DIY: At home alterations, a mini-triumph and fear of commitment
July 2, 2012
On a recent trip, my scheduled program was so boring that I ditched class. With nothing else to do in the immediate area but eat or shop, and armed with a 30% coupon for one of the nearby stores, I decided to try dowsing for a sale sweater or a jacket.
I came up empty for outerwear but found a cheerful top with decoration along the neckline, and an interesting billowy, elasticized bottom.
One problem. Armholes were too big, the neckline was too low and the sides were too big around my ribcage. Ok, three problems. Normally, I’d just put it back but experimentally, tried to pretend I had a tailor looking at it. What would they do?
My theory: Take the straps just came up a couple inches. That should take up the neckline, tends to reduce the armholes and brings the sides up so that they appear slimmer. I might be able to solve all the fit problems in one go.
With the coupon, the top came to $21 – a bargain if I managed a successful home tailoring job. Less so if it cost $5-10 at the tailor.
The sides were questionable. On a different shirt, just taking up the straps alone might not be enough to slim the sides and I wasn’t sure I’d the skill to hand-slim them, but because it was sort of tulip shaped, it might just fly.
With encouragement and a bit of advice from Kelly of Alterations Needed, I set to work. The decorations were a little tricky – the beads were actually strung on thread together before they were tacked down so I had to be even more careful about how I pulled them out, and preserve enough thread to tie off so the loose end didn’t let loose a torrent of unintended consequences.
But as PiC still can’t quite comprehend, I have a fear of commitment and can’t quite bring myself to cut away the taken up material. Not because I might need to let it out again. Just because.
I forgot to take a Before picture and the After picture is nothing to brag about. Awkward self portraits don’t really do justice to the tailoring job.
The first success emboldened me to take on a $5 final sale H&M tank top I’d never worn because the V neck was too revealing. Unfortunately, these alterations weren’t an unmitigated success.
The neckline is now just moderately appropriate but not great. It can’t come up any higher because there’s no more wiggle room in the armholes; any more and I’ll cut off circulation to my arms, and go beyond the acceptable stretch limits of the fabric as indicated by the blue circles. Ah well, win some, sort of do ok with some.
While I certainly won’t be hiring myself out as a tailor any time soon, I can save myself the cost of the odd (very little) job.
Do you do your own alterations or does everything go to the tailor? Do you get everything tailored a la Clinton and Stacy’s advice?
More on Alterations:
Well Heeled guest posted on the cost of alterations for Daisy at Add Vodka.
Mochi & Macarons on the frustrating tailoring decisions now that she’s between sizes
My recent purchases that mostly went back because they were big tailoring jobs
The Economics of Being Oddly Shaped