If you are a little reticent to rock brights head-to-toe (or, like me, are quite frankly scared to for fear of being all-too-accurately dubbed a “highlighter” by my friend Erica), here is an inexpensive, low-commitment way to dip your toe in the water.
While on a quick foray into Target recently, this shiny eye candy caught, well, my eye. Pair it with the pastel cardigan you picked up in the spring, add a pop of color to your white tee and cutoffs this summer, and use it to rock the tonal looks cropping up in the fall. At $16, you can let it go without tears when we eventually transition into more neutral territory.
While even the smallest alterations in a garment can make a big difference in how the garment looks on someone, I personally prefer to save my tailoring budget for projects that are a bit complicated (such as taking in a waist, hemming denim, or anything involving a gauzy fabric).
I’ve found that with a little (and I mean a very little) practice, it’s really easy to do a great hem on a pair of pants or a pencil skirt. Not only do I save money, but I can do it while I’m watching TV or a movie.
The best hem stitch tutorial I’ve found is by sewingwithlaura on Youtube. It’s easy to follow and creates a quality invisible hem (you can’t see it from the front side of the fabric). No more waiting to wear those fabulous linen pants you just picked up!
Now that you’ve acquired a few articles of clothing that really flatter your body type, it’s time to get them tailored so that they fit perfectly.
My favorite seamstress, Verna, is amazing at making your clothes look A.MAZ.ING, but she’s a bit camera shy, so I interviewed her off-camera to get all the juicy details about tailoring and what it can do for you.
How long have you been sewing, Verna? I made my first dress for myself when I was 11 years old. I am past retirement age now so that would be a good clue as to how long I have been at my sewing machines!! A long time no matter how you calculate.
How did you begin tailoring clothes? I started doing alterations after my daughter was born in ’72 and I was a stay at home Mom. I needed to help with the family income and actually did full dressmaking. I no longer take on that task.
What are the easiest tailoring “fixes”? The easiest are just minor fixes like to lengthen or shorten pants, skirts and day dresses.
Most difficult? The most difficult would be garments that have many pieces in the design and any piece with a lot of detail or trim, such as beading.
What are the least expensive tailoring services? Least expensive are the minor changes such as hemming and seam repairs.
Most expensive? Working on anything with lots of detail and fabrics that don’t lend well to reworking can be expensive, if it can be done at all. Fine fabrics and silks are not forgiving.
If I see an article of clothing in the store, but it doesn’t fit quite right, how can I know whether or not a tailor can fix it? If you need something made a little smaller it can be done within reason. You must take into account the seams, pockets etc and know how it will place them after the work is done. To make something bigger can be limited. There is only so much seam allowance to work with and it may not be worth the effort.
What are some fit problems that can’t really be fixed by a tailor? That would depend on t he garment and the person it is for. Bear in mind that you only have the fabric in the garment to work with. You can take away but you can’t add fabric. Your tailor must be reasonably sure that he can alter the garment to your specifications.
What is your favorite sewing project that you’ve ever done? I love making a bride happy with the fit of her gown. I recently did the bride and bridesmaid gowns for my granddaughters wedding. They were all beautiful. My other favorite project is my quilting that I do for myself and my family. I learn something every time I go to work on a quilt and it is an art form all its own.
Any other suggestions? Try to get references or recommendations for a tailor or seamstress. If that doesn’t work try to see how long they have been doing it. Sometimes simple work can be done by the alterations person at your local dry cleaners. Anything that is very involved should be done by a reputable tailor.