons--wonder where she got them? I still have it along with one I inherited from an old family friend.
We had feed sacks brought home from the hammermill with our own ground feed in them but they were only used to make dandy, large dish towels. My Mom and Grandma didn't ever sew anything. I think my aunt made the towels. Grandma, a farm wife, rested between chores crocheting circular chair pads from OLD NYLONS (hose). They were more than ugly! In fact, most of the textiles we had were ugly. No quilts, no one quilted.
My great gr. mother, Dutch by birth as was my grandmother, always was knitting sweaters for the whole family. I would show a flurry of interest, she would get me started and then I lost interest. Somewhere along the way, it resurfaced into a passion for cloth, sewing and then, eventually, quilting.
Thanks for the memory jog...
My mother sewed all my clothes, and tried to teach me how to sew when I was in high school.I sewed my finger to the dress I was trying to make and that ended my sewing lessons.
I remember my mom using feed sacks for dresses for me and my sisters. There was one that I particularly remember and it was fish kind of looked like angel fish and I loved that dress,Mom got the feedsacks from my Aunt who owned a chicken farm. Talk about frugal and I'm reminded about our favorite recipe Dumplings. Sue and I still enjoy them when she comes for lunch ( when I think about eating lunch. LOL) All it has in it is flour, water, 1 egg and salt. Boil in water, drain and add melted butter. Very cheap meal. Thanks for the memory lane. Pat
|Powered by Social Strata|