Tag Archives: altering

Work it!

I say I don’t really care about clothes, yet so much of my fiber time is spent on things to go on my body, and I poke around ravelry and blogs from people making nothing but clothing, so perhaps it is more that I don’t give a damn about fashion, but I am interested in what covers my hide – especially plant and animal fuzz in variations not found off the rack.

During our last couple of moves I got rid of nearly all of my warmer weather work-work clothes – most were looking a bit shabby, many never fit well or as comfortably as I’d have liked, and the rest were useless for working from home. I kept a couple of things for the rare warm weather meeting or conference, but the majority of work events in my then field took place in colder times or colder cities so my uniform of thrift store cashmere sweaters and woolen trousers or skirts was vast and has endured. The rest of my current duds were best for actual work (gardening or home improvement), hiking and other outdoor pursuits, or a few “nice” pairs of yoga pants and jeans for running to the grocery.

But…

I finally landed a new job – albeit part-time and temporary, but enough to keep my head above water until I figure out what comes next – but I had exactly two warm-weather work-work appropriate outfits for three days a week, and the late summer heat has kept them sweaty and in the wash.

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So I raided my fabric stash for new clothes to sew (still haven’t made anything yet*), my thrifted clothes in the fabric stash for things I could actually wear now instead of cutting them up for quilts and whatnot (a few shirts are good to go, and another few could be altered), and my current clothes that needed to be mended or improved.

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A pair of old pants with newly cleaned-up hems failed to make the cut – and I’m thinking about undoing them to go back to their pleasant shreddiness, but my time would be vastly better spent doing other things, right? And there’s a small hole in the butt that will probably send them into the gardening/home improvement only category soon anyway.

And linen, once well worn and oh-so-soft and floppy (especially if purchased used to begin with) needs to stay in the hammock or beach.

But now two other pairs of pants have that annoying interior button again (that sometimes causes me to forget to zip my fly since I’ve already just dealt with two fastenings) but prevents wardrobe malfunction and helps the button band to lay flat. And a cardigan has a top button again after a few wonderful hours spent in my button stash (that were entirely for naught since I found the perfect matching spare button still attached to the inside hem).

And I rescued a few of my old blouses for more practicality (rather than just being worn under sweaters) by sewing the button band closed so it wouldn’t gape open – this is something I should have done to several of them even before I had increasing fit issues. And depending on the shirt and/or the temperature and humidity outside, I can’t bear to wear a tank top underneath otherwise, so this was an excellent fix.

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I stitched both sides of the button placket closed, with the inside one in doubled thread and ugly but sturdy stitches, and the outside one in more delicate single thread stitches so they wouldn’t show and the edge wouldn’t crumple inward.

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(And now I can retire a few safety pins too…)

But in the end, I also went shopping – for a few new things, not used.

And I bought several items for cheap made with dubious fiber blends, made in dubious ways (though a few things were made in USA with “imported” fiber) and I feel bad – but only sort of – I haven’t the time or the money or the wherewithal to make meaningful choices at this point. But now I have enough to tide me over into my old, mostly used, but still in good condition cold weather clothes.

Now that I’m properly clothed, I just have to figure out how not to catch every aerosolized germ from being among other humans in a cube farm again…

*There’s just enough air-conditioning to thwart my plans for some easy cotton skits and dresses, but I’ve got a courdoroy-ish skirt that I started years ago and would like to finish now, and a reason to finally figure out how to use my buttonholer.

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Filed under collecting, recycling, sewing, thrifting, unemployment

An improved jacket

Lately I’ve been re-working woolen clothes – both my own old ones and new thrift shop scores.  Or rather, I have an overflowing box of items I intend to re-work, but have only managed to completely finish a few lately.  I found this jacket or blazer  in early January and it perfectly matches a scarf* I made a few years ago.  And yes, I previously raged against pink a little when it falls under a raspberry or pepto influence, but I love this dirty old lavender-ish rose.

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The jacket had some issues though – the plastic buttons looked wrong and cheap and were probably a replacement, there was a large hole in the bottom hem, the sleeves were hack-hemmed way too short, and at first I liked the little brown triangles at the pockets because I thought they were suede and I like mixing browns and greys thank you very much, but on closer inspection they turned out to be Ultrasuede or other sort of microfiber… ick.   And then the label puzzled me as well:

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It looks like an older style, but the little content tag underneath it looks more recent, but the sizing is oldschool too – says it’s a 14, but fits more like a 4 or 6 – or is it foreign?  I can’t find anything online about Ms. Alice Carol except a few other pieces [mis-dated in my opinion] on Etsy, so my best guess is that it’s from the late 1970s…?  I also feel that it was sufficiently altered from its original state so I could continue to monkey around with it.  It doesn’t look like I did much now, but I:

let out the cuffs to the bitter end removed the sleeve buttons stitched up the side wrist gap re-hemmed the cuffs re-attached the sleeve lining repaired the hole on the bottom took off the Ultrasuede triangles cut new grey wool triangles but then didn’t like they way they looked and didn’t feel like sewing them on then made and attached my own covered buttons** out of a pair of my brother’s old grey wool pants of about the same age that match the grey stripe that you really don’t see in the pictures [did you get that in one breath?]

Much better.

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* For those who are savvy or nebbie, you could find this scarf pattern for free on ravelry, but I’m in the middle of re-writing and charting it and hope to re-post it soon as a buy-it pattern (never mind that only very few have made it for free so far) but one can hope [or have the right to have delusions] right?

** Oh how I love you, DIY button blanks – why were you waiting so long to come into my life?  Will I ever tire of you?  But have you been in my life long enough to know that you’ll hold up through many unbuttonings and buttonings and banging into things?

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Filed under recycling, sewing, thrifting