Guide to Clothing Alterations

Have you ever considered learning how to do your own clothing alterations? Don't you just hate buying your clothes off the rack and finding that none of it fits quite right? Maybe you've lost some weight and your favorite shirt just doesn't fit like it used to and you need to make some clothing alterations. The problem, however, is that you just realized you have no idea how to do it or even where to start. Here are easy to follow steps that will help you learn to alter clothing yourself.

Consider the style
When measuring yourself for an alteration, remember how the article is supposed to fit your body. Is it meant to be loose or somewhat form fitting? You don't want to try to change the entire nature of the piece if you are only adjusting it to fit it properly.

Check your inseam
If you are taking out or letting in a pair of pants, make sure the inseam allows about two fingers to fit comfortably between you and the pants. Anything tighter can pinch and anything looser will gather.

The shoe factor
For pant legs and cuffs, if you know what shoes you will be wearing most often with the pants, be sure to wear them while you make the length decision of the pant leg. This way you will know exactly how it will look when you are done.

Get help
It's better to have someone else actually make the needed marks on the clothing since you will be wearing it at the time of the marking. Any bending you may do to make a mark will change how the clothing looks and may result in a bad alteration.

Have an alternation kit
Aside from a sewing kit or sewing machine, there are certain things you will need to make the alteration process a smooth one. Here's a quick list:

  • Measuring tape
  • Clothing marker
  • Stick pins
  • Scissors
  • Wrist pin cushion

There are also a lot of great websites out there that can walk you through the alteration process. Always remember when altering clothing to look carefully at the article on you before you make any changes. Once you remove fabric, it is a lot harder to add it back to the garment without making it look wrong. Remember the old carpenter's adage: Measure twice, cut once.

Doing your own clothing alterations is a great way to save some money, since you can learn how to change something to fit instead of having to buy a completely new item. Take some time and learn how to alter your own clothing and you will find a great way to save money and maybe even a new hobby.

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