Sustainable Living Festival 2014

We're at SLF in Fed Square this Sunday (16 February) from 10am to 2pm, sponsored by Metropolitan Waste Management Group. Look for us inside the New Joneses pop-up sustainable house with our sewing machine and tools of the trade. If you're thinking about visiting the festival, why not bring some broken items with you and come say hello?

We're also at Princes Hill Community Centre every month! Visit where + when for details.

Fix It! monthly at Princes Hill Community Centre

Hooray! We're back at the Princes Hill Community Centre in North Carlton in 2014.

You can find us on the second Saturday of each month from 11am to 4pm, beginning 8 February.

We're keen for more volunteers, as well as people with broken stuff. The more the better!

See Where + When for details, or contact for more information.

Fix It! now twice a month

Exciting news! We had a bit of a break, and now we're back.

You can now find us northside on the second Saturday of each month at the Princes Hill Community Centre (North Carlton) and the third Saturday of each month at The Welcome Shop in Merlynston (North Coburg). May 11 and 18 are the first dates for each venue.

Volunteers are needed, as well as people with broken stuff.

See Where + When for details, or contact for more information.

The café sessions, part two

Saturday was sweltering, but we still had a few brave souls come and visit us at Per Diem.

Blake the barista busted a hole in his shorts pocket at our repair workshop the week before. Another hole started to form on the opposite side. This seems to be a common problem among the men I know, and it's usually a result of storing bulky items (e.g. phones, keys, wallets, etc.) in the pockets until they wear out.


After. Ta-da!

The happy barista.
I used iron-on denim patches on the inside (you can buy them at Spotlight, Lincraft, etc.) and reinforced the mend with lots of zigzag stitching on the outside. I then dabbed Fray Check at the top four corners of the pockets.

If you've never used Fray Check or similar (there are heaps of products that do the same thing), it's the best! Good for keeping holes and worn spots from getting worse, and especially good for keeping jeans hems and pockets from fraying. If your pants sag and your hems drag on the ground, it might not be a bad idea to invest in some kind of fray-stopping product. Or come visit us at Per Diem this Saturday or next and learn how to take up your pants hems.

Carolyn brought in her alarm clock for us to have a look. The second hand had fallen off, and she tried to repair it herself. Yay, Carolyn! Only, she did what many of us do and took it apart without remembering exactly how it went back together. And that darned second hand was still rattling around.
The second hand taunts us.

John takes a closer look...

Clever John got the second hand back on (yay!). Tune in next week to see if we can get it back together in one piece...

Handy tip: If you're thinking of opening something up and having a look, take photographs on your camera or phone of the dismantling process as you go. Then you'll have an easier time figuring out what went where. Easier said than done, of course, but good to remember for bigger projects especially.

The lovely Jo visited us with a dress she bought at an op shop. It was really two dresses in one, but sewn together at the neckline. She decided to separate them, then realised she was going to have to do something about the frayed necklines. When she saw an article about Fix It! she knew where to come for help.

She hadn't used a sewing machine for years, but I think it's safe to say she really enjoyed using ours.

Wheeeeee! Hee hee hee.

Gorgeous! And she fixed it herself (and did a great job, I might add).

We have two more sessions coming up at Per Diem on the 16th and 23rd of March  - see Where + When for details.

If you've been thinking about coming along, we'd love to see you. I'd encourage you to allow a little more time out of your schedule than you might have thought. Our visitors seem to enjoy having a cuppa and a chat, and watching the fixing process (or contributing solutions themselves). And most people come toward the end of the day, so there can be a bit of a backlog, or we might need to pack up when you're still working on your project. If you show up early (we start at 10am), you can monopolise our time - mwah ha ha.

First café day = success

We did it! Our first session at Per Diem café was a blast, and now we have three more to look forward to.

In this photograph, John and I are fixing a busted zipper -- a two-person job, but we did it. Hooray.

Let's get a proper look at that work table, shall we?

This gorgeous sewing machine had a bobbin that got stuck (our visitor, David, couldn't resist a closer look). We couldn't fix it, but we referred owner Carolyn on to Metro Sewing Centre in High St, Preston for repairs.

Two toasters came in for surgery. How do you know if a toaster is working? You make toast, of course. Rod removed the cover from the second one, which drew quite a fascinated crowd. Unfortunately, both toasters were pronounced dead on the scene.


Barb's umbrella was missing an end cap. I fixed it by pinching a spoke from another (unfixable) umbrella and sewing it on with heavy-duty thread. Spare parts! (Not sure what's happening with the sun flare here - sorry, Barb.)

Here's a close-up of the amazing sandwich board that Hamish the barista made for us. Meanwhile, John attempts surgery on my chime-happy wall clock.

John extended the life of a pair of boots by using a product called Spred Sole. I had no idea it existed. Fixers learn from other fixers, for sure.

Want to join in on the fun? Head to where + when for details.