Frugal Tips From 1920's
Frugal Tips From 1920's
Designed by Brenda Hyde
All Rights Reserved
Women, and many men, enjoy the hobby of sewing, crocheting, knitting and needlework in today's society. In the 1920's these weren’t thought of as hobbies for most homemakers, but as skills that saved money and provided clothing, rugs, tablecloths and much more for their family.
Looking through Modern Priscilla and Woman's World magazines from 1923 through 1929 I found some great practical tips on ironing, sewing, etc. that can easily be used today. I especially enjoyed the tips for making camisoles out of worn “bloomers”. THAT is a frugal homemaker who gets a second use out of used underwear!
The tip below for using scrap pieces of cloth also works well for socks that have gotten too stained or worn. I rarely buy paper towel because with a family of five I seem to have an endless supply of socks, torn t-shirts or towels that have passed the point of usefulness. I cut all of these into pieces and keep under the sinks to use as rags.
Ironing Embroideries, Laces and Button Strips: Cover a small board (14x20 inches) with four thicknesses of Turkish toweling and then sew muslin over this, making a firm, well padded surface. In one corner sew a loop to hang near the ironing board. It has proved helpful in ironing dainty things. It is always at hand and much easier to use than a folded towel spread over the regular board.
Notes: Turkish towels are 100 percent Turkish cotton, which is a good quality cotton that tends to become softer with age, and is long lasting. For the tip above any cotton kitchen towel will work as well. Muslin is a plain cotton material that is available at most fabric stores.
Scrap Cloth: Keep a supply of worn cotton cloth or sewing scraps, cut in small squares, on the shelf above the kitchen sink to use when scouring utensils or hardware. These are thrown away as soon as used and the dish cloth is kept white.
Reused Bloomers: Two pairs of silk bloomers that were worn on the lower parts can be made into camisoles by using just the upper portions which were almost as good as new. Cut off the lower parts and hem the raw edges, leaving the elastic at the waste just as it was. Over the hem crochet a simple beading and plain edge and put narrow straps over the shoulders.
Crochet Rugs: Use a ball of heavy twine or thin rope; make your center loop of the twine and crochet around it. Then continue to carry your twine around on every row, crocheting over it every time. The twine will not show and the rag rug will be much better.
Needlework Journal: When beginning a new piece of needlework, paste into a blank book kept for the purpose a generous sample of the thread used, the tags from the ball or skein, and make a note of the name of the store at which the materials were purchased, the price, the date, and the publication in which directions for the work appeared. Then if a duplicate is later desired or the information is asked for the data will be at hand.
Buttonhole Help: A discarded safety razor blade is splendid for cutting buttonholes. Mark carefully the exact size of the hole before cutting, using chalk on dark materials, and a pencil on light materials.