My Frugal Life - Depression Era Thread Tip

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I wanted to tell you about how my mother was taught to be frugal. After graduating from high school during the Depression, she learned "make do, or do without".


When she'd purchase a new garment, if it had a loose thread, she'd thread a needle and save it on a bit of cloth. That way, if the item needed repair later, she had matching thread.

As a child, I always wondered why she did this. Her explanation was that she couldn't help herself, something inside was making her do this even though we were not poor by any means.

Her mother would give her the job of finding loose threads in clothing for the family. If none were available when needed. she learned to cut a strip off the hem, re-hem and use the thread from the strip for the repair.

Seems like a good idea, but very painstaking.

My version of this is to sew on extra buttons onto the side hem in an inconspicuous place so that if I ever need them, they are readily available. And after multiple washings, they are the same color as the rest of the buttons.


Holly from Richardson, TX

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By Carolyn (Guest Post)
April 25, 20061 found this helpful

Holly, I love your button tip - whenever I need those wonderful buttons provided by garment makers, they have mysteriously disappeared from my button box (if they ever got there in the first place)! Thanks.

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By Kansas Simplicity (Guest Post)
May 20, 20061 found this helpful

Thanks for sharing the history. My mother was in the great depression and I captured some of her thoughts that in my April archives - Mother's Tips from the Depression.


Reply Was this helpful? 1
February 20, 20120 found this helpful

Love the button and thread tip! Never would have thought of either of those. Thanks

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 398 Posts
February 21, 20121 found this helpful

Very wonderful tip! Sweet and it brings back memories too!

The matching thread idea is such a wonderful one!

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