The Ironing Makeover

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As I mentioned in my last post, the ironing board cover really needed replacing so I made that project a priority for today.

I do not have a ‘before’ photo but I can assure you that it was ripped in a couple of places, very thin and badly stained.

Here is the new version which I made from a sheet which was no longer being used.  The fabric is strong cotton that I bough and used to make a fitted sheet several years ago.  I cut two layers for extra strength.  The inside layer is cotton/bamboo batting.

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The straps, velcro and binding around the edge were all salvaged and re-used from the previous version.

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There are a couple of old layers from previous purchased covers which are under the new cover.  It is firm but well-padded so a great surface for ironing.

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I use 2 straps underneath the board to hold it firmly in place.  You can see one of them here.

With a new iron and fresh cover for the board I am ready to do the ironing.  Like most tasks, it is made easier with the right equipment.

No Repairs Today

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While I am prepared to have a go at repairing almost anything, there are some things that only have one destination at the end of their life and that includes small electrical appliances such as irons.

I was almost finished the ironing on Sunday when I realised that the iron did not seem to maintaining its heat. On closer inspection I discovered that it was not on and that we had lost power on one circuit.  A bit of judicious testing revealed that the iron was malfunctioning and tripping the circuit breaker.

So, the old iron has been discarded and I bought a new one on Monday.

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I expect that when I do not have business attire to launder for both of us that my ironing pile will decrease significantly but for the moment an iron is absolutely essential.

Now, I just need to find time to make a new cover for the ironing board as this one is now worn out.  It is actually close to 2 years since I wrote a blog post about the fact that it was about to wear out.

I really must do something about it this weekend.  The new iron deserves a new cover on the board!

 

Another Weekend

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Well, Sunday evening has rolled around yet again in the blink of an eye.  The weekends are simply not long enough for me to achieve everything I hope to do.

Some weekends are more productive than others and I am pretty happy with what I managed to accomplish.

All of the washing and 95% of the ironing are done.  Why 95%?  The iron decided it was time to die when I only had a few items left.  So, one of my jobs for this week will be to buy a new one.

I have planned our menu for the week, bought fruit and vegetables, swept and vacuumed the floors as well as doing some painting on the verandah.

GMan and I went to the computer shop to buy a new tower for the desktop computer as the other one had been deemed as unrepairable.  The new one should be ready next weekend.

Apart from sanding and painting GMan managed to do all of the mowing so he has been busy, too.

However, the weekend was not all work as we went to the movies in Maleny on Saturday evening to see, ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’.  It was both funny and sad in places and I really enjoyed it.

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The Importance of Ironing

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I know many of you will not read this post and others will shake their heads in disbelief at the title but please bear with me.

Ironing is an aspect of homemaking that seems to be almost universally hated but there is a valuable aspect to the task.  I have mentioned before about the importance of taking care of what you own to get the maximum use from it and thus reduce the overall carbon footprint of any item.  This applies to clothes and keeping your clothes in good repair makes good economic and environmental sense.

Taking the time to check each garment while you are ironing can identify problems before they become too extensive to repair.  My previous post about my black linen top highlights this point.  I noticed they fraying at the hem and have repaired this by using a wide satin stitch (zig zag) along the edge that had frayed.  I have checked the remainder of the hem edge and cannot see any signs of similar problems, however, I will keep a close eye on it in the future.

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The mend is not invisible but reasonably well-disguised so I am happy to continue to wear this top.

Today when I was ironing I discovered 2 other issues.  The first was one of GMan’s business shirts.  There was a small yellow stain on the back near the armhole and I have no idea of the origin.  It is about the size of a 20c piece and not terribly noticeable as it is a dark checked shirt.  However, I have soaked the shirt in the hope that the stain will come out.

The other discovery was another minor mending job.  I have a pair of white trousers with a centre back zip and a few stitches of the seam had broken just below the zip.  This is not a huge issue at the moment but could be if I wore them and split the seam further.  I repaired the seam and they are as good as new.  This is a classic example of the saying “A stitch in time saves nine”.  It could also save me from a potentially embarrassing and costly situation if I had to rush out and make an emergency purchase.

