Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DIY: Un-Seam-ly

Sewing is a lost domestic art. My mom used to make some of her clothing from scratch and she’s still my go-to for questions about how to modify store-bought items. She enrolled me in a sewing class when I was nine or ten and I’m grateful that I now know how to sew both by hand and by machine.

It’s so important to understand sewing basics; there’s no need to throw out that shirt just because it’s missing a button or those jeans just because they’ve got a little hole! Plus, you can modify your clothes so that they better fit your body type or pick up a salvage item at a place like Jeremy’s and have fun with a fixer-upper. For tall people, there are a couple of basic, indispensible sewing techniques that I promise will make your life easier.

1. Moving buttons

Knowing how to remove and reattach buttons is essential, and it’s nice to have the option of moving buttons on a pea coat or sweater to make a little extra room. Plus, once you know how to thread a needle, you can also fix any little garment holes or snags you may have accumulated.

Here’s a slightly better explanation from TLC about how to knot the thread when you’re done sewing the button on: Insert the needle under the button stitches on the backside of the garment. Pull the thread partially through, forming a loop. Insert the needle through the loop, and pull the thread snugly to form a knot.

Ready for something a little more involved?

2. Taking down a hem

Pants too short? Let out the existing hem on a pair of pants and create a new one. This straight-forward article covers the easiest way to take down a hem-by simply measuring a new one and sewing it in place. If you find that you need to take the hem down almost completely (or if you just want to make your alterations look professional), you might want to "face" the hem with extra material. This demo is really thorough and easy to follow, if a little tedious to watch:

For you sewing experts out there ready to tackle larger creative projects, check out Sewing Tutorials and Sew Mama Sew for great tips and ideas.

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