Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jeans - cheap enough I can justify hemming

I picked up some pairs of jeans back in the summer at a yard sale for $1 each.  Plus recently I was at the Goodwill and happened upon another 3 pairs of jeans in my size and got them for roughly $2.50 each.  Of the yard sale jeans, I hemmed 2 of them almost right away so I could wear them while the third pair languished in my pile.  I finally got around to hemming the last pair this weekend.  5" off the length - 4.5" cut leaving 1/2" for the hem.  Of course they came out about a half inch shorter than I would have liked.  Even though I cuffed them while wearing them to confirm where they'd hit.  Figures.

Of the Goodwill jeans, two pairs didn't need hemming!  Miracle of miracles.  One of those did need a small patch on one of the legs.  The denim was wearing through.  Since I didn't want to draw more attention to the spot, I patched it on the inside using hem tape to seal down a patch over the whole area.  Feels a little weird when I first put them on, but I don't notice it while I'm wearing them.  Victory!  The one pair that did need to be hemmed still needs hemming unfortunately.  Haven't gotten around to it yet.  Probably have to cut off the excess since they need around 3" taken off.  Will measure twice to avoid the same fate as the yard sale jeans.

Hemming jeans is my least favorite alteration.  My sewing machine isn't powerful enough to sew through denim at all, let along multiple layers.  That means I have to do the top stitching by hand.  So tedious.  I could just use hem tape, but I like the look of the top stitching around the bottom.  It camouflages that I had to hem them in the first place.  I was only willing to go through that effort since I picked the jeans up for cheap secondhand.  If I was willing to pay new jean prices - they better fit me without my having to alter them.  This way I'm reusing jeans, which is environmentally friendly, and saving my money, which is frugal.  Win-win

Free dresses!

Hey there, sorry for the long hiatus from posting.  Life intrudes when you least expect it - and then it won't leave you be.  Between moving and illness I wasn't able to get much done, but I did get in some alterations and such small projects.

I was lucky enough to be the recipient of some free dresses from a friend of mine.  They didn't fit her anymore.  They fit me, but I am significantly shorter than she is.  So hemming was definitely going to have to happen (story of my life).

 This sundress was the easiest to hem.  It was only roughly 1.5" too long so I was able to fold up the existing hem the extra margin.  I machine sewed the new hem and catch-stitched the rest of the hem up so it wouldn't fall down and look weird.  The bottom line of top stitching is the new hem.  The middle line of stitching is the original hem that is now hidden.  Then along the top is the catch stitching to keep the excess up out of the way.

The second sundress I haven't attempted to hem yet.  It's current length is roughly 6" too long for me and will require cutting to get it knee-length on me.  I'm hesitant to cut into it because I'm concerned about cutting the new bottom edge evenly.  Not sure how I'm going to do it.  Here's the original length and what it will look like after hemming - I pinned it up a little haphazardly to get a feel for the new length.

The third sundress I managed to not take any pictures of.  I will remedy that once it's dry (washed after hemming).  It's a halter top style, blue flower fabric.  The length was similar to the plaid dress.  I only had to take it up 2" so I used the same strategy of simply folding it up, topstitching the new hem, and catch-stitching the excess.

The fourth and last dress I was given is very different.  It's a shirt dress in an eye-catching light teal and brown colour combo.  It has a self fabric belt that disappears into the dress.  Besides that it also needs hemming, but not too much I think.  I'm going back and forth on whether I like it since the fabric isn't a pattern I would have bought for myself for a dress.  Plus I've never owned a shirt dress before.  I think I'm going to keep my eye out for a wide dark brown belt to pair with it.  I think that would ground the pattern a bit more.

So out of those 4 dresses, 2 are hemmed so far.  Two to go.