Here are some clothing repair and alteration challenges I have faced as a dressmaker. I do enjoy a good challenge.
I hope it serves also to provide hope. Something usually can be done to improve the clothing malfunction.
The hot iron disasters
Who hasn’t melted fabric under too hot a iron?
The solution usually involves cutting away the melted material and replacing the hole with a patch. The example melt below was the lining in a jacket so luckily the appearance wasn’t so important as much as ensuring the now raw exposed seams in the jacket didn’t detoriate further.
Bridesmaid dress melt down
A bridesmaid contacted me after arriving on the Sunshine Coast just 24hours before the wedding. She advised that whilst travelling to the coast the tail lights in her car had burnt holes in the bridesmaid dress that was in the car boot. The very gathered skirt, attached to the bodice had several large burn holes and the back of the bodice had terrible burn holes right through the layered bodice. The bridesmaid had a lovely figure and didn’t much care for the overly gathered skirt style so was very happy at my suggestion to remove the excess gathers that had burns and remake the skirt for a more fitted look. The back of the bodice was patched with some of the discarded fabric. Just look at the result! Happy bridesmaid. Wedding disaster averted.
Darn those jeans!
Boy oh boy have I seen some really destroyed near-death jeans and shorts and brought them back to live to tell another story! I could publish a book if only I had taken more photos along the way.
My favourite was a fisherman who lived in the Northern Territory who would visit me frequently to repair his “lucky fishing shorts”. Though they looked fit for the garbage bin to me they were his very lucky shorts for fishing. I repaired new holes and patched the worn out parts many many times. It was my thrread and patches that held them together way past the years they should have lived.
Men I found, become quite attached to their shorts and jeans, more than women. I suspect
It has more to do with the reluctance to shop for clothing. Patching and darming jeans can add to their character (the pants not the man!)
I also patch and repair work business pants.
I find business pants seem to focus on looking stylish but aren’t very durable for the 5-6 day a week grind. It’s no wonder they wear a little thin, particularly where fabric is rubbing and seams just not holding together where you really really need them to! Like the very worn out butt in the pants below.
So don’t despair. Bring me your favourite jeans or work pants and let me do my magic.
Then there was the very expensive jeans that got ripped when the young man got into “a bit of trouble”. The rip began at the zipper right down the inner thigh. He was devastated and didn’t think any thing could be done to save them.
See the before and after miracle photos below.
Not thrilled with the button fly?
If you’re not happy with the fiddly button fly I can change it to a zipper fly complete with good strong easy slide metal teeth!
Ok so it’s a NO to the Man Bag?
I repair lots of torn pockets which I see as a result of men overloading their pockets with all the things that could be carried in a man-bag. I’m a big fan of the man-bag!
Sometimes the inseam side pocket suffers or the back pocket like the example below. The latter is the more difficult to repair but a sewing solution can be achieved.
Online Shopping Reality
So the dress arrived and doesn’t quite look like it did online? There’s a bit too much poof and the bling is a bit nasty?
One such experience involved too much dress than expected. The girl was drowning in the “grecian” over gathered excess fabric dress. Look at the transformation. The girl reckons a miracle had been performed as her body shape looked so much better. Yes, another “Deb@iSew4U miracle” has been performed. 😇
Have you been the victim of online clothes shopping gone wrong? Here is an example of a customer’s online purchase that when it arrived looked like a complete loss. But I was able to save the outfit and she was able to wear it to the wedding as planned. 😊
Torn & Worn
A very special motor cycle jacket had become quite damaged through wear and tear. Deb@iSew4U was able to darn and patch it so I could be worn again. The customer was thrilled. In fact months after the repair the customer sent another thank you as he is just so grateful each time he puts it on. How nice to be appreciated
Below shows the difference replacing the worn shabby trim on a top can make. This one was a faux leatherette so it had begun to peel. Looks amazing now.
Some things just don’t last forever
I have inserted so much elastic it must get a mention. The stuff doesn’t last and when it’s no longer doing it’s job it needs to be replaced and then your clothing item is like new again. I have also inserted elastic into items such as fitted sheets.
And of course there are broken zippers
Those things can just go at anytime without any warning! There are some less than good quality zippers out there but none are invincible to the zipper malfunction issues that I see in big numbers every week.
The most common zipper problem is the tape part of the zipper gets a hole, usually at a point where the slider frequently would get stuck, like at the waistline because hopefully it cinches in a bit and that angle causes the slider to poke in and eventually a hole is formed and the slider will no longer slide by. This occurs more in the invisible zipper because the tape is much finer.
Apart from the many zipper replacements I have performed in all clothing items (pants, jeans, dresses, skirts & jackets) I also replace zippers in cushion covers and sleeping bags.
I also repair toys!
Want more flare?
Unlike the alteration above where there was too much fabric, sometimes more is needed.
Below is an example of customer wanting to transform her “A-line” dress into a rockabilly full circle skirt. This was achieved by inserting contrasting panels to complete the circle.
Want it BACKLESS?
Wanting to pimp up her dress the customer wanted the back of the dress which zipped up to bra level to now become a backless dress! See the transformation below.
For more information about Clothing Alteration & Repairs or other services offered at iSew4U Nambour Alterations & Dressmaking :
Visit website www.iSew4U.org Mob 0414 388 238 E: Deb@iSew4U.org