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America Make Do is aSouthwest Louisiana-basedoperation dedicated to thecause of ethical, green,economy-tripling, job-makingproduction right here onAmerican soil.Founders Victoria Ellender andCheryl Hartley, a mother-daughter team, believe in thesolid foundation for Americanproduction that was establishedby the hard work of ourancestors. Our clothing is made100% from American-madefabrics and upcycled materials.
Green living. Cottage industry. Ethical production. Beautiful fashions. We want these to romance Americans so much that the desire to have "closets full will be replaced with passion to exclusively support native industry.
The Make Do and Mend movement began during World War II. The war caused a shortage of supplies due to the sinking of ships bring supplies and the lack of clothing manufacturing because of the increased demand for war materials. The “Make Do and Mend” movement administered by the governments of both the United States and England encouraged citizens to get the last possible ounce of wear out of all their family’s clothing. People started making new clothes from old ones and from all other household linen. During the war, women became masterminds of make do and mend, so resourceful they fashioned up sexy knickers out of parachutes.
To stretch your dollar– It saves money to make the most of your family’s resources. Contributes to society at large by supporting local businesses, and by keeping more dollars in the community. It’s a fun hobby, and yields style that is difficult to replicate. Three ways to Make Do…1) Repair and Mend 2) Recycle by dyeing and minor alterations. 3) Upcycling using textiles and other materials.
Some of these mending tips you may already befamiliar with, but some may be new to you. We hopethese mending tools will give you ideas on how to getthe most of your clothing and how to creatively shopor “thrift.”1. Sewing a button2. Hem your pants3. Patch your jeansThese three may seem really obvious but they will helpyou extend the life of your clothes.
4. Alter a shirt--- There are many videos on theInternet that explain the variety of ways to alter topsto make them fit better and/or to accommodateweather changes.5. Removing stains naturally--- The best way to keepyour clothes looking great longer is to learn how toeffectively remove stains… lemon juice, BIZ, bleach.
Line Dry your clothes--- Line drying your clothes is gentler than tumble drying (and cheaper). World War II Make and Mend book: “It’s easy to teach an old wardrobe new tricks, to resurrect the skeletons in your closet and bring them up to date. Come on, take those old knockabouts and turn them into knockouts…”
Dyeing is so fun and easy to do. You can redye blacks to make them look fresh or completely change the color of something to make it into something new. Dye is cheap and can be found at any grocery store. It works best with natural fibers. Cotton, wool, linen.
Stove Top Dying This technique delivers the best color results when dyeing with black or other dark colors. Fill pot with enough hot water for fabric to move freely. Remember: Use 1 package of Rit powder or 1/2 bottle of Rit liquid dye and 3 gallons of hot water for each pound of fabric. Pre-dissolve powder in 2 cups of hot water. Add pre-dissolved powder or liquid to dye bath. Stir to mix. Wet fabric in hot water. Uncrumple and add to dye bath. Bring dye bath to simmer. Stir constantly (back and forth, up and down) at least 30 minutes. Rinse in warm water, then gradually cooler water until water runs clear. Wash item in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly in cool water. Dry item in dryer or hang to dry. Clean containers immediately with chlorine bleach. Scrub with chlorine- based powder, liquid, or gel cleanser.
For Top-Loading Machines Fill machine with enough hot water for fabric to move freely. Refer to the chart below for the right amount of dye to add. Pre-dissolve powder in 2 cups of hot water. Add pre-dissolved powder or liquid to hot dye bath. Wet fabric in hot water. Uncrumple and add to dye bath. Set machine for extended wash cycle. Fabric should be in dye bath for at least 30 minutes before rinse begins. (You can reset your washing machine before the rinse cycle begins for extended wash cycle.) Rinse in cold water until water runs clear. Wash deep shades in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly in cool water. Dry item in dryer or hang to dry. Clean washing machine using highest water level with hot water, detergent and 1 cup chlorine bleach using complete wash cycle. Clean lint traps. Plastic or rubber machine parts may be tinted but will not stain laundry.
Adding lace, trims, new notions to a plain top or skirt Dyeing something white or plain to a whole new color Taking scraps of fabric and stitching to make headbands, purses
Using linen table cloths from Care/Help to make pants, tops, rompers, play suits for toddlers. Bed sheets make great material… No need to spend several dollars a yard on fabric. Just buy used cotton bed sheets at Goodwill, Care/Help, and start sewing.
Take a man’s shirt and downsize into a little boy’s shorts. Pillow cases into little girls dresses. Strips of stretchy tops into the base of cute, stylish headbands.