Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Goodwill Clothes Alteration Hacks

I haven't posted about thrift store shopping in awhile.
Never fear....that does not mean I haven't done any thrift store shopping!

This week I was perusing the selection of pants in my closet.  Yikes...it is filled almost entirely with black pants and jeans leggings with some fancier pairs for dressier events.
I pretty much live in Yoga pants until it is time to go out.  Then casual is the rule. Ahh...the life of a retiree!

I headed to the thrift store this week with the goal of finding some summer pants that were not jeans or black!  It is usually a mistake to go to the thrift store with a specific item in mind.  Mostly that will be disappointing.



But the Good Will gods must have been watching over me this time.
I found not one, but three pair of summer pants.
AND.....a super cute summer sundress.

But here is the deal!
They were the perfect PRICE....but not the perfect fit.

Instead of passing these bargains up....I knew with very little time and effort I could cure what ailed them.

 I am pretty short so almost any pair of pants is going to need hemming up!
The red pants were the right length but were not tapered enough.....
The white pair and khaki pair needed hemming.....
The sundress hit the floor and then some on little me....and I wanted tea length because I know I will get more wear out of it.


Knowing how to do some basic alterations and/or tailoring is one secret for success at the thrift store.




If you think you have no sewing skills.....remember....the items you are working with cost less than a glass of wine in a restaurant!  You can take a risk and see what happens.

Here are my favorite alteration hacks:

Hemming: 
  • Sometimes the easiest thing to do is just turn the existing hem under and do a few tacks with a needle;
  • Fusible hem tape is a great time saver if you don't feel like sewing.
  • Tightly woven knits like athletic leggings with lots of spandex can just be cut off with no stitching.  You will be amazed at how well the raw edge stands up to washing.
  • Alas...sometimes you need to do an actual hem....but don't stress with finishing with hemtape and all that.  Just cut them off....turn it up and stitch. 
 Straps:
  • So many cute tops and dresses have spaghetti straps.  When you try on an item....pull those straps up to see if the top looks better. It is an easy fix to tack the shortened strap to the inside of the back.  This trick fixes a couple of fit problems....saggy bodice, loose underarms, and in some cases, pulling the straps up makes the waistline fit better too.
 
Under the arm:

  • When you see a top that looks just a little too big, sometimes it is a matter of just taking in the side seam.  This works especially well with sleeveless tanks.  The added benefit here is that you can fit the underarm area and taper it to the bottom.  This gives a little more room for your bottom too!
Baggy Legs:

  • I like the look of fitted skinny legs on most casual pants.  These cute red pants are a great example.  By tapering the inside leg seam just 1/2 and inch, they went from way to "preppy" and hard to find shoes for....to perfect casual with sandals or flats.

Every one of these alterations can be done with a straight stitch with the sewing machine or a few simple hand stitches.
It is definitely worth remembering when you find something wonderful at the thrift store that has "possibilities"!

OR....you can call a friend who sews :)
OR...you can find a tailor shop.

AND....all of the above also works for any bargain shopping you do.  If you find a good deal....but the fit isn't good....think of the possibilities for a quick alteration.

Wishing you a wonderful day!





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