Monday, February 23, 2009

Alteration Sunday!

Since I am leaving for London on Sunday and will be away for 2 1/2 weeks, it seemed silly to start work on a major project this past weekend. Instead, I decided to use my Craft Lounge time to finally deal with the growing pile of clothing that needed "editing" before they could be worn out of the house again.

I'm pleased to report that I was very productive. Here is the rundown:
  • one pair of trousers for work now fit at the waist/hips again
  • one pair of stretchy fold-over waist pants are now smaller (waist again) and are no longer un-sewing at the crotch
  • one hoodie sweater no longer has a hole in the underarm
  • one black shirt with beading is now tapered attractively
  • one orange tee shirt is also tapered at the waist
  • one long sleeve v-neck no longer is too long in the vee (this required a little creative sewing - taking it up at the shoulder, while not messing with the sleeves)
I'm feeling rather pleased with myself about this. I now have 6 pieces of clothing which had fallen out of the regular rotation because they had little things wrong or were too big. None were items that I couldn't live without, so if I botched them it wouldn't be a disaster. However, it's nice to have them back in the mix - especially the pants! This brings my total number of wearable work trousers to 5; that's up from 3 just a week ago.

I'm still having serious issues with RTW (ready to wear) pants. I tried on 20 pairs of pants last week, 3 purchased on line and 6 or 7 more on Saturday. The final outcome is that I kept exactly one of the on-line pants. Thirty pants, just to find one!

I can't help wondering if I am getting pickier the more I sew and if all sewists go thru this. Should I just buy RTW pants that don't fit perfectly with an eye to altering them? I don't know. I hate the idea of buying something that doesn't really fit well, but I need pants. What's a girl to do?


2BSewing: said...

It's a wonderful talent you have to be able to alter and fix RTW clothes. I'm lazy when it comes to that. For example, I have a pair of jeans that need to be hemmed. It's still sitting in my "to do" pile. If I could get them done, I too, could add them to my work clothes rotation.

I still have a problem with RTW pants. After figuring out what my crotch curve looks like...I've been seeing the consistent wrinkles on my lower behind. Jeans, slacks, shorts, etc. The only pants I haven't had a problem with is Talbots ponte knit pants. The ponte knit is a forgiving fabric and it drapes beautifully for pants. Less wrinkles for me. :)

Yes, it's true! One gets pickier the more one sews. LOL!

MS said...

WOW Congrats!

(my verification word is nuttific)

Clio said...

Honestly, I am sure anyone who really knows what they are doing would have palpitations over my methods. But my theory is that ff something is already "broken", what harm can I do by tinkering with it, right? And if I fix it, it's a bonus. I think that is why I am hesitant to purchase something that I already know needs tailoring. If I screw up the result is wasted time and money, and a perfectly good garment ruined.

That said, I've noticed there really is no definitive guide to altering RTW clothing for fit. Books on alterations seem to either be about altering patterns and garments while you are sewing from scratch, OR about radically changing the style of a garment, like all the re-do your tee shirt/wardrobe books. But there really isn't a guide to making small but important changes to RTW clothing, is there?

2BSewing: said...

Sewists and Seamstress that I have talked to have years of sewing experience under the belt. They can quickly identify the RTW fit issues and make a fix or alteration. And they know how to hide or cover up their alteration. I know what kind of book you are looking for and I have not found it. Do you think there might be such a book at the FIT bookstore?

BTW, if the alterations work for you...don't sweat it. No one is going to notice unless you say something. :)

Clio said...

GOOD IDEA!!! I'll check the FIT bookstore. It's not far from my office.