Anyone who has ever bought any article of clothing knows that nothing lasts forever! Even well made and well cared for items eventually will at the least need to be mended.

Back in the day when Everything was hand stitched, most people didn’t have a closet full of clothes. One or two outfits for everyday and perhaps one outfit for Sundays and special occasions.

Even if you don’t sew, knit or crochet, its just sensible to keep a few of the following around:

A. a set of sewing needles with large eyes for the thread ( trust me .. if you ever have to sew by candlelight for the first time, you will be glad of the large eyes.

B. a box of spools of different types of thread. Not sure what an all around mending kit should have? Ask at your local fabric store ! For my money, I’d want a mix of polyester and cotton threads in at least some of the colours of the clothes already in the closet or the dresser.

C. Save buttons. Each and every time that something is tossed away, clip off the buttons and zippers first.

D. Get one of those sensible tote boxes for your sewing supplies. There is no point in collecting things if children and cats can make merry with them.

E. Get a general set of knitting needles. Not sure what you need? Once again … ask the pros at the fabric store 🙂

F Ditto with a set of crochet hooks. I must confess I have never actually crocheted yet, but the darned things come in handy even so 🙂

G This year when you go to yard sales or flea markets, pick up one of those how to knit books 🙂 As a matter of fact, one can find all sorts of useful sewing and fixit things at the dollar stores as well 🙂

H. Years ago, I bought a book called Easy Going Sewing that is a treasure trove of patterns for almost everything one would ever imagine sewing. It was published by Van Nostrand Reinhold Company and the ISBN is 0-442-23073-7. I expect its not the only one of its kind that has ever been published, its just the only one I have every needed, eh?

I. Sewing pins

J. Decent fabric scissors. They will stay that way forever if you keep them away from the kids 🙂

L. measure the zipper on your favourite parka and buy a spare

M. pick up a set of darning needles. In the old days, folks darned their socks instead of buying a new pair, eh?

Under the nice to have category:

1. those lovely old antique sewing machines are often still in working order. Not sure how to use them? Mine is so similar to my electric that it wasn’t hard to figure out. The toughest thing about using it is keeping the cats out of the treadle.

2, a stash of wool. Like anything else in the world, it goes on sale now and then.

3. a stash of flannel. Its one of the easiest fabrics to sew with and can be used for ever so many useful things.

Helpful Hint: Don’t know how to sew? Not a knitter? Can’t crochet? If you don’t have anyone in your family to call on, why not check to see if there are classes offered at your local fabric store. I have never lived anywhere in all my adult life where the fabric store did not offer classes… being great ways of course to expand their customer base 🙂