Clothes are expensive. That’s just a fact. The heavier duty they are, the pricier they are, especially jeans. So when our clothes start to wear and tear, I have to get a little creative to make them last as long as they can. I’m very glad that my mother taught me skills on the farm as a child that would really come in handy on my own farm as an adult.
This week, I patched my husband’s ripped jeans. I’ve done this multiple times in only the last two and a half years. Each time I sit down to stitch, it is a humbling reminder as I look at all the stains, rips and tears from him working. This man will work until the clothes he’s wearing literally fall apart off his body. With a pretty tight budget while we’re developing our homestead, I can’t always get him new pants, shirts and hoodies when he really needs them, but I can sew! Knowing such a simple task as patching a rip or hole can save you so much money and can really come in handy in a clothing emergency (i.e. ripping your pants in a less-fashionable location than the knee).
In addition to my pants stitching project last week, I took on a special request from Jack. He wanted me to make him a coat out of his old 100% wool military blanket. I’ve never tackled such a project, but after a couple quick YouTube videos it seemed simple enough and gave me an idea of how to start. Although it isn’t done yet, it is coming along nicely! I’m not using my sewing machine because I did not want to have to invest in special needles and thread in order for it to be a strong enough seam to hold the fabric together. So, I’m handstitching the whole thing with bright red (also Jack’s request) tapestry thread. I’ll be adding a hood and an extended button flap on the front to add a little extra room.
To match his wool coat, I’ll be making him a 100% wool woodland hat out of Icelandic Sheep wool. I ordered my first whole raw fleece from an Etsy shop and it arrived last week. Although the fleece was a little dirtier than I originally expected - it had lots of VM - I am excited to pick through it and start spinning it in the grease. The natural lanolin will make the yarn semi water repellent and super warm, perfect for wearing in the woods!
Also in the works are 100% wool dryer balls! These dryer balls are hand felted and are perfect for anyone wanting to save money and help save your skin! They take me about half an hour to make one, so far, but they’re going to be worth it. You can eliminate your dryer sheets completely with wool dryer balls. Save money, eliminate static, and reduce drying time. I’m personally excited about these because my skin has been extra sensitive to products lately like store bought toothpastes and detergents. Dryer sheet make my clothes itchy and smell kind of funky. Now I can just add a couple drops of essential oils and toss them in the dryer!
As you can see, 2020 for the Hippie Llama Mama has kicked off nicely and is already getting packed full with lots of fiber and “primitive living” projects! Each week holds new surprises and inspiration. I can’t wait to share some completed projects in coming articles. Thanks for reading today!
VM: Vegetable Material, such as: grass, grain, and hay…etc
RAW FLEECE: The fleece had not gone under any processing after shearing or before being shipped to me. The fleece was sheared from the sheep and put in a bag and sent to me!
IN THE GREASE: Some wool is superwashed, which removes all the natural lanolin from the fiber. Working with fleece with all the lanolin still present is called “working in the greas” since the fiber can feel greasy.
You can follow the Hippie Llama Mama for more ideas and inspiration on living a more happy, healthy and holistic lifestyle on Facebook @hipppiellamaboutique and Instagram @hippiellamamama. HLM is also known as Cheyenne Parmenter who lives outside of Mena with her husband Jack on their developing mountainside homestead. Follow their journey as they share their adventure and experiences in living a simpler lifestyle inspired by the life and culture of early Natives Americans and settlers of the 1800s and earlier.