Lately I’ve been getting a lot of questions from readers and friends about wardrobe maintenance and how they can extend the life of their clothes and make them look better – split seams, missing buttons, holey socks, and hems all at the wrong length. And I’m a huge proponent of making friends with your tailor and letting the pros do what the pros are best at…but honestly? You can do a lot of this yourself with a teensy bit of practice and a couple of spare hours. So do it, folks. Read on!
Re-attaching a button is the most common repair my friends ask me to do for them—most likely because the buttons in factory-made garments aren’t securely attached, and as a result they drop off at the drop of a hat. And what’s more, most people reattach their buttons themselves in the most intuitive way possible, but in doing so, they unknowingly forget the most important step. [A bonus: if you learn to do this well, you can completely change the look of an entire garment just by replacing the buttons.]
The whipstitch is a stitch used for hemming, or for decorative edges. Your tailor can adjust the hems of long skirts or pants for you if you’re really disinclined to sew, but it’s so easy to do yourself, so why don’t you?
If you need to fix a torn machine-sewn garment without a sewing machine, the backstitch is your best bet. Do it up
Your socks and thick winter tights take a beating every time you wear them, and throwing them in the dryer isn’t doing them any favors. You’re going to end up with holes before you know it. But before you toss out any of your pretty legwear, get yourself a darning mushroom and fix ‘em.
Later this week I’m going to write a little bit more about altering garments so they fit better and last longer. Have a specific question you want to ask about it? Get in touch.