Part of why I started the virtual window shopping posts is that I’m not buying a lot of clothing right now. But I have been changing my wardrobe: I’ve been adjusting it. Or perhaps I should say altering it.
See, I had a pair of pants that had sprouted “wear holes” at the top of the side seam pockets. Not a huge problem, but I’d put off wearing them, or if I did wear them, I’d feel self-conscious. But they’re perfectly good otherwise and I felt silly for buying new ones.
So I got out the sewing kit and made repairs. It’s a small thing, but I felt much better wearing the pants I’d repaired. Partly because the holes were gone, yes, but also because I’d fixed them.
Then I started thinking about the others….
- A pair of pants that had been torn at the crotch seam.
- Another pair with holes on the side seams near the pockets.
- Two beautiful tweedy knit cardigans that had each lost the second button from the bottom.
- A gray French terry jacket that fit great, but the brass buttons just seemed to clash with the gray. (To me, at least. Drove me nuts.) So I avoided (or felt self-conscious) wearing it.
- A white French terry jacket I didn’t wear because it was bit too big and people mistook me for a pharmacist when I wore it.
- A workout shirt I bought on sale with 3/4 banded-bottom sleeves that pulled at my elbow when I lifted weights.
Now, yes, I accept that not all of my clothing is appropriate at once. The sundresses get rotated to the guest room closet each October, for example, because I’m not going to wear them til it’s warm again. But these are clothes I’d like to wear, but I feel too self-conscious to wear.
So I’ve been making a few more changes.
- I took the gray jacket over to Joanne Fabrics and found black buttons that I love and fit the existing buttonholes of the cardigan. I spent an hour cutting off the old brass buttons and sewing on new black ones.
- I picked up brown RIT dye at Michael’s and dyed the white jacket. It’s now a coppery brown and, due to the hot water used in the dyeing process, shrunk about a size. It now fits great.
- I’d saved one of the knit cardigans’ lost buttons, so I sewed it back on.
- The other had a spare inside it, which I sewed on.
I still have pants to fix and the sleeves to shorten. I’ve also had my “Oops!” moments. The coppery brown isn’t as dark as I’d like, though the man of the house loves it, so that jacket may be dyed darker or become his. Unbuttoning one of the knit cardigans on Monday I had 2 more buttons pop off (argh!) so I’ll probably be re-sewing them all. Still, I am getting more comfortable making minor changes and increasing my confidence. Yes, I can go to an alterations service if something beyond my ability is required — but it’s nice to be able to do it myself, too.
How I’m doing it: I have a well-lit, comfy place to work on these items (a corner of the couch) complete with a (coffee) table if need be. I have a basic variety of different-colored threads, a packet of hand sewing needles, and pins. Plus both a Joanne’s and a Michael’s within easy driving distance.