Non-Consumer Photo Essay

by Katy on September 22, 2015 · 24 comments

I mentioned in yesterday’s Five Frugal Things post that I’d mended a hole in one of my favorite T-shirts. Readers asked for a photo, so here you go! The mend is noticeable in close-up:

T-shirt mend close up

But completely disappears from a distance:

Mend from afar

Of course no Non-Consumer Photo Essay would be complete without a clothesline selfie:

Today's clothesline selfie.

Please note that this load of laundry was very naughty and stayed out all night long. Didn’t even text to let me know that they were safe. Such delinquents. I tell ya’, kids these days!

I snapped up a large 99¢ bunch of organic bananas yesterday. I ate a couple throughout the day and then woke up to find that a swarm of fruit flies had taken over my kitchen. However, it took just a moment to construct a fruit fly trap using a jar, a piece of paper and a splash of rice wine vinegar. (It’s what I had on hand. Other vinegars work just as well.) I added an apple core and have caught probably 40 flies over the course of a few hours. Eventually they would all drown, but instead I take the jar outside and shake it to encourage the buggers to fly away.

Needless to say, the bananas have been exiled to the back porch, and have lost all privileges.

Exiled bananas

Poor choice, bananas! They must have been hanging out with that delinquent load of laundry. A real bad influence, they are.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Twitter.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Instagram.
Click HERE to join The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group.
Click HERE to follow The Non-Consumer Advocate on Pinterest.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Ruby September 22, 2015 at 9:56 am

Excellent job of mending! I love how a little thread and time can bring a garment back into service. This morning I stitched up two holes in the seams in my son’s favorite NASA t-shirt, so my space geek is happy again.


Sandy September 22, 2015 at 10:23 am

I LOVE to sew, really dislike alterations and mending, LOVE saving money!
The elbow on one of my husband’s flannel shirts has worn almost through. So, I will patch both sleeves, using fabric I have in my sewing room stash. Most likely, I’ll need to undo the sleeve seams to gain access to areas needing the patches, and will just sew them back up after the patches are completed. Yield, one happy, frugal husband!
My brother in law, husband’s brother, has a standing offer to bring anything that needs sewing repair, to simply bring it with him when he comes to see us. BIL respects that I have limitations, and will repair what I can and tell him if I can’t. He hasn’t stumped me yet!
I read the other day on a capsule wardrobe site, that chambray shirts are back in style. When did they go out of style? My one and only chambray shirt is in really good condition, except the long sleeves are too short. Always wear th e shirt untouched, so tails are not up for grabs. Don’t have any chambray fabric on hand, couldn’t find a matching shirt at the thrift store to harvest pieces, so I’m going to get creative and make a band for each sleeve to lengthen them.
No clothes line selfie, HOA and allergic husband won’t allow it! If it was just me, I’d use a solar clothes dryer.


K D September 22, 2015 at 10:24 am

I love your sense of humor. Thank you for some laughs today. I believe a sense of humor is a huge asset in life (and makes frugality a positive).


Katy September 22, 2015 at 10:57 am

Life would sure be dreary without one.


Kristen September 22, 2015 at 10:39 am

Nice mend! Totally not noticeable once you see the whole shirt.


Katy September 22, 2015 at 10:57 am

Thanks. The hole was getting bigger and bigger, so I needed to nip it in the bud!


Brooke September 22, 2015 at 12:14 pm

LOL about your delinquent laundry and bananas!!! Thanks for the laugh today!


Vonlipi September 22, 2015 at 1:26 pm

EXCELLENT mending job! Oh I hate fruit flies….Thank you for the fruit fly trap idea!


Gail September 22, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Thanks for the several chuckles

No one should be staring at your belly area close enough to see the repair.


marybeth September 22, 2015 at 3:03 pm

What do you do with the paper to make the apple and vinegar a fly “trap”? Is it a cone with a hole at the bottom? We are heading into fly season, and in our rural area it can be like the plague! Not sure I will catch and release like you, but I think the rest of the hordes will still thrive enough to keep the species alive. Thanks for the smiles today!


Katy September 22, 2015 at 3:46 pm

A couple pieces of Scotch tape.


Felicia September 22, 2015 at 3:16 pm

I live for super ripe bananas! A great excuse to make blend up some delicious vegan ice cream. A splash of almond milk, frozen bananas and a handful of chocolate chips blended together is one of my favorite frugal desserts.


rosa rugosa September 22, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Not to be a little rain cloud or anything, but I’m curious as to why you didn’t use a matching thread color. You did a great repair job and it is invisible from a distance, but I would be way too OCD not to use matching thread.


