Do you have a pile of clothes in the closet that you'd wear if it wasn't for that hole on the seam or that button that's missing? Are your kids discarding that expensive item bought only a couple months ago because a button came off?
Don't let the closet clutter pile up. Have a party!
Fix-It Day Party
Gather friends who have similar piles of stuff and throw a party. Gather up teens and tweens who, unversed in the value of a dollar, have a stash of clothes they aren't wearing because just one thing is wrong. Show them how to fix it, and have fun in the process.
Invite 6-8 friends, their older kids, and tell them to bring stuff to fix - their "I would wear if if only I fixed that one thing" pile of stuff. Your group can talk, have fun, and end up with five or six additional outfits apiece instead of finally letting go of those outfits to the thrift store or trash can.
Keep the number low as bigger groups tend to do more gabbing and less fixing. Try to vary who you invite. Don't invite your best friend who wants you to fix her stuff. Invite those that are willing to do their own work.
Invite Friends Who Can Help
At my own Fix It gathering, I invited two people who had portable sewing machines and knowledge about mending and a bunch of enthusiastic women who wanted to learn how to fix. Give a woman a dress and she has a cool outfit. Teach her to fix the dress and she has unlimited power for more cool outfits!
Make sure to have a jar of odds-and-ends buttons, plenty of needles and thread, and other things to help with notions needs.
Libations and Gnoshing
What's a party without food? Make it a potluck and whip up a couple of quick dishes. And what goes better with sharp needles than alcohol in the afternoon? My sewing circle had the choice of vodka tonics or whiskey sours.
Set Up Stations
It's hard to get people focused on an indoor activity in the summer months. If you want to take it outdoors, set up in the carport, on the deck, or in an open garage with the sewing machine plugged in. Set up separate tables with a sewing machine, an iron, one with tools, etc. Having all the right equipment set up beforehand, makes for a simple, streamlined process for friends to crank out their fixes.
For extra fun, have each family bring a bag of clothes destined for the thrift store bin. It is so much more fun to shop in your own backyard! Ask your friends to just bring stuff in good condition for trade. You can make some great swaps if you invite at least a few women of nearly the same size.
Results Are In!
The results of my Fix It Party? Each mom walked away with her own clothes that now had buttons sewn back on and hems fixed. Each woman also had something new-to-her to wear from the swap. One of us increased the wearable contents of her closet by eight items at the end of three hours. Kids' clothes were fixed, too. Lace sewn back on hems! Jeans given another couple of inches at the bottom with cool fabric.
Maybe it was the whiskey sours and the vodka tonics and the warm sun with the cool breeze, but in the space of an afternoon we learned techniques to fix things, fixed them, found new items, and had fun with friends and taught some teens and tweens that you don't throw things that need only minor repair. Reuse!
All that in a cheap, easy, and productive weekday afternoon.