We have heard that in China it is the custom to pay the family doctor to keep his patients in good health rather than to call him in only after illness has laid the sufferer low. Many of us applaud this system, but have neither the opportunity nor, perhaps, the courage, to defy conventions in our own country.
But why not pursue the same wise course in dealing with household mending? It works admirably.
Take the proverbial stitch that "saves nine" in very good time, even before there is any apparent need for it, and you'll find it will work miracles.
Stockings, for instance. The toes and heels of children's stockings may be neatly darned before they are worn for the first time, for this purpose using crochet silk or mercerised thread, which is less bulky and clumsy than wool. Insist on frequent change of hosiery and forbid the wearing of any stocking that shows even the tiniest hole. To prevent those long running ladders which are almost impossible to mend, sew a band of silk or cotton, or a border cut from an old stocking, round each hem of the new pair. Hose supporters (chief cause of these destructive ladders) will seldom cut through this double band. Or another excellent plan may be adopted. Take a round brass ring and d c closely over it to make a soft, firm covering. Sew this firmly into position upon the stocking top with neat, strong stitches, and always insert the clip of the suspender within this ring. You will thus make it impossible for the tension to strain the stocking beyond the area enclosed by the ring.
A SIMPLE WAY TO RENOVATE KNICKERS WHEN THE FRILLS HAVE WORN OUT.
THE JOY OF THE HOUSEWIFE WHEN SHE EXAMINES THE LAUNDRY HAMPER I.
In the knees of children's stockings small shields may be placed, pieces cut from other stockings and fastened in so neatly that they are quite inconspicuous and not at all uncomfortable.
To strengthen the heel and underpart of the foot when making men's or boy's stockings, knit stout mercerised cotton along with the wool. This does not make it so clumsy as 2 strands of wool, yet it adds considerably to the wearing quality of the stocking.
The "ready-mades," whether visiting frocks, walking suits, or underwear, as was hinted in a previous paragraph, cry out loudly for preventive mending. For instance, sleeves should be stitched in by machine, for on ready-made clothes the machine stitching is not always carefully done, and a weak place in the sleeve seam will quickly give way under strain and start an ugly tear.
Embroidery with scalloped or pointed edging should be machined strongly all round the extreme edges, the machine needle patiently following the circuitous course of the pattern. This will double the life of embroided lace, preventing frayed untidiness and breaks, gaps and tears.
CASH'S INSERTIONS ARE ADMIRABLE FOR MENDING TRAY-CLOTHS.
To prevent an embroidery flounce from ragging out before the petticoat itself is any the worse for wear, neatly hem the edge as soon as it threatens to fray or gets torn by an accidental mis-step, and add a bordering of Valenciennes or fine Torchon lace.
Buttons should receive careful attention when any ready-made garment is bought. The trimness of effect and the general prettiness of coat or costume may be entirely spoilt if one of a set of distinctive buttons is allowed to drop off and get lost.
Therefore sew on all buttons at the time of your purchase. Stitch carefully with a strong thread; when you have sewn through and through the button half a dozen times, wind your thread round and round the strands which hold the button, between the button and the cloth, m a k in g a sort of shank. Treat boot and shoe buttons in the same way. It is wise to strengthen bed-linen with broad tape laid on at the corners, inconspicuously stitched into position, so that an added firmness is given to the sheets where the clothes-pegs might do most damage.
AN ECONOMICAL TRAY-CLOTH WADE FROM SCRAPS.
MACHINE-MADE NET SQUARES FOR MENDING TEA CLOTHS.
Tablecloths are wonderfully strengthened if tape is sewn all down the long sides. This is the part that goes first.
Look closely into the wool-worked buttonholing at your blanket ends. You may, with advantage, stitch fresh buttonhole edgings that will keep the neat turn-over, when the blanket is in use, for a longer time than if the shop-bough edging were left to suffice.