Browse Tag: tutorial

How to Hem Jeans

If you cannot view this video please view it on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3_lYrfOSN0

I went through all my blog posts and was surprised to see I haven’t posted a tutorial on how to hem your jeans or pants! I have done this basic tutorial in the form of a YouTube video so that you can follow step by step how I change my pants to be slightly shorter. I find most women do not sew anything for themselves, let alone alter their own pants to fit. Unless you’re buying new you can’t pick and chose the length of your jeans! Most times I end up with pants that are way too long. The only time I don’t have to alter them is the boyfriend or cropped style which is mean to be capri length.

I hope you find this tutorial useful! Be warned if you are highly trained in the art of sewing, I do not use correct terminology – technique or fancy bells and whistles. This is a basic, beginner tutorial to get by!

Reviving Broken Jewellery

JEWELLERYALTERATIONSI can honestly say one of my favourite past-times is creating or reconstructing jewellery. Enough so that I have my own business doing it! In regards to thrifting mind you, if you can wield a pair of small pliers you can save a ton of money on jewellery and accessories. Most stores wouldn’t be too keen on selling broken jewellery, or they sell it at a serious discount – which is great news for those of us on a tight budget!

I have been finding more and more earrings are being made too heavy for what they are. For example I picked up a few packages of $1 earring sets that were made as posts, I wore one pair for a few hours only to be driven mad by them falling forward and pulling my earlobe down. This is not a result of me wearing heavy earrings for years (because I haven’t been!) its simply a cheap design.

Granted it takes a moment and you do run the risk of the post snapping off completely if its really cheaply made, but a simple loop of the post wire can make a huge difference in whether or not a pair of earrings is wearable!

With my finger I bend the post as far upwards as I can make it without pressing too hard so that it doesn’t completely snap. Usually the tiny piece at the end of the post snaps off because of the dent manufactures put in it to hold the backs on. Using a pair of needle nose pliers I can slowly create a loop in the post wire. Combining the strength of my fingers and stability of the plier, I wiggle the looped post as close to the top centre as possible so I can ensure the earring will dangle straight.

Depending on the style of earring hooks you find, you can add it directly to the loop you just made OR you can add a jump ring in between. This is also great if you want to have a bit of dangle rather than a solid earring hanging down. I went on a tangent that morning and essentially changed every pair of large post based earrings I had into regular fish hook style earrings. The only post-style earrings I have left are tiny studs which I like the way they are.

As per my post about my vibrant Orange and Blue outfit on December 6th, I discuss how you can find great broken jewellery at thrift stores for $1! Here is another great example of a piece that I redesigned using what Value Village called a “broken” necklace. I thought the red and black rhinestone design was quite cool especially since I feel like there is no longer red in my wardrobe at all this would be a good way to start adding it back.

BLACKREDNECKLACE Unfortunately I was too efficient in taking this apart without thinking of snapping a quick photo first! What you don’t know is that this set was originally just one necklace with 8 interconnected sections. I only ended up throwing out one section, but was able to salvage some of the rhinestones that I needed to re-embellish the few I was needing to fix. I then needed to snap off extra unwanted loops with pliers.

The earrings were slightly more tricky to complete as each piece had a different arrangement of loops on the side depending on where it was in the original necklace. I salvaged two pieces that had the same loops – but needed to add a small chain in order to add a centered earring hook. Luckily being a designer I had all the required materials on hand and was able to complete the task without too much trouble.

 

Tutorial: How to Close the Gap!

I have come to believe that all clothing is made to fit a variety of shapes and sizes, but that “fit” might not be what’s best for you no matter what you try. We are not built the same, our bodies retain weight in different areas and we sometimes never lose or gain it in the places we hope for. For instance my shape is very hour glass, my thighs and hips are a healthy size – small waist – and then back out for my ribcage. Now most would think this is an easily flattering womanly shape to have, but if you are this shape, you know that isn’t always an easy task.

I cannot speak to all shapes but having seen thousands of women try on clothing at the store, I know its very few and far between when an outfit fits your shape perfectly first try. More often than not is the “model-esque” bodies that appear to look the best in everything, but that is mainly the result of these women having essentially no body fat or curves to worry about. The clothing appears to hang loosely off their body as the designer probably intended. Often we will sigh and say the designers these days just aren’t making clothes to fit “real” women, when really we should be saying to ourselves: this doesn’t work for me, but there will be one that will.

How to Close the GapIn my case bottoms are a real challenge. I have a sizable behind, wide hips and thick thighs – but my waist is very small. Naturally I have to go a size up to fit in the thigh and bum. This also means I will have a lovely gap at the back of my pants due to the serious difference in size between said tush and waist area. Luckily there is a rather simple fix to this issue, so long as you are will to spend a few minutes sewing!

How to Close the Gap I’m now at a point where I don’t really have to measure the amount that it needs to come in, its a rough 1 inch typically. After analysing the fit of the pants in the mirror I estimate how much needs to be taken in. Flipping the pants inside out, I can fold the amount that needs to be removed from the top of the waist to the point where it will meet my bum. This is the length that the “dart” will need to be.

How to Close the Gap Now that you have an idea of how much space needs to be removed, my first step is to unpick the label that is inevitably sewn right into the back of the pants. If you’re lucky it’ll be screen printed to the actual fabric and you won’t have to do this tedious task! Once the label is out you will have an easier time removing the belt loop. Set it aside for reattaching later.

How to Close the Gap With the belt loop off and the label removed you can now fold the centre back of the pants at the seam. I like to fold it tightly and pin so that it doesn’t shift, making sure the reverse side seam is lined up. This isn’t crucial its just a nice little detail to be aware of. I often forget!

How to Close the Gap With my sewing machine I begin with a stitch that runs from the top of the fold (in this case about 1 cm into the fold) and angle the stitch slowly toward the edge of the pant. This so called “dart” makes the alteration taper nicely, unnoticeable even!

How to Close the Gap Once your folded stitch has been completed – I usually do it a max of 2 inches long – try the pants on to see how they fit. If all has gone smoothly you won’t have to make any further adjustments. Worst case scenario you’ll have to remove the thread with a seam ripper and try again either folding more fabric or less, perhaps making the length of the dart longer or shorter depending on the issue.

IMG_7116 And finally, once you are completely happy with the adjustments you’ve made you may (if you want it to be permanent) trim the excess from the fold and reattach the belt loop by stitching it on manually.