Since most clothing is mass produced, retail stores cater to “average” body types. If you are a petite size, plus sized, or really tall like me, you might find yourself shopping at specialty shops. However, even if you fall into the “average” category or have a body shape which doesn’t necessarily fit into the mold, you will most likely find that you need to adjust or customize store-bought clothes according to your particular body. Every body is different and whether you are sewing brand new garments or adjusting ones you own or purchase, knowing how to alter clothing can come in super handy.
Simple alterations such as hemming, taking clothes in/out, or adjusting darts might seem minute, but a tiny adjustment can make a huge difference and drastically improve an ill-fitting garment. And what’s even better is that anyone can easily learn how to take up or release a hem on a pair of pants or a skirt (at times, a sewing machine is not even necessary!).
Besides mastering tricks when constructing a garment, I believe every sewer/seamstress should be as good, if not better, at tailoring a piece of clothing simply because the main focus in this process is fit. Popular tailoring techniques include: waist adjustments, adding darts, changing, adding or removing sleeves, and adjusting shoulders. Depending on the amount of adjustments, you will most likely have a garment that fits you exclusively.
Other common mending/repair alterations include: fixing broken zippers, patching up a rip, blind-sewing a tear, or replacing a lining. Accidents happen, and you’ll save time and money if you know how to fix these boo-boos on your own.
Curious about learning how to alter your clothes? Send me your questions and comments below!