Katy September 22, 2015 at 3:45 pm

That was as matching as I had!


A. Marie September 22, 2015 at 3:30 pm

I have two problems with sewing (and, increasingly, with doing all but the simplest mending): (1) I almost flunked out of 7th-grade home ec because I couldn’t figure out how to thread the sewing machine; and (2) both my eyesight and my hands are deteriorating with age.

My solution to necessary hemming and other alterations in recent years has been to turn things over to my neighbor and goombah across the street, who (1) owns a sewing machine and knows how to use it, and (2) is aging in different ways. About 6 weeks before Christmas or my birthday, I hand her a bag of stuff, and I get it back nicely repaired on Xmas or the natal day. No extra tschotchkes (sp?) change hands, and we’re both happy. This past birthday, her husband was shocked: “That’s all you’re giving her??” We both chorused, “Yes!”


linda September 22, 2015 at 4:01 pm

I always roll up the sleeves on my shirts. no problem with them being too long or too short. it is a nice casual look and will make you thinner when your wrists are exposed. try it


Isabelle September 22, 2015 at 4:37 pm

Good job!
I just mended a body pillow cover for what feels like the 10th time! I had thrown it out 2 days ago (in the bedroom basket, so nothing filthy), and bought a new one for 15$. Then DH and I had a discussion about having to get really serious about reducing expenses, so I fished it out, repaired it, will wash it by hand from now on, and bring back the new one to the store to get the 15$ refund.
You can do a lot with a needle and some thread!


Stephanie September 22, 2015 at 10:53 pm

Katy, You are a funny lady! I’m sure we’d be great friends if I knew you in real life, and if I didn’t live on the other side of the planet. Love how you mended your shirt rather than simply throw it out.
Regards, Stephanie from Sydney.


Diane C September 23, 2015 at 5:24 am

Speaking of sewing, I turned a wedding gift card into a bolt of Marimekko fabric ($5/yd. Woot!). My, ahem, third anniversary is approaching and that fabric has still not turned itself into holiday tablecloths. Thanks for nagging me (with great humor) to get on it.


Dmarie September 23, 2015 at 6:09 am

We put bananas in the hydrator of the fridge, leaving only 2 out on the counter to ripen at a time. The peels of refrigerated bananas may darken, but doesn’t affect the taste. This way Hubby has his daily banana and I don’t have to scramble to use up too many ripe bananas. Downside: fewer banana breads around here. ha


Roberta September 23, 2015 at 6:35 am

Our solution to the overripe bananas is to make monkey tails! I peel and cut them in half, poke a (craft stash) popsicle stick into the cut end, and freeze them on a cookie sheet. When it’s hot (and it’s STILL HOT here), the family gets a treat.

I make zucchini bread in the winter, instead of banana bread, because I cannot stand bananas (shudder).


JD September 23, 2015 at 7:20 am

Loved this post about the naughty laundry and bananas, and it made me laugh. My laundry is delinquent like that sometimes, too!
Fruit flies are a never-ending summer problem at my house with garden produce coming in and my kombucha brewer going — they LOVE kombucha, which is a bit vinegary. So I use the method I saw on a kombucha website – a shallow bowl of kombucha with a drop or two of dishwashing liquid. The flies go to the kombucha but the surface tension is broken by the dishwashing liquid so they drown. (not sure if that’s how it works– they drown, anyway). The same thing can be done with apple cider vinegar and any liquid detergent, but they like kombucha the best (I tried doing both ACV and kombucha at one time in different bowls).
I have to admit I wondered about the thread color, too, but I figured it must be the color Katy had. It doesn’t show, so what matter? Katy does very neat darning. I can sometimes do a really good job, but sometimes…. not so good!


Joyce September 23, 2015 at 8:22 am

Everyone else said what I was feeling. I laughed out loud. I love it!!! I have had delinquent laundry too. And bananas. Regarding noticing the mending: my mother-in-law used to say “you can’t notice it on a galloping horse”. haha. Great job!!! And thanks for the consistent clothesline selfies. I have only posted one. I just can’t seem to remember.


Lynn D. September 23, 2015 at 9:11 am

Boro and Sashiko are terms for the Japanese art of mending fabric. It has been developed into an art and is considered to increase the value or beauty of the item. I would have taken that contrasting thread and woven it into the design of your shirt. I had a favorite Columbia sportswear zip hoodie, but the elbows wore out. I mended them with contrasting t-shirt fabric (from a worn out t-shirt!) that I then embroidered designs on. I never failed to get compliments on it. Now sometimes I even ‘mend’ things that don’t need mending!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: