Sunday, March 23, 2014

Getting Ready For Clothesline Season

I bet you've never heard that expression before: clothesline season.  In truth, I haven't either.  I might have just made it up.  What I'm referring to, of course, is the months of the year where the weather is warm enough to hang clothes out to dry on a clothesline.  Some people do it year round, letting their wet, clean laundry freeze dry.  Me, I tend to hang mine when the weather is at least fifty.  Roughly late March to late October or early November.

Anyway, despite our currently below-freezing high temperatures, I know that soon the weather will turn and I will be once again saving money on propane (I have a gas dryer) by hanging my laundry outside to dry.  I mean, the geese are flying north in numbers now, warmer weather can't be too far away.

one of several groups of geese spotted over this little place here in recent days

Which means it is time to check my clotheslines, tighten up the sagging ones, replace any that are too worn to hold weight this year, and get ready for warm sunny clothes-drying days.

In my preparations, I realized that the bag I have used for innumerable years to hold my clothes pins had developed a 'leak' late in the season last year.  The fabric has become so worn that holes formed in crucial areas, and clothes pins were falling out.  Time for a new bag!

Being frugal, I of course decided that I needed to make a bag rather than buy a bag to keep my clothes pins in.  I looked at several online tutorials, trying to get an idea of what style of bag I wanted to make.  I knew I wanted it to have two pockets to hold the pins, like my old well-used bag, rather than one big pocket (which tends to droop, especially when it is holding as many pins as I have).  I also wanted to use materials I all ready had on hand rather than buy any new supplies for the creation.

What I finally went with was a heavy-duty hanger than came home with a clothing purchase from Walmart earlier this month (on clearance, of course), a large piece of fabric I had bought for something like a quarter or fifty cents at a yard sale a few years ago, and a general construction idea taken from a couple tutorials on making clothes pin bags from pillowcases or towels.

My finished product looks like this:

hanger for hanging bag in reach on clothesline, I can
slide it down line as I pin up the clothes

close up of one pocket, with pins;
also shows decorative stitching I used to embellish it

Considering that the hanger came free with the shirt that was on it, the fabric cost me maybe fifty cents, the thread is a penny or two, and the chicken buttons were bought in an assortment of buttons (quart sized bag full of various buttons for $2.50 at Goodwill), the whole project has a cost of less than a dollar.  I expect to get at least ten years of use out of my new clothes pin bag.  Not a bad investment.

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