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………..

 

Little Bits

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If you haven’t already gathered from the lack of blog posts, this has been a busy week at work.  The next couple of weeks don’t look like being much better, either.

I have been getting along by just doing a little bit each morning and evening.  There are no major achievements but at least the household hasn’t fallen into complete disarray.

2012-01-20 04We have managed to have a home-cooked meal every evening, packed lunches and a healthy breakfast. I at least partly make the lunches the night before while dinner is cooking.

2012-05-05 04The dishwasher is loaded every day thanks to GMan and it only takes a few moments to unload it.

The washing is done and I have ironed enough clothes to see us through the week.  There are a few extra items that I will need to do on the weekend.  Having the clothesline on the verandah means that I can quickly hang washing out or get it in when we arrive home.  It is then folded and put away.

2013-02-15 02Everything has stayed tidy because there is no-one here to make a mess.

I hope to have something a bit more exciting to share with you on the weekend.

Sew My Stash Sunday – 10

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Another week has flown by and the sewing had not been touched.  Before I could start sewing I had to do the ironing and there was quite a bit as I did not do it last weekend and had just ironed a few things during the week to keep us going.  I got it all done early this morning and then we headed out for a few hours with our overseas guest.  This afternoon has been wet so it was a good excuse to sew rather than being out in the garden.

I could have finished the hand sewing on the green skirt or finished making the denim one but I decided that I needed a change of scenery.  The first thing I did was cut out a white shirt for my daughter from the pattern I had drafted a couple of weeks ago.

Then I moved on to drafting another pattern.  I have given quite a bit of thought to what style I would use for this piece of fabric.

2015-03-08 02I drafted the top from this ensemble but with a few modifications.

2015-03-22 01The neckline will be a ‘v’ rather than square.  The lower edge of the sleeves and body will have a few rows of shirring elastic rather than being gathered into a band.

I decided to make a prototype before cutting into my new fabric that I bought especially to make this top.  In the spirit of using up my stash, I found a pretty piece of lightweight fabric which was given to me a year or so ago.  Despite much thought I had never been able to come up with an idea of how to use it and there is just over 4 metres of fabric.  So at least some of it is now the prototype.

To get an idea of how it might look I decided to simply baste the pieces together in the first instance.

2015-03-22 02This is not a particularly flattering photograph but it gives an idea of the style.

Things I discovered:

I can easily get it over my head
The neckline is perfect
I will cut the sleeve a bit longer next time
I am going to recut the front body as there is too much fullness in the front
When I cut the pattern in the good fabric I will straighten the side seams and take out the little bit of shaping at the waistline

Even though this is just a test run, I really like the fabric and I am sure it will earn a place in my wardrobe.

A Laundry List

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Tonight I want to share a germ of an idea that has formed gradually over a period of time.

Some people have an ongoing shopping list to which they add items as they find that they are required.  Others keep a list of what is stored in the freezer and cross things off as they are used.

I am thinking of creating a laundry list. I have this cupboard in my laundry.  On the left-hand side are the assorted brooms and the vacuum cleaner (not shown), hangers for knitted items and dispensers for plastic bags as well as the racks on the inside of the door for laundry liquid and presoak and the rag-bag.

2015-02-16 01The right-hand side has the laundry hamper with shelving above.  This holds various cleaning items as well as spare light globes, batteries, rubbish bags and shopping bags.  However, the door is clear and this is where I could put my list.

2015-02-16 02I envisage a write on/wipe off board and am thinking of making one myself from a sheet of coloured A4 card and laminating it.

So, what am I going to write on this list, I hear you ask?  It will basically be a reminder of extra jobs that need doing such as ‘stain on white trousers’, ‘scrub cuffs of mauve shirt’, ‘hem of black skirt’ or ‘darn striped sock’.  They will be all the little things that seem obvious at the time but by the time I am doing the washing/ironing it can be overlooked.

What do you think?  How do you keep track of the extra laundry jobs?

That Moment When……………………

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You realise that the ironing board cover needs replacing.

2014-12-21 01One minute it seems OK and the next it has ripped to shreds.

2014-12-21 02This is the cover I made from a brand new cotton doona cover I bought from the op shop.  It was the first time I had made one and I was very pleased with the result.  You can read about it here.

I could never have told you how long an ironing board cover lasted but thanks to this blog I now know that this one has given 2.5 years of service.  I regard that as pretty reaonable as I do a fair bit of ironing.

Mini Moments

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My focus has been on the real world rather than blogging over the past week.

We have had a long weekend here and a house-guest which was lovely.

Much of the time was spent chatting and being social so not too much housework was done.  However it is interesting to look around and see that there was not too much that needed doing.  I think that the trick is to do a little bit frequently.

It only takes a moment to get a few small jobs done.  As you know, we do not arrive home from work until after 7pm.  Last night I made salad while The Duke cooked the salmon on the BBQ. After dinner I hung out a load of washing that I had done before I went to work and brought in the dry clothes from the line and folded them.  I also cleaned the vanity and mirror in the bathroom and re-made the guest bed.

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This morning I unloaded the dishwasher and tonight will bring in the washing plus finish the ironing.  There are only about 5 items as I did most of it on the weekend.

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I simply do not have the time or inclination to spend huge chunks of time on housework so this method works best for me.  It also means that my weekends are kept reasonably clear for spending time in the garden or more time-consuming jobs like preparing several meals.

A Laundry Gadget

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Several months ago I was searching for clips that would hook onto the clothesline to hold shirts or dresses on a hanger.  I have some old ones that came from my mother-in-law but I had not seen in any the shops recently.  Naturally, I turned to that guru, Mr Google and found this site.  The Hook-Ups which are about halfway down the page were a better version of what I was looking for.

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However, it is a UK site so I decided to wait until we went there on holidays.  Now I am home with my packet of Hook-Ups that I bought at Lakeland in Glasgow.

Once they are clipped on the line it is a simple matter of slipping the hanger through the hole.  I have about 5 clipped on the line and the rest are in the peg bag on the end of the laundry trolley.

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It is quick and easy to get the clothes off the line and I can hang them on the rack in the spare room ready for ironing.  Even better, there are no peg marks.

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What gadgets or tips do you have to make it simpler to get the washing and ironing done?