Obviously, I do not iron everything but hanging out washing or folding clothes I also take time to make sure they are in good order and ready to be worn.

Disappointed

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I was doing the ironing today and one of the items I ironed was a black linen top that I bought in Melbourne when we were on holidays in December.

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I noticed that there seemed to be a small segment of frayed fabric on the bottom edge.  On closer inspection I discovered that that bottom has a facing rather than a turned hem and the fabric had been trimmed too close to the stitching leaving next to no seam allowance.

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Thanks to my spreadsheet tracking what I wear, I know that I have worn it 4 times.  This is not a $5 top and I am really disappointed that this has happened.

I could toss it in the bag to go to the op shop but I have decided to take responsibility and mend it.

My first thought was to align the edges and zig zag it together using a fairly short stitch.  This would be far from invisible but fairly effective.  The section in question is on the bottom edge at the back of the garment.  Alternatively, I could unpick the topstitching to access the section from the inside and restitch it.  My concern with this approach is that it could create a noticeable dip in the edge.

How would you approach this mending task?

 

 

Loads of Laundry

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We live in a relatively high rainfall area and I have written before about the challenges of getting the washing done, and more importantly, getting it dry.   I do have a clothes dryer but choose to use it as little as possible.  Apart from the power required to run it, the wear and tear on your clothes is significant and can result in substantially shortening their lifespan.

Despite the high humidity and showery weather, I needed to do the washing today.  Much like women of previous generations, I spent the day doing the washing.  However, I was not slaving over a scrubbing board and copper.  I was kept busy trying to make the most of the intermittent breeze and small snatches of sunshine.

I hung some of the smaller items on the airer.

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I had to race out and move it under the verandah every time a shower of rain started but I did manage to get it dry.

The rest of the clothes were hung on the line under the verandah.

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I also did the ironing from the washing I did last weekend.  When the atmosphere is so damp, I do not like to put them away in the cupboard until they are absolutely dry.

I use the portable dehumidifier in the bathroom and close the door.  Within a couple of hours the room and the clothes are warm and dry.

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I also have a portable rotary clothesline and in the cooler months I hang washing on it and the airer and set them up in the lounge room in front of the fireplace.

There are many options for drying clothes.  What are your creative solutions?

Refilling the Wardrobe

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Our wardrobes were looking a bit depleted on the weekend.  We had been away for a few days the previous weekend so the regular cycle of washing and ironing had not been done plus we took some different clothes away with us so that added even more to the laundry.

I spent a considerable amount of time ironing on Sunday and this is the result.

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Here is my end of the wardrobe before I put my freshly ironed clothes away.

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And this is the other end where GMan’s clothes live.

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My selection of clothes is not spectacularly small but after a few years of carefully considering what clothes I purchase, I am pretty happy with the selection of clothes that I own.

Apart from showing you how much ironing I did I wanted to use this post to begin a conversation about how best to plan and organise the contents of your wardrobe.

I think there are nearly as many options as there are people on the planet so you have to find what works for you.  Over the past 4 years I have flirted with Project 333, wardrobe capsules, seasonal collections and so on.  All of these attempts have been part of learning what methods suits me and my lifestyle.

If you look closely at the top left-hand corner of the photo of my wardrobe you will see what is a large bag with some clothes in it.  This was my latest attempt in which I would put away the clothes that were not relevant to the current season.  While I have not found myself scrambling for the contents of that bag I have decided that I am not that keen on shoving clothes away in a bag.

It means that I have to hang and probably iron them again before the next time they are worn.  Also, I am not exactly sure what is in the bag which makes it difficult to plan ahead for the next season – what I may consider buying or making.

So, I think I have figured out a plan that is going to work for me.  I am going to do a bit of preparation over the next week or so and be ready to start in earnest on 1st December which is the first official day of summer here in Australia.

Watch this space………..