It’s so silly how often I put off mending. This month I participated in Alter It August, a sewing challenge urging makers to tackle their alterations piles. It was all the motivation I needed to get started on my stack. It felt so good to get stuff done! I’m grateful to Mia of Sew North for hosting this challenge and giving us all a gentle shove toward alterations, repair and refashions.
Initially I thought this challenge would help me get through my pile of clothes that needed attention. I ended up loving it! I gained so much satisfaction from checking an item off my list, and even more satisfaction in seeing these items back in my wardrobe rotation!
I thrifted this romper back in 2016 and it’s one of my favorite summer pieces. The back waistband is elasticated and there’s a deep keyhole back fastened with a button at the neckline. That button had been falling off for some time. When I finally went to fix it, I noticed that the keyhole was wearing out and the stitching at the crotch was coming loose. All easy fixes that help extend the life of my favorite playsuit!
I made this Simplicity 1166 skirt last September. Since last fall, I’ve gained some weight which and there was some visible stress around the pleats. Since the waistband sits fine, I decided to take my seam ripper to those closed pleats and converted them to open ones. So easy! I also noticed that the side seam at the bottom of the pocket was coming loose, so I reinforced those pocket seams.
I got these crotch-worn Levi’s from my mom in hopes of repairing them. In all honesty I didn’t really think I could do it. I think I was really expecting to fail. But I freaking did it! They turned out so well and they’re so comfortable.
I used Heather Lou’s tutorial on the Closet Case blog as a blueprint. Instead of fusible interfacing, I used another stretch denim from my stash. I tried the method with lowering the feed dogs for more mobility, but I had an easier time on regular settings using the back stitch for the long lines and then using a zigzag stitch for larger areas. The blog is geared toward invisible mending, which wasn’t really important to me, but it’s still a great resource. I’m so happy with my “new” jeans!
Chopping up this dress is one of the best sewing decisions I’ve made possibly ever. The bodice of this Chalk + Notch Orchid Midi was too big and I felt really frumpy in it, but the dress was really special to me. It represents so many key learnings and the details are so beautiful. I’m so glad I opted to refashion it instead of giving it up. Now I have a beautiful skirt that I wear all the time. Like all the time, probably twice a week. It went from being something I never wore to a wardrobe staple.
I enjoyed Alter It August way more than I thought. Many thanks again to Mia of Sew North for that little nudge to attend to the items already in our wardrobes. I didn’t get to everything on my list, but that now I know how important and easy it is to take time out for mending, I’ll be prioritizing those little projects. Clothing care is such an important step toward a more sustainable wardrobe. Plus it was super fun and I have some lovely new options in my closet!
‘Til next time, happy sewing!