Sometimes it only takes a tiny thing to take something from old and tired to fresh and new.
Meet my gray wool cardigan that my mom bought me for my birthday several years ago. The binding was coming unattached at the back of the neck, so I hadn't worn it in ages. I knew I could stitch it up, but didn't think I could stitch it up very neatly, and though I used to be quite comfortable wearing holey clothes around (I went to college in the early 90s…grunge was hot), I felt maybe I ought to look a little bit more grown up and responsible than that these days!
So…I stitched it up, sloppy as can be, then sewed a ruffle to it to hide it. The ruffle was just a piece of ribbon left over from who knows what…probably some kind of gift wrap or packaging or something. I really don't know. I just sewed a long stitch right down the middle of the ribbon, without backstitching at either end, then grabbed a thread and pulled until it was all gathered and ruffled to my satisfaction. Then I pinned away and sewed it on.
And wore it. Once. Then I found that the collar was pulling away on the other side…time to do some more hand-stitching!
Below is a shirt/dress/tunic I got ages and ages ago…at the GAP outlet, judging by the slashed tag. Somehow I did once upon a time wear it as a dress. But it shrank and I grew, and now I can wear it with jeans…but no way can I get away with it by itself! The label says dry clean only, but I've been washing it all this time, so that probably explains much of the shrinkage. That may also explain the weird color shift the buttons have done. I think they were actually navy to match the dress when I bought it. I pulled it out of my summer clothes box the other day and wore it and realized that those buttons really looked dumb. I also realized that sewing a button on is not rocket science. So I found some lovely buttons at JoAnn Fabrics and viola! An updated tunic.
How many articles of clothing do you have that you haven't worn because they need a 10-minute repair?
Since first writing this post, I've also altered a dress (un-puffing some sleeves) and a skirt (de-bulking some crazy inverted pleats) that I'd been meaning to get to for ages. I've got pants to hem and another pair to sew a hook to…easy, small things that are way cheaper than going out and buying a new pair!