How to Darn with Darn (ing) Cotton

While I listed this vintage darning cotton, I realized most people have no idea how to darn or way. Something that was once a necessity is now an almost cuss word.

Once a upon a time, socks were special and repaired when they developed holes. In the throw away society we live in today, darning is seldom done. In fact, most people don’t know what darning is or how to do it, but once learned it can save money and reduce waste.

To darn you need a large needle, matching thread, and a darning egg, if you can find one. If you can’t, a light bulb will work just has well.

Vintage Coats and Clark's Darning cotton

Darning is a sort of weaving with needle and thread. In this tutorial from Bea Johnson of Zero Waste Home, she shows how to darn a sock and thereby saving it from the trash bin.

First place the darning egg inside the sock positioning it is under the hole.

Run horizontal stitches over the hole, making sure that they cover an extra 1/2″ on all sides

Weave rows of stitches perpendicular to the previous ones.

End your last stitch inside your garment and cut the yarn. When fixing socks, do not make a knot (comfort).

Pat yourself on the back! You’ve saved a piece of clothing and your budget!

Thank you , Bea, for the tutorial.

Post by Eileen of GoofingOff Sewing


Mid Week Rummage Find: The Suit He Left Behind

Yes, I said Rummage….as in rummaging through my stuff. Stayed home from work today to go to the doctor and don’t want to get too involved in anything so rummaging at home is perfect. Nothing on the stove to burn, nothing on the sewing machine to forget what I was doing….Besides, going through my stacks of sewing books is sort of like going through mama’s jewelry box….each clipping stashed in the book has a story to tell. 

What I found……

The year was 1943, the middle of WWII for the US and described by many as the darkest.  The guys overseas had it hard but life at home wasn’t easy, either. The waiting and worrying was bad enough but add rationing and shortages to that. Fashions changed to conserve precious materials….like the fabric that might have been a skirt before was now a uniform. This clipping from The Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY, showed how to use a man’s suit to make a woman’s suit.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky, February 24, 1943

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky, February 24, 1943


Our society has since become a throw away society…..”don’t fix it, buy another” or “don’t pass it down.” Nowadays the stores are full of fabric and thread and I often forget how hard it must have been in my grandparents’ day….and how lucky I am now. 

Anyway, it’s a fun read. Hope y’all enjoyed it. 

Post by Eileen Patterson…..who is GoofingOff.