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  #1  
Old Oct 25, '11, 8:41 pm
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Kathryn Ann Kathryn Ann is offline
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Smile Lost arts of home-making




Any ideas on how to interest the younger generation more in home-making skills? Is the art of making one's own clothes, of keeping house, cooking, knitting, crocheting and "Home Economics" lost forever? I recently found several ways to make organic, home made laundry soap, as well as gift soaps, and have always made many of my own clothes. My daughter enjoyed learning how to sew. Do you think some of the mature ladies in our parishes could interest the younger ones in these arts? And to be fair, there are dads out there who care for children too, and might like to learn. If we held basic home-making seminars, would anyone come? It seems that in the economic times we live in, we could all use some hints on how to plan and save. Many mothers have to work outside the home, and time is so precious. Ideas?


  #2  
Old Oct 25, '11, 8:51 pm
Rence Rence is offline
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

I would be interested in knowing how knitting and crocheting is less expensive than buying from the store. I love to knit and crochet, but I find that yarn is getting more and more expensive as the interest is rekindling...

Though, I think it is much cheaper to make your own cheese
  #3  
Old Oct 26, '11, 10:14 am
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

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I would be interested in knowing how knitting and crocheting is less expensive than buying from the store. I love to knit and crochet, but I find that yarn is getting more and more expensive as the interest is rekindling...

Though, I think it is much cheaper to make your own cheese


Hi! Lots of ways to save with knitting and crocheting yourself!

I made my grand-daughter SEVERAL lovely sets of slippers with just two skeins of yarn. You can even put non-skid pads on the bottoms of these. She was able to choose her own color combinations and is trying very hard to learn to crochet each time we are together. Yes, there really are some very expensive yarns too, (upwards of $5.--per small skein!!) I like to use those sparingly, but again, compared to the retail costs of some neck warmers made of the nice yarns, one can really save.

With the all cotton spindles of yarn, I love to knit lovely dish cloths which people love to receive as gifts. It only takes a medium to semi large Granny Square to do this and is so relaxing. People really appreciate a home made gift!

  #4  
Old Jul 31, '12, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

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Originally Posted by Rence View Post
I would be interested in knowing how knitting and crocheting is less expensive than buying from the store. I love to knit and crochet, but I find that yarn is getting more and more expensive as the interest is rekindling...

Though, I think it is much cheaper to make your own cheese
I find bags of yarn at my local thrift shops. I also get free patterns from yarn companies by going to their websites.
  #5  
Old Oct 25, '11, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

Given the number of TV shows and internet sites dedicated to cooking, and the number of friends and family that I see being inspired by same, I don't think lack of interest in cooking is a problem all.

As for sewing and other crafts (beyond useful repairs such as sewing on buttons or darning holes in socks) I think these have usually been left most often to the comparative few who have the interest or talent.

Saving money? Have you SEEN what craft supplies for sewing, knitting et al cost these days? Maybe it saved money back in the day when lots of people kept sheep of their own or whatnot, but now you can most always find a ready made product for the same price or less.
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  #6  
Old Oct 25, '11, 9:43 pm
Catholic90 Catholic90 is offline
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

Yeah, sewing clothes is definitely not cheaper than buying a ready made item, especially when on sale! I sewed for my boys when I stayed home and when they were very small, but I quickly discovered I could save money by purchasing ready made items.

My boys like to cook, and they largely taught themselves by experimenting. They welcomed suggestions from me, but they really each wanted to "do it myself, mom!" Now, they are excellent cooks.

I made a big bucket of homemade laundry soap once.....it was so messy to use, I never made it again. Plus, I found it did not clean as well as the brand name stuff.

I don't know....I canned a lot years ago, but even doing that is expensive. The lids are not cheap, and by the time you factor in the cost of a gas stove running all day and the TIME, which is worth a lot, not much is really saved. And then every so often a lid breaks the seal, and that jar's contents have to be discarded.
  #7  
Old Oct 25, '11, 10:56 pm
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

My sister (18) and her friends always have a party at the beginning of Advent and make different homemade presents for friends and family together. In past years they've made soap, candles, bath bombs, etc. and this year she's thinking about making Christmas wreaths for all our close neighbors. Even the little kids help, it's really fun. I think alot of people would be interested in it.
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  #8  
Old Oct 26, '11, 10:56 am
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

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Yeah, sewing clothes is definitely not cheaper than buying a ready made item, especially when on sale! I sewed for my boys when I stayed home and when they were very small, but I quickly discovered I could save money by purchasing ready made items.

