Reconstruction: The Closet Era
Some Things Need Tailoring
Like I said in my post, I
ve done some light closet purging lately. I make it a habit to go through my clothes, including the stuff that is stashed in the back just in case Ill fit into it again, and donate the stuff that I don
t truly love anymore. That being said, there is still a bunch of clothes left at the end that I love, and can get into, but dont actually fit.
t mean they squeeze me like sausage wrappings, either. Im talking about stuff that is long in the sleeves, or a short dress, or a shirt that fits like a box. You know, stuff that would be perfectly acceptable to wear if I wasn
t artistic, and didnt care if I looked kind of frumpy. That stuff. And in those sort of circumstances, it is clearly my duty to rehabilitate those clothes into something decent.
That is where the sewing machine comes into play, my friends.
If you are going to buy off the racks or used, you will have to learn how to alter clothes so that they fit you flatteringly. Unless you want to just pay someone else to do the work for you, but I couldn’t stand the guilty conscience if I ever did such a thing. You see, the Frau (Codename: my Mother) used to work as a seamstress and tailor, working so seams and sleeves lined up to fit the body in question when she wasn’t making custom curtains and handmade weddings gowns. I would be ashamed to not simply pin and tuck a few inches here and there for a better fit.
Pin the sleeve to the shorter length you want, being sure to match the ribbing on top of itself so the finished seam is smooth and connected
cut off the area beyond the pin, being sure to leave a little clearance
You can nip in the sides if the chest area is too loose as well. I believe this is called darting, but I`m not as educated in sewing as the Frau, so I`m winging it on this one.
The finished result is a shorter, tailored, fitted to you sleeve!
I did five tanks, following this same pattern on each one. They may be casual, but that`s no excuse for poor fit! Can you see the jean scraps at the top from my retrofitted jean trousers?
Tailoring and More
What are some of the easiest things to reconstruct for better fit?
- Really long straps, like on a tank top, that make the shirt droop oddly at the neckline. Just flip the shirt in question inside out, measure an inch (or other length you measured with the shirt on) down from the top, and sew across. Cut off the now excessive sleeve length, and you have a shirt that fits so well, it`s almost like new!
- Jeans that flare too much. I had a pair of trouser jeans that oddly stuck out at the knees and flared out farther than the hip. Officially, trouser are meant to be the same width at the ankles as at the hips, with a little nip in at the knees to avoid bagginess. To fix the excessive flaring, I flipped the jeans inside out. I sewed a curved and almost wedge shape into the outside of both legs, and left the inseam alone. It turned out perfectly, though they are more straight leg than trouser pants now. You can do the same with more traditional trouser pants.
- A shirt that has holes or stains on the last two inches of it. You can cut off the bottom and make a cropped shirt, which is in again this Spring and Summer. Just hem or use a serger on the bottom, and you`re all set!
Are you an upcycler, or a reconstructer?