Now, for those who have not guessed yet, I am a pretty crafty person. I enjoy making jewelry and doing other forms of art. In this, I frequently look at clothing and wish I could make it. Well, I am not that great with a sewing machine. I do not make my own clothing; however, I will frequently alter my clothing and accessories to match my interests.
This was not always the case. I did not learn to alter clothing for my amusement. Instead I learned how to alter clothing out of necessity. I am rather short. At 4 foot, 11 inches, I am well below the height of any model. I frequently have to shorten my pants and alter the straps on my shirts for the outfits to fit properly. Sometimes I would get excited about an outfit and attach a small ribbon or bow to the outfit, adding a small bit of spice to the outfit.
With money being tight all around the country, altering and making clothing has become something of a national hobby. A lot of people are now sewing buttons ribbons onto outfits, taking a plain shirt and making it into a piece of work. Often times these items can even be made into pieces that are easy to remove and switch. Here are some tips I have from past successes and a lot of past failures.
- Start out with something small and simple. Start out with something like a barrette or hair tie. This will allow you to practice some simple stitches and practice attaching different materials together.
- Buy books on how to decorate and stitch outfits. These books come in a variety of different skill levels and are very educational as to how to best approach an idea.
- Try the idea of a simple, inexpensive item before trying it on a more expensive item, such as designer shirt. Clearance items are great for testing out ideas as they are inexpensive and are often constructed the same way as the more expensive items. In addition, items that are clearance items can be made into cute fashion items.
- If at all possible, keep the additions detachable. If you are altering the outfit to fit you better, then be sure to make it a permanent fix. If you are adding an alteration, make it a removable item, this way you can add it to other pieces and keep the original item intact.
- Ask for people’s opinion. If you have a good friend that you can trust to tell you the truth. There are many people who would tell you that an item looks good, even if it looks not so good. There are also people who will tell you that it is horrid simply because they are jealous of your ability to create art.
- Buy items that are designed to assist in the personalization of clothing. Examples of this would include iron on (they really should be stitched) patches for jeans and shirts, stencils and sequins.
- Change out the buttons on a shirt or blouse to update the look. The buttons will need to be checked to make sure they fit through the button holes of the shirt, but they can be changed out as often as you want.
- The distressed jeans are always going to be in style. It is possible to distress your own jeans by taking a wire brush to the jeans. This will break up the fibers and create that worn look. You can stitch in bandana material under the jeans at the distressed area to add a little piece of spice to the jeans.
With these tips, you can create an individualized and unique item to wear. This will help you to extend your wardrobe and enjoy the clothing that you are so comfortable in longer. In addition, those pieces that have been damaged through wear and tear can regain something of a second life through alteration and customizing.