Taking good care of your clothing means you can wear them for longer. Of course that’s not always good. I’ve been to several meetings recently where the pants I was wearing were older than many of my colleagues in attendance! The pants have been around so long, they’re thankfully back in style. It all comes back in fashion, doesn’t it? As long as it’s not the dirndl skirt that’s coming back. Please no dirndl skirts! Here are my 5 top tips for making clothes last longer.
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I had the best time at BlogHer Food this past weekend! With 3 days of meeting new people, making new friends, and eating delicious food, it was an absolute whirlwind trip to BlogHer Food 2012 in Seattle, Washington. I shared a hotel room with Sheila from Eat 2 Gather (pictured above with me), Sandy from Reluctant Entertainer, and Carrie from La Pomme de Portland. We stayed up chatting when we should have been sleeping and had to wake up too early in the morning to get our lipstick on and get ready for all of the conference sessions! My new briefcase was the belle of the ball and everyone wanted to take a peak at it. Here are some highlights from the weekend….
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When buying clothing second-hand, you don’t always get the best fit, especially if you can’t try the pants on first. This applies to hand-me-downs as well . Clothing can be almost but not quite the right size and you still want it to work. Knowing how to do a few basic alterations is really helpful and especially how to make a waistband smaller on pants (or shorts) or altering clothing around the middle. This is not hard but you’ll need a couple of supplies from your office supply drawer before getting started. First, you’ll need to determine the all important question: How much should you alter the waistband?
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Remember how I made my daughter’s jeans smaller by tapering the legs? Well, we had to do some more altering on another pair of jeans. These jeans still fit my daughter but were getting to be too short so I said, “Hey, how about we make these jeans into denim capris?” My daughter was thrilled. If you’re a teenage girl who’s responsible for buying your own clothes, when you’re offered a “new” pair of denim capris, you’re very excited.
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I recently discovered a sweet little shop in Portland that is a nice alternative to running all about town, spending time culling through lots of garage sales, estate sales, and second-hand stores. Patti Smith West is a vintage shop with treasures, pretty items, and unique clothing. It’s in an unexpected spot. The last time I was in the location of the store, it was a used appliance store. Patti has done wonders with the space.
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Whether you purchase a second-hand skirt because you love the fabric or you have a skirt in your closet that you no longer wear but adore the fabric, there are some very simple steps you can take to disassemble a skirt and repurpose it. Learning how to take apart a skirt is easy and you really only need 2
weapons tools – a seam ripper and a pair of very sharp sewing scissors.
What can you make with old skirts? The cloth napkins we used for our Thanksgiving dinner were made from an old Ralph Lauren skirt I no longer wore and the winter cape I sewed for my daughter is made from 2 second-hand prom dresses. This skirt is being sewn into a fall/winter table covering.
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If you’ve ever received a pile of hand-me-down clothing from me, you’ve probably wondered: Why does none of the clothing have tags in the back of the garment? Tags in clothing drive me nuts! If they drive you crazy, too, you’ll love these easy steps to removing those pesky tags while not damaging your clothing. The tool you’ll be using? A simple seam ripper. With a seam ripper, you can easily remove tags from any piece of clothing. Here is my seam ripper. I keep this one in the kitchen.
These are items I purchased at my recent trip to “The Bins.” This one is a Banana Republic knitted cotton tank. Remember, always wash your items purchased second-hand first.
Place your seam ripper under the thread, on top of the tag. By placing your seam ripper on top of the tag (as opposed to below it) you won’t find yourself tearing the garment itself. Carefully push the seam ripper through a couple of seams to get started.
Once you remove a couple of stitches, you can also get your seam ripper under the tag by wrapping it around your finger. Gently push the seam ripper to cut the remaining stitches.
Pull any loose threads out and you’re set! If you still see small holes in your garment from where the stitching was, give it a good pressing with your steam iron and the holes will disappear.
Ready for its début! I can hardly wait to wear it.
Clothing manufacturers have really clued into the tag issue and have started printing tags onto the garments themselves. It seems like a good idea for t-shirts and casual items but I don’t know if it work on a fine gauge cotton sweater like this one. And, I don’t mind using my seam ripper.
Do tags in your clothing drive you crazy, too? Do you remove tags from clothing?
Go Gingham related links:
A dining room table table-cloth for Flag Day – or another summer holiday
Thanksgiving table-cloth made for our dining room table
Matching napkins for the table-cloth – made from an old skirt
How to make a waistband smaller without pins!
How to turn jeans into capris – easier than you think!
How to make skinny jeans from wide leg jeans – make your own “jeggings”
How to mend pillow cases to improve your sleeping – hah!
How to take apart a skirt – use your seam ripper on this project!