So, Can You Sew?

button hole

NOBODY seems to sew any more. Maybe a few crafty projects or a mend here and there, but otherwise we imagine there are thousands of sewing machines gathering dust around the world. Think of it this way: if we all sewed, we’d have no time to shop!

Jeanne remembers the day when she made all her work clothes: tailored blazers! dresses! pants! blouses! In fact, she sewed pretty much everything until Kate was born. Kate went through a very brief curiosity about sewing in her early teens and did indeed make a dress and a few skirt.

So we get it: very few of us are going to become talented seamstresses. But we can all use some tips on how to make our clothes look their very best.

First, if your clothes need MAJOR alterations, go to a tailor or seamstress who can help you.

Secondly, let’s get basic mending out of the way. Let’s face it, you won’t look remotely like a fashionista if your outfit is missing buttons or any other fasteners or if a seam or hem is ripped. Here are a few good basic instructions along with guidelines for assembling a basic sewing kit.

Shortening or lengthening your skirts, dresses, and pants: Again, if it is complicated, go to a professional. But you can do this on your own with a tape measure, needle and thread. Watch this video for some basic instructions.

Other upgrades: There are lots of upgrades you can do to make your clothes appear more expensive and customized than they are. Consider upgrading the buttons on a coat or blazer, adding fasteners for wrap dresses and skirts as well as gaping blouses.

We’re great fans of studying the details on more expensive clothes in the store and then adding some of the details we’ve seen to our apparel. Take a look at an expensive and less expensive version of an item you’ve admired and note the differences. Can you make an upgrade with a simple needle and thread?

Do you sew? Do you have any basic upgrades you like to do?


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2 Comments on So, Can You Sew?

  1. Madeline // Style Me Thrifty
    May 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm (4 years ago)

    I am going to use this post as motivation to refresh my sewing skills. I took fashion merchandising in high school and had to sew an outfit for our fashion show (let’s just say it was during the “backless” top trend so I made a top that had two strings keeping that thing together, lord!). I’ve since lost my skills but would love to tailor more things on my own.

    • Kate
      May 1, 2014 at 6:04 pm (4 years ago)

      I’d love to see a photo of that top, Maddy 🙂

      I really need to brush up on my basic skills – despite those few items I made, I haven’t done much since then!


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