Sunday, 24 October 2010

Domestic Diva – Not

I’m definitely no Domestic Diva.  I consider there are much more fun and interesting things to be doing than housework and ironing.

However, when Mick complained on Friday that he couldn’t find an old T-shirt to wear for mowing the grass, I thought I’d better do something about it. (The fact that there were several old T-shirts on a shelf in the wardrobe is by the by.)

I have a bad habit of folding and putting away clothes that don’t need ironing and just ironing things as required.  So yesterday, as apart from ducking down to the school to vote in a local council by-election I didn’t have to go anywhere, I tackled the piles.  My clothes can wait, as it is only me that can complain. 

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I ironed a heap of household linen, a big pile of hankies, 13 pairs of jeans, 4 pairs of shorts, 20 T-shirts and 13 shirts.  How embarrassing is that! 

Then I had to tackle Mick’s work clothes.  He is rather hard on his work trousers, putting holes in the knees, tearing them on something or getting paint or concrete all over them.  I have a bad habit of just dumping them on the couch in the office (otherwise known as the “Orifice” or “Black Hole of Calcutta”) when they need mending, or if they are beyond it, also dumping them to cut the good bits out to use as patches.

So I started sorting – 7 pairs just needing ironing,  8 pairs of faded, 10 pairs worth mending and 7 pairs beyond it. So, the ironing was quickly done.  Next the faded ones.  A few years ago both major companies that make work trousers in Australia started using a different fabric.

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It was stronger, but didn’t hold its dye and very quickly faded, so before long couldn’t be worn to work.  I was going to chuck them all out, but only 2 had holes in the knees, so out they went.  Remember, the fabric is stronger – darn. The others are now for working at home and I’ve just folded them – no ironing.  At least he can just grab a pair as they don’t have holes.

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Then, with the ones that were beyond it, I cut out the backs of the legs and bottoms of the fronts of legs to use as patches and removed the buttons.  I thought the zippers would be handy for zipper purses, but after persevering to remove one, decided that if I want a zip I can go and buy one.  At least they are well constructed. I ended up with a nice little pile of patches.

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That was enough for one day, so this morning I tackled the patching. It was back to winter here today, wet, dreary and only reaching about 12 degrees C, so a good day to be in the warm sewing. 

I normally (on the very rare occurrence this happens) do my patching on my little Elna Stella. Actually, I probably haven’t done any since I’ve had the Janome – oops! Anyway, the Janome has no free arm and Stella’s free arm is really wide, so not very easy to manoeuvre with. So I got to thinking that we could make this patching process a bit of fun.

I decided that the best way to go was to use this little baby.

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I’ve had my little Singer Featherweight 222K for about 3 years now.  I found her at the local swap meet.  I was over the moon, although she wasn’t a bargain. When I bought her I checked that she worked, bought some more bobbins and a quarter inch foot and put her back in her case.  Last time I had my machines serviced I sent her up too and was assured she is a great little machine – and left her in her case.

This is actually the first time I have used her.  She has a nice, narrow little free arm. Perfect for trouser legs.

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First up I had to work out how to thread her, put in the bobbin and drive her.  She is so lovely and quiet and the light is excellent. Every time I look at her I marvel at how tiny she is.

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Then we got stuck into it.

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By this afternoon, and with only one cotton lock, Mick had 10 extra pairs of trousers.  It was as good as going shopping. It feels so good to have that all done.

I still have to tackle the pile of work shirts.  There will be no mending.  They will be ironed of thrown out.  I think I will be ruthless.

I did give myself a break and made a yummy Banana Parkin for afternoon tea, so it wasn’t all mending.


NessaKnits said...

You are a good wife. Glad you and your little girl Singer formed such a great partnership.

Maria said...

You sure are a good wife. IRONING T-Shirts. I must be very slack as I NEVER iron T-shirts.

Peg - Happy In Quilting said...

That was all hard must feel good though....I do the ironing all the time...but mending.....if the hole is too bad you just chuck it.....LOL

Kate said...

Wow, that's a lot of mending! I recently mended ONE of Anthony's shirts and thought I was doing well (it was so tempting to use a pretty floral material - but I reasoned that it would only be me and the dogs laughing at him). Ironing - I never iron... it all goes into the cupboard until it needs to be worn and is ironed then if necessary (i.e rarely). That little singer is a gem!

Sandi Butler said...

Wow, you have been very industrious, Janice! A lot of ironing and patching. What a great little machine the little Singer is.

loulee said...

LOL, oh my, very domestic. You'll have to get him trained, you know Tony and I take turns.

Jenny of Elefantz said...

Well done!!! That mountain came tumbling down, didn't it!?
What a gorgeous machine, Janice. I'd love to see one 'in real life'.