Historically Inspired · mending

Monthly Mending ~ May 2023

Vintage Wool Cape

Putting it all back together again

Several Years ago, my grandmother gave me a lovely thick wool cape. It was fun to wear and always got compliments. Someone suggested that I take a pattern from it, so they could make one. This was years ago and I have learned many new ways of doing things. Then, I thought I had to take the cape completely apart to take a pattern. I got as far as removing the lining and collar. Becoming side-tracked by life I laid the cape aside in the mending basket, for years.

Fast Forward to now

In those intervening years I have watched a lot of YouTube. I had learned how to take a pattern from an extant garment without taking it apart. Looking around for my next project my eyes fell on on the cape. Since I didn’t need to finish taking it apart, I decided to put it back together. We had been having an extended Winter and it would be nice to wear it again.

Checking in with Uncle Google, the only wool cape in a similar style I found was $638.00

Spool of Guetermen thread – $2.49

Savings – $631.51

Hoosier Flour Bin Sifter

In the first Workbasket post of this year I hinted at another new project, a lovely Hoosier. She was without her flour bin. For my birthday, back in March, my son purchased me one from Aunt Bee’s House a local vintage shop. When purchased, the sifter had ROCKS made of old flour that had been trapped between the sifting mesh and the cap. In it’s past the sifter had been painted and this had sealed the cap onto the sifter. 🙁 I wish I had taken before pics. It was truly gross.

I was also not good at getting early pics of this process. The first step I was to tackle was to get the paint off the sifter. To do this I soaked the parts in rubbing alcohol.

The Cap

During this soaking process, the rocks of flour trapped between the mesh and lid finally dissolved. To keep the alcohol from rapidly evaporating I covered the bowl with Press and Seal Glad wrap. Every so often I would take the sifter out and gently scrub with a nail brush or toothbrush to remove the softened paint. This is a gentle, but not quick, way to remove paint.

The Sieve

As the paint came off it made it possible to remove the cap. Once all the paint was off, I was pleasantly surprised the tin was shiny! There are wear spots that I will address at a later time. There had been some rust spots but a little ketchup soak and light scrub removed those. 🙂

Hoosier flour bin sifter sieve coated in ketchup for rust removal

After working and working to dissolve the flour rocks that were trapped between the cap and the sieve while removing the paint, I was showing it to DW. I was wondering how to get the rust off when it was in such an awkward place. He said it looked like the sieve was just pressed in place. He popped it out! YEAH! I covered it in ketchup and let it sit. That is one of the things that I like about this process, can be worked in short bursts and there is no hard scrubbing. What I don’t like is it isn’t a project that is quickly finished.

Hoosier flour bin sifter and sieve with paint and rust removed

Van Dyke’s has a brand new reproduction replacement flour sifter for – $74.95 (not including S&H)

Rubbing Alcohol 32oz – $2.99, (2x) 64oz Kroger brand Ketchup at $3.29ea – $6.58

Savings – $68.37

Rusty Metal

While unloading the dishwasher, I noticed the rust on this metal spatula. Since the large tub of ketchup was already set up, I just popped it in. No scrubbing later, just a quick rinse, later. Much better.

The metal spatula now rust free
Now rust free

Replacement metal spatula – $11.99

(2x) 64oz Kroger brand Ketchup – no charge, same as for the other project

Savings – $11.99

Zipper replacement

Son’s favorite pants had a zipper malfunction.

zipper teeth torn away from zipper tape

There is no simple fix for this poor zip. It was to be a complete replacement.

Looking through the lighted magnifier and carefully using a rotary cutter, I cut the stitches holding the old zip in place. I took the old zip with me to choose the correct size replacement.

Sewing it back in was pretty straight forward. I was a little bummed that I had gotten quite close to the one side. It made it a little tight to zip past this point. A few zips up and down repeated multiple times seemed to loosen it up nicely.

Kuhl pants $99.00

zipper $8.99

Savings $90.01

Mending Wrap up for May

  • Cape – $631.51
  • Flour bin sifter – $68.37
  • Metal spatula – $11.99
  • Son’s pants – $90.01

Total savings due to mending – $801.88

4 minutes