04 Sep Why do Alterations?
You might have wondered why I have been quiet , or what I’ve been up to, but I have had the joy of the birth of our first born, a little girl!
As I slowly emerge from maternity leave, and needing to get back to my sewing, I decided to take on some alteration work. Alteration work is not a major commitment of time, or sewing expertise, although, you’d still want to do it properly, as you don’t want to mistakenly do damage to your clients, other-wise fine garments!
With patience from my lovely client, I was able to complete my first bit of work since the birth. I don’t always take on alteration work, but rather fit it for clients when there’s a gap in my work load.
In terms of sewing, alterations is always a good starting point, and I suppose that’s why I don’t mind doing them from time to time. This time around, it was a good place for me to get back into sewing professionally again, doing fittings, and dealing with clients with a newborn at my side.
I am a cautious person, only taking calculated risks. After I had completed my Fashion Design Diploma, I started offering dressmaking services. And I did so by offering to do alterations. I probably should’ve had more confidence back then, but instead I learnt my business of dressmaking slowly, and surely, getting to know what clients expected, what work I wanted to do, and how to run my business.
Doing Alterations is also a great place to learn how to sew. For myself, its been a great way to see how ready-to-wear garments are made up in the factories, and how evening gowns are constructed with more couture techniques. I’ve taken these techniques and adjusted them to my own sewing, often improving my own techniques.
This also holds true for beginner sewers. Alterations to their own clothes, or those of others, is a great place to learn how the garments are made up, and practice those sewing skills!
Alterations are also a great way to get more wear out of clothes that just don’t fit anymore, or reuse your garments in a new and exciting way. Recently we’ve had a great discussion on a Facebook group I’m part of, Up-Cycled Cloth Collective that has us sewers adapting old clothing into something new! And I’m sure you’ve seen this “Buyerarchy of Needs” by Sarah Lazarovic which also lends itself well to us sewers, shouldn’t we all look towards making up our own garments or recycling them to a better use? I’m sure we could do with a little bit of more that with all our consumerism behaviour.
Another point to add, is that its certainly cheaper to alter clothes than to buy new (even if you were to get your dressmaker to do it for you!). As our economic recession deepens here in South Africa, this is practical advice we could all do with.
Who would’ve known there is so much to chatter about regarding Alterations?! I haven’t developed a how-to series it yet, but perhaps we could have a practical, hands on class soon. We could discuss so many techniques in a short space of time. Would you be interested? Let me know xx