Friday, 5 October 2012

Jen's "Make Do And Mend" update.

Hello Vintage lovers!

Well, it’s one month into My Make Do and Mend Year, and I know you are all desperate to know how it’s been going…

For the uninitiated, My Make Do and Mend Year is a challenge I have set myself to buy nothing new for a whole year (with a few obvious exceptions, like pants.) It started on the 1st September this year, and so far I have been making, making do, mending, thrifting, re-loving etc with gay abandon. Overall, it is going really well and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself.

Possibly the best way to summarise the month’s goings on is to split them in to Making, Making Do and Mending.


  • I have made 2 children's birthday presents, both very pink!

  • A previously undiscovered love of charity shop clothes! I have loved a good rummage around the bric a brac sections of charity shops for ages now, but never really looked much a the clothes, and was always amazed by other people’s finds. I have a wardrobe full of perfectly functional clothes, but have still felt the need to buy 4,yes 4, new dresses. Having never really been a dress person, I am now a convert, and can often be seen sporting cutting edge fashion dresses… And they were all less than £5 each, so that’s ok. Isn’t it..?


Making Do
This is a very exciting category, as it’s just stuff I’ve decided not to bother replacing or trying to fix! 
I bought some second-hand boots from E-bay, which when they arrived weren’t quite what I wanted and I certainly wouldn’t have bought them if I had seen them in the shops. The temptation to re-list them and try and find some better ones was strong, but after some soul searching and consulting the good people of Facebook land (!) I decided to suck it up and Make Do.

This has been the biggest learning curve. I’m sure not so much stuff used to get broken! Or maybe if it did, we just threw it out (gasp) and didn’t really think about it, or if we mended it, I wasn’t so conscious of doing it (because I wasn’t blogging about it I guess)

  • We have instigated a ‘Fix-it box’ where all the poorly things go while they are awaiting fixing. I was being driven mad by everything just being left in random places (usually windowsills, bizarrely) waiting for new batteries or a little TLC. So now it all goes in the box, and if it is too big to fit in the box then a note gets put in instead. It seems to working pretty well so far.
  • I have sewn a patch on a hole in hubby's jeans.
  • And it’s kind of not really mending and not really making do, but I embellished a charity shop jumper with some buttons to hide a grubby neckline!

All exciting stuff…

The hardest thing has been losing that instant mentality. If we need something, for example, we all currently need new slippers, instead of just popping out to Tesco’s or wherever and getting them, I have been scouring charity shops and car boots, and have yet to find any, so I am even contemplating making some (does that make me a bit mad…?)

The best thing has been discovering new skills, like learning to patch trousers, and that very satisfied (verging on smug) feeling you mend something!

You can read all about what I have been up to in far too much detail on the blog:
or you can find me on Facebook by searching for My Make Do and Mend Year, or you can tweet my @makeandmendyear

Thanks for reading!

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