My boys like to cook, and they largely taught themselves by experimenting. They welcomed suggestions from me, but they really each wanted to "do it myself, mom!" Now, they are excellent cooks.

I made a big bucket of homemade laundry soap once.....it was so messy to use, I never made it again. Plus, I found it did not clean as well as the brand name stuff.

I don't know....I canned a lot years ago, but even doing that is expensive. The lids are not cheap, and by the time you factor in the cost of a gas stove running all day and the TIME, which is worth a lot, not much is really saved. And then every so often a lid breaks the seal, and that jar's contents have to be discarded.


I would love to learn to can things, but I too am very afraid of contagions and having to discard. Boys clothing must be harder! Girl's skirts and dresses are a fraction of the price to make and not so many zippers and things. Having made men's shirts, I know how much detail and time go into that. As I mentioned in another reply though, there really is such a range of pricing in retail places. Quality items such as suede are quite pricey retail wise. I've made dresses from quality cloth that are in excellent shape for years and years, and the same dress (for example in a butter or faux suede) costs over a hundred dollars in the retail store) Slips, skirts, simple dresses in the junior section of the retail stores can start at over $30 each, when a teen can be shown how to make them for much less and design her own.



I love the way our laundry soap turned out and am sorry you had a bad experience. There's so much out there on the internet, and I guess we were lucky. I will keep checking up on the sales everywhere!


Thank you for your comments!

Blessings on your day!
Kathryn Ann
  #9  
Old Oct 26, '11, 10:45 am
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

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Originally Posted by LilyM View Post
Given the number of TV shows and internet sites dedicated to cooking, and the number of friends and family that I see being inspired by same, I don't think lack of interest in cooking is a problem all.

As for sewing and other crafts (beyond useful repairs such as sewing on buttons or darning holes in socks) I think these have usually been left most often to the comparative few who have the interest or talent.

Saving money? Have you SEEN what craft supplies for sewing, knitting et al cost these days? Maybe it saved money back in the day when lots of people kept sheep of their own or whatnot, but now you can most always find a ready made product for the same price or less.
May your day be blessed!

I can get a huge skein of plain knitting worsted for under $2.00 and make several pairs of child sized slippers with that or a couple of long neck warmers! Some people buy those exhorbitant ten dollar a small skein yarns, very high quality. But a crochet hook and a skein of yarn, less than five dollars and you can have so much fun.



You're right about some craft supplies, especially scrapbooking! But again, there is a huge range. I could go crazy buying elaborate machines to die cut little pieces of paper, OR I can use my small Xyron sticker maker and make dozens of bookmarks for very little. I could go crazy at all the various arts and crafts stores.

As to fabric, I sew lots of my own clothes and it's much cheaper than retail. I bought some soft. high quality, suede- like material in five colors, (over twenty yards in all) and made sleeveless jumpers of them for less than twenty dollars for each dress. The same thing in a store was priced at over a hundred dollars per dress. With a pullover or little shirt or sweater, I can mix and match these forever. These dresses have lasted me over ten years now. I was at a chain retail store the other day where a little half slip was fifteen dollars. I make mine for five dollars each: A bit of rayon blend, an elastic waist band, and voila! I can't believe what people pay for a simple skirt either, or a simple dress. Retail clothes can run the gamut from cheap to terribly expensive, so it's fun to compare and challenge the retail stores.

Soap making is fun and not expensive. I microwave the sets of soap base, add a little scent and lemon grass, and can make dozens of gift soaps for family and friends. So much fun.

I pray always for sales on all these things and check the papers.




I like to think that introducing knitting, crocheting and sewing to the next generation, and encouraging an artistic eye for creating something for someone else is priceless! A person can "splurge" now and then on those high priced, all natural, teensy skeins of yarn, and the rest of the time make up Granny Square layette blankets for family and people in need. Retail prices can be so much higher, where we can make the same thing for less if we are savvy shoppers.

Many blessings to you.


