Sunday, 10 November 2019

Mend don't Spend

First up, I have to make it really clear that I am no seamstress.  I can't knit, crochet and recently gave up a cross stitching kit because it was too hard for me.  But, along with Oxbow lakes - the only other thing I remember from school is how to thread a sewing machine.  Weird isn't it what you retain from all those years at school.  Granted it would have been helpful to retain how to work out percentages but as long as I can work out what 20% off (ASOS and M&S) is, I'm all good!

I've had this cute mini sewing machine from John Lewis for about 12 years and have only recently used it.  If you do know your way around a Singer, this is not the machine for you.  But for me, who just wants to occasionally hem a trouser, it's fine.

Recently I needed to have a few pairs of old work trousers taken in.  I was going to find an alteration service but I had 5 pairs and knew the cost was going to rack up, so I went on You Tube and found a couple of videos on how to take in trousers.  And it's really quite easy (you do need a sewing machine).  And ok my "alterations" are quite rudimentary but hey, it's only me who's going to see the dodgy stitching.  I'm really chuffed as I've rejuvenated several pairs of work trousers for the cost of one reel of cotton.

I've also reignited 2 dresses which were a bit sack like.  This smock dress from Matalan was just too shapeless.  All I did to this was pull in the sides and hand stitch the middle bit together.  What this has done is give some shape to the dress and a bit of interest as (inadvertently) my stitch work created a pleat.

Close up.
And this straight column dress from Next needed some interest.  This was a last minute alteration - I was going out to a friend's 40th party, had the dress on and just wasn't feeling it.  So without taking it off, I grabbed and twisted a handful of the material and stitched it together.  I really like how this came out.
Grab and sew..
Two things that have really made my alteration service easier are a seam ripper and plastic hair bands.  I used the seam ripper to unpick 2 pockets on a silky Zara pyjama shirt.  I bought it ages ago in the sale and just couldn't wear it, because of the pockets.  It didn't look right worn out but because of the pockets I couldn't tuck it in.  Now I've taken the pockets off with my seam ripper, I can now wear it french tucked in.  Voila.
And plastic hair bands?  I use these to tie up the base of a T-shirt and then with the t-shirt ponytail, tuck it up and under.  You can also do this with thin jumpers and tops.  Honestly this little trick really changes the look of t-shirts.
Other ways to fall in love with your once loved fashion pieces:

  • change the buttons.  Etsy do some cute eye catching buttons.  
  • add a silky scarf as a belt.
  • dye it another colour.
  • use iron on patches.  I got some from H&M and ironed a tiger patch on to an old denim jacket.
There are lots of ways to change up your wardrobe without buying new.  It saves money and you'll feel like your own fashion designer!


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