Altering ready-to-wear and… nobody’s perfect

October 26, 2012

I did it again. I think I’m pretty good at sewing clothing – just terrible at paying attention.

Backstory – my very favorite clothing store (other than Goodwill) is Possibilities Boutique in Cary, NC. They carry all sorts of smaller designers like Flax, Iguana, Cynthia Ashby, Cutloose, and others. Lots of linen. Lots of lovely, loose, artsy kind of things that make you feel … well … artsy. And the people there tend to treat you like a long lost best friend.

My favorite thing is that they have a “closet sale” every year where everyone brings back the things they don’t wear any more. It’s huge. It’s a big tent in the parking lot, a giant communal dressing room with cheap mirrors leaning up against the walls and hundreds of women. Nothing like the sales fights you see on the news.

You meet a new friend when you put down your giant pile of stuff and start trying it on. Everyone offers an opinion if asked and if you’re not going to buy the thing you just tried on there is probably somebody right next to you who wants to try it on next. I save up my $ and buy two or three outfits each year for less than the cost of one usual outfit here.

So when I’m not paying $100.00 for a pair of pants it isn’t daunting at all to take it apart and remake it into whatever you had in mind. I’ve cut apart or dyed many things from this sale. This pair of pants was pretty cool. I also bought a lovely asymmetrical vest with a sheer drape on it that is beige linen. I plan to dye them both a deep purple.

But I have a short torso (I wear petite if it’s short sleeved.) So I undid the waistband, cut off three inches and re-inserted the elastic. I like the zig-zag down the middle that keeps it from twisting. 

I also undid the topstitching and took in all the seams above the hip to take out some of the fullness up there. But I also have freakishly long legs and arms. Pants are ALWAYS too short and if I buy tall sizes the rise is long enough that the waistband hits my bustline. It’s comical.  

I took the extra from the waistband, hemmed it and added it to the bottom of the pants. If I can find what happened to the belt-loops that I took off the pants I might string them across the gap with a couple of cool buttons. If not it’s just a funky design element right?

So – I was half way through the topstitching before I noticed it. This, of course, is after hemming, sewing the seam, zig-zagging the seam in a very tight – almost-satin-stitch (I’m saving every bit of length I can here). And I decided that it’s down by my feet. If anybody notices one of the strippy little additions is inside-out ummmm… who cares. Actually, one of my daughters will notice. It’s amazing the details she notices. But still. *I* don’t care enough to unpick it this time. (Unlike the last time I did this.)

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  • Reply
    November 4, 2012 at 4:19 am

    I love the idea of the loops across the gap, but it looks pretty cool without them. I am built like you. I wear the same length of jeans as my hubby who is 6’1″ and I am 5’4″. I always feel like I am wearing clown pants. 😉 I love your idea of moving the extra waist fabric to the bottom. What a cool store! I save my pennies and try to purchase clothes when we visit Seattle or Portland. There is only the Macy’s, Penny’s, etc. here, so I am always on the look out for patterns and ideas to “funk up” my clothing. Enjoy your new to you outfit!

  • Reply
    Sandy Snowden
    October 26, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Another design moment. you can add a bit of pizazz and put something like a funky buttons over that part – on one leg or on both. they are arty trousers, n’est pas?. Like your idea of putting the belt loops between the gaps.
    Sandy in the UK

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