Friday, March 7, 2014

Make it Do or Do Without

I've often thought about how one of the concepts we've really lost as a society is the old mantra

"Use it up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without"

It's pretty much the opposite of our consumerist culture, where we have disposable-everything at our fingertips.

But (like so many things from the past) there's plenty of wisdom in this.  Figuring out how to make something work is economical, and often the creativity and accomplishment makes it quite satisfying.  (Like last spring, when I challenged myself to make this quilt for Anna using only materials I already owned)

I have a recurring problem of items of clothing being too short.  (I'm beginning to think that even cold water shrinks things little by little).  I realized with the "color block" trend (for all I know the trend actually ended two years ago, but please don't tell me if that's true...), I could start fixing things, and not have to keep donating and replacing my favorite things.

The latest project was one of my favorite tunics from Target.  The average American female would have been fine with its original length, but since I'm 27-going-on-72, I require a bit more coverage in the upper-knee region.

So, I cut off the bottom hem, made a quick band of some coordinating navy fabric, and attached it.  Now I can wear it again (for another...2 weeks?...note it's hanging sort of weird in the picture because of early bumpage - that awkward stage where exactly 0% of my clothing fits comfortably or correctly).

Speaking of making do and doing without - this whole remove the Internet temptation thing has been really great.  I'm not going to list everything I got done yesterday (it's embarrassing, not to mention I'd go over today's allotted time for being online).  The biggest benefit is I find without the easy distraction of clicking around online, I'm either doing something I actually want to do, or doing something that is actually restful (who knew, staring at a bright screen at 10 pm does not have that effect).  So then I have more energy to do productive things with Anna or around the house, or tackle little sewing updates that have been sitting on my to-do pile for months (ahem, above tunic).

It fits with my whole discipline/schedule theme, and makes me realize that bringing your life in line with the virtues (here, self-control) makes your life much better.  All the "rules" of faith can be a turn-off to some people, but I think it's fairly obvious that God made them for a reason.  Certainly, there are challenges of doing the right thing (I'm thinking in bigger pictures than using or not using the Internet), and I don't want to minimize that, but the point is that God really has our own happiness in mind when He directs us in certain ways.

So, yeah, I don't think you're supposed to "enjoy" your Lenten sacrifice as much as I have - it's a good thing this was just part of my overall Lenten observations.  Perhaps it will get harder and more of a "sacrifice" later on when the novelty of "hey, look!  I just finished another random thing I've been meaning to do for months" has worn off, but we'll see.  I'm already finding myself less interested in things online, and - happily - less distracted even when I'm on the computer.  I know I have limited time, so I get in and out and do the things I really want to do (like writing this post) and not the things I don't really care about (like a 10th check of Facebook).

Down-side of a quickie-post, I have no clever way to wrap it up.  So...goodbye?  (until next time, of course)


  1. Well done. I especially like it paired with those socks. ;)

  2. Brilliant! This makes me wish I hadn't give away all those too-short dresses that I just wasn't comfortable in anymore... How did it not occur to me to try something like this? Awesome :)

  3. Good idea! Is colorblocking already old news? Well, I think it's a mom's lot to be rocking fashions a season or two too late. ;) And HOW did I miss the bump debut??? Congratulations!!!

  4. I love it and you look so cute!