  #10  
Old Oct 25, '11, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

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Originally Posted by Kathryn Ann View Post


Any ideas on how to interest the younger generation more in home-making skills? Is the art of making one's own clothes, of keeping house, cooking, knitting, crocheting and "Home Economics" lost forever? I recently found several ways to make organic, home made laundry soap, as well as gift soaps, and have always made many of my own clothes. My daughter enjoyed learning how to sew. Do you think some of the mature ladies in our parishes could interest the younger ones in these arts? And to be fair, there are dads out there who care for children too, and might like to learn. If we held basic home-making seminars, would anyone come? It seems that in the economic times we live in, we could all use some hints on how to plan and save. Many mothers have to work outside the home, and time is so precious. Ideas?


Well, it would certainly be a good idea for everyone (regardless of gender) to learn to cook. I have 3 sons and none of them had an interest to learn. Truth be told, I didn't know how to cook either until after my wife decided that she wanted to find another vocation other than being a wife and mother and left. I was left knowing how to make PB&J and spaghetti and had to finish raising 3 sons. Thank God for the internet and the many cooking websites out there!

Additionally, another crafting idea which I do all the time (and even one of my now adult sons does as well) and is appealing to many of the male gender is brewing. I brew 6 gallons of beer at a time a few times a year for FAAAAR less money than what it would cost to purchase it at a grocery store. I'm partial to Guinness beer which costs about $10 per 6-pk at the grocery. I spend about $35 on the ingredients to make 6 gallons! I also make lagers and the ingredients are around $25! Not a big fan of wines however I am going to be trying to brew meads soon.
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  #11  
Old Oct 26, '11, 7:05 pm
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

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Well, it would certainly be a good idea for everyone (regardless of gender) to learn to cook. I have 3 sons and none of them had an interest to learn. Truth be told, I didn't know how to cook either until after my wife decided that she wanted to find another vocation other than being a wife and mother and left. I was left knowing how to make PB&J and spaghetti and had to finish raising 3 sons. Thank God for the internet and the many cooking websites out there!

Additionally, another crafting idea which I do all the time (and even one of my now adult sons does as well) and is appealing to many of the male gender is brewing. I brew 6 gallons of beer at a time a few times a year for FAAAAR less money than what it would cost to purchase it at a grocery store. I'm partial to Guinness beer which costs about $10 per 6-pk at the grocery. I spend about $35 on the ingredients to make 6 gallons! I also make lagers and the ingredients are around $25! Not a big fan of wines however I am going to be trying to brew meads soon.


That's wonderful of you, raising three sons, cooking and caring for a family by yourself in difficult circumstances, I'm sure.

I'm a strict tee totaler, but think it's great to have taken responsibility for the family as you have. I think sons as well as daughters should have the opportunity to learn how to cook. But as ladies like to rule in the kitchen, one rule prevails: one cook at a time in the kitchen!

That reminds me that there are many wonderful herbal teas and natural home remedies out there that people in Colonial times relied upon. Colonial Williamsburg books abound on this topic. Flowers, herbs, teas, all manner of things were studied and utilized in those days when doctors were not as readily available. Blessings to you for being such a caring father.

  #12  
Old Oct 26, '11, 7:12 am
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

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Originally Posted by Kathryn Ann View Post


Any ideas on how to interest the younger generation more in home-making skills? Is the art of making one's own clothes, of keeping house, cooking, knitting, crocheting and "Home Economics" lost forever? I recently found several ways to make organic, home made laundry soap, as well as gift soaps, and have always made many of my own clothes. My daughter enjoyed learning how to sew. Do you think some of the mature ladies in our parishes could interest the younger ones in these arts? And to be fair, there are dads out there who care for children too, and might like to learn. If we held basic home-making seminars, would anyone come? It seems that in the economic times we live in, we could all use some hints on how to plan and save. Many mothers have to work outside the home, and time is so precious. Ideas?


Knitting seems to be quite "in" at the moment.

I've wanted for some time to learn so that I could make everyone's Christmas presents myself. Not necessarily to save money, but just to make Christmas gift-giving a bit more personal. I took a couple of lessons but never seemed to get the hang of it. I may give it another stab, but I probably won't be ready for Christmas this year (I have a lot of irons in the fire at any given time).

