“It’s Elisabeth Childs.”
“Hi Nonnie! How are you?”
“I’m alive. Welcome home. Do you need me to darn any sweaters?”
“Actually, yeah! I think so!”
“Bring them over when you come. And bring me a gallon of milk. 2%.”
Then I would take my wool and cashmere sweaters over to my grandmother, my Nonnie, at her house. With the milk. My grandmother would darn up my worn sweaters so that I didn’t have to throw them out or stop wearing them. She was a huge believer in recycling not only clothes but just about everything else you can imagine. Don’t WASTE IT. You don’t NEED anything NEW.
I still hear her voice in my head. Luckily for me, there are two wonderful shops in Dublin where over the past few weeks I have been systematically dropping off various articles of clothing to be shored up for the coming winter.
This spring I took two of my favorite cashmere sweaters (one was my mother’s! It’s done well to get so far!) to Fitz, on Drury Street, to have patches sewn on the warn elbows. They came back not only in better shape, but much sturdier! Not to mention I now have some pretty rad Liberty print patches that get comments when I wear the sweaters.
Fitz has also altered two of Nonnie’s dresses for me, helped restore a dress that was my paternal great-grandmother’s to it’s original late-20s glory, and most recently assured that I would look perfectly fitted into a bridesmaid’s dress. Last week I dropped in my most favorite cashmere cardigan in for a quick elbow tuck that will keep the thing going until the next tug ‘n pull.
Up the road in Rathmines is the scene of my other big saving success. Cleaning out my closet I found three pairs of boots and one high heel that needed re-heeling. One of the pairs of boots I wasn’t sure could be fixed at all. They have been sitting in my closet for two years with heels that look like a bear cub had a go at them. Another one of the pairs needed new soles as well as heels.
I dropped them all in, and the lovely gents in Clegg’s said that every pair (and the one high heel) could be saved. I collected them this week and now I have basically got four new pairs of shoes. All for the bargain price of 60 euro! That’s a savings that my very thrifty Nonnie could appreciate.
What I appreciate most about all this repair work is that one of the sweaters that got the new patches earlier this year still has Nonnie’s original “darning” all along the lower part in the front. It’s not noticeable to see, but I can feel it.