We've all been there- going through your wardrobe and coming across a piece that that you’ve only worn a couple of times, though you can't bear to part with.
You love it just as much as the day you got it, so why hasn't it made it's way into regular rotation?
So often when something is slightly too big, or small, long or short we keep trying to make it work, though the truth comes out when we don’t wear it.
Celebrities and the glamorous don't just happen to fit their clothing perfectly, they get them altered to fit like a glove (or even better get them made to size exactly!)
That's where a great alterations place or tailor comes to give you the perfect fitting wardrobe of your dreams. And once you have a rapport, and gain a bit of knowledge on the process, it will open up a whole world of outfit possibilities.
Along with helping you find the perfect fit, getting your clothing professionally repaired gives your clothing new life, and you might be surprised what is possible- Yep, even that huge split through the crutch of your favourite pants!
To get you kick started in knowing a bit of what is possible, here are a few common issues and some handy hints to arm yourself with for your first visit:
Too Long - further to taking the hem up, it's important to make sure the new hem isn't too wide now, so often you want to bring in the sides a little as well to match the original style. Other areas shortening can happen are through the shoulder/top arm when there are cuff details, at the waist or through the crutch.
Too Short - Added bonus if you have a nice wide hem to work with, but never fear if not! Even with just a little seam allowance you can add a piece hidden on the inside to extend your hem, or go for a feature cuff. Shoulders can be extended to make blouses and dresses longer through the body as well.
Letting Out - Some fabrics will show up the old stitch lines once they've been taken out, or you'll see a difference in the fabric colour from fading and wear, so it's best to let out in less noticeable areas like under the arms or through the side seams. Pleats and gathers are also handy here as these are perfect to get a little extra fabric from.
Taking In - Most adjustments are done through the side seams, or with the use of darts. Darts can be added or made bigger in a lot of places, like the waist, bust or neckline, and cleverly hidden or made to be a design feature. For a beautiful finish on the waist of bottoms it's best to take the waistband off entirely, dart the body and reattach a shortened waistband, though this is pricier than adding a dart through the waistband.
Repairs - Busting zips and loosing buttons is something we've all done, and these are usually simple fixes. Depending how large they are holes can be darned or patched. For something quite large it's good to think of a feature patching (did someone say extra pocket?) or new panelling that could be added as finding a perfect match for the fabric can be tricky, but opens up new vibes for your pieces.
The best way to find a good tailor is through word of mouth, but also do bit of research and read reviews if you don't have a personal recommendation. Asking at a local boutique is also handy as they often have one they like to work with, or an independent fabric store usually have some dressmaker contacts on hand.
When you first arrive they will often take your measurements initially, then get you to try on the garments and talk through the alteration options and finally marking the adjustments with pins.
Don't be afraid to ask questions to get a clear picture, or to to ask for prices. Most tailors and alteration places will have a price list for basic fixes, so use that as a starting point if you're looking for something more complicated.
Now head head forth with this knowledge and bring those wallflower pieces into the spotlight!