Note: I'm not a member of the "younger" generation exactly, but I'm not eligible for AARP either.
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  #13  
Old Oct 26, '11, 10:32 am
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

Is there a 4-H chapter in your area? In 4-H a kid can learn almost anything they have an interest in, the club or the extension agent will help find an adult volunteer to help that member to learn that skill. Usually not on a one-to-one basis so that helps cut down on the worry of child predators. Each adult volunteer has a background check done.
Traditional homemaking skills such as needle work, heritage fibers and clothing construction are some of the foundational projects of 4-H but it has blossomed out to things as diverse as shooting skills, rocketry, plant science, animal science, health and wellness, visual arts, performing arts and more. If that hasn't hit the mark there is Self Determined.
Check with your County Extension Agent or the National 4-H website to help you find a chapter in your area.
In addition, 4-H members must learn public speaking and record keeping skills. 4-H members who apply of summer jobs or college scholarships often have their applications moved to the top of the pile just on their 4-H membership alone.
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Old Oct 26, '11, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

Yeah...knitting did go through a bit of a revival while I was in college. Some people have dropped the hobby but I know several that still do it.

And yes...unfortunately yarn (and fabric) is not cheap these days. I wouldn't turn to those skills as a money saving measure today unless you are making something you can't find in a store at all.

I guess if my kids fall into a craft it'll probably be because they think their mom makes cool stuff. That's....pretty much how I got into it.

Mom got me started with a cross-stitch kit when I was in 5th grade...and that got me hooked on needle crafting. I then taught myself knitting so I could have some clothes-making ability. But I do it more for the purpose of creating gifts with a "special touch" as opposed to saving money. I knit almost exclusively in acrylic (I can't trust my dad and DH to wash handknits properly considering what they've done to wooly store-bought knits) and it's STILL enough to make my husband sweat bullets every time I get excited over a new project because I can spend at least 30 bucks easily for a sweater. Even though I knit in acrylic I'm still a bit fussy over the brands I use...especially for something that will touch the skin.

But then again I like larger projects like sweaters, shawls, and blankets as opposed to hats and scarves. I'm currently working on my first scarf in YEARS but it's a Dr. Who scarf so even when it comes to basic garments, I'm still a glutton for punishment.

She used to sew a bunch of our Halloween costumes and I got a few handknitted hats but she never really learned beyond knit and purl. But by the time the younger set of sibs were born she didn't have the time. I didn't take up sewing until much much later when I married my husband and we went off to geeky conventions together. DH loves his costumes. If my kids also ends up with a nerd streak, I can see them taking up sewing for this purpose even if they're all boys.

I really like the brewing idea and I'd totally encourage an older child o try it! DH is more of a wine guy than a beer guy (I'm a beer gal ) but we have a friend who's really into brewing and he's pretty good at it. A few bottles of his beer is sitting in our fridge waiting for me to have this baby. I can't wait.
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Old Oct 26, '11, 1:34 pm
Ridgerunner Ridgerunner is offline
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Default Re: Lost arts of home-making:Sewing/crochet,cooking?

I would be quick to encourage people to do such things. A couple of my grown daughters are into those things; sewing, cooking from scratch, canning, and so are their daughters. Kids can and do get interested in such things, and it's good for them to know how things come to be and how to vary things the way one wants.

I never did pick up a lot of old-fashioned skills (though I can sew with a treadle sewing machine. learned it making Indian stuff for myself as a kid) I did learn how to cut down a tree with an axe and land it where I want it. Learned to shoot, make gunpowder, melt metals and cast them. Learned to carve reasonably well. Most of all learned how to raise cattle and strawberries fairly well. I do know what wood is good for what.

I love those old skills. Taught as many of them to my kids as i could, though they are mostly "man" things to do. My grown children are excellent gardeners and pretty decent "veterinarians". My son is the best "cowboy" I have ever seen, though his "day job" is that of a lawyer.

Lots of old skill things are cheaper if you buy them, but there is nowhere near the satisfaction. Some things are less expensive if you make them, though. When it comes to sewing, I would say the big difference is in the more expensive things, particularly if the design is different from what you would find in a store.

Finally, one place where you can save a ton of money is by going to estate sales and buying old furniture. Most of the finishes are not good because they're old or have been painted over. But some of that old wood underneath is beyond compare, because they had a lot more ancient trees to work with then than now, and were more selective. If you learn how, you can make one of those old pieces far more beautiful than anything you're ever likely to buy, and the cost is massively less than buying something like that new, assuming you can even find it. You do have to "learn your wood", though.
 

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