Thursday 26 August 2010

Mending and Alterations

Ah, mending! I'd never throw things away just because they lost a button or ripped a seam but my goodness mending things is dull. It's right up there with ironing on my "loathed domestic chores" list and despite sewing things for a living the mending pile is often neglected for months.

So I'm feeling very virtuous this week for getting a top darned, a rip in a cardigan mended and two pairs of too-long trousers hemmed. Hurrah!

I'm also thinking about tackling another "make do and mend" project, altering another vintage dress that's been lurking unworn in my wardrobe for years.

I love this dress - the florals! the multicoloured buttons! the ric rac trim! - but I never wear it because the sleeves are just too huge. They start out as a sensible width and balloon out to these big flappy things that while being deliciously retro are completely impractical for anything other than a fancy dress party.

I'd love to be able to wear this dress all through the autumn, with bright tights and cardigans but to do that I need to alter the sleeve to make them more wearable (and to make them fit under my cardigan sleeves!) ... making them narrower and maybe adding a cuff? I predict much googling of sewing tutorials in my future!


Scented Sweetpeas said...

Can't wait to see what you do with it :-)

loveaphid said...

Hello there,
I love your blog and stop by often, but this is the first time I have left a comment. First THANK you for all of your awesome inspirations. Secondly the main reason for the comment... The minute I saw this dress I thought...I think she should ditch the sleeves all together. it would be super cute jumper you could wear over a turtle neck or blouse. Just my $.02. Again thanks for the great blog.

Unknown said...

I neglect my repair pile too, except Chloe's things which are always fixed first.

The dress is really lovely, are you wanting to keep the full sleeve length, only I was thinking maybe a 3/4 length sleeve with a split cuff would be nice. If you have the spilt in the cuff at the back of the sleeve it'll give ease for the elbow bend if there isn't any stretch in the fabric. Pity to lose the detailing at the cuff edge though.

Can't wait to see what you do with it.

Tumus said...

You could make a jumper, well what us over in the States call a jumper.
Here's a link:

It does get rid of the sleeves, but I think you could totally work this, especially paired with a fitted shirt underneath and tights :)

Emily said...

Wow I have an evergrowing mending pile! Mostly just sewing on buttons, which should be a really quick task and yet never gets done!

Maybe that will be my job for the weekend... or not!

Bugs and Fishes said...

loveaphid - thanks for your comment (I'm so glad you've been enjoying the blog!)

Thanks for the "jumper" suggestion guys... unfortunately I don't think my dressmaking skills are quite up to that much alteration, and I would quite like to keep that sleeve detail if I can. I like the 3/4 sleeve / split cuff idea... possibly I can use the floral when I make the new cuff?

Lots to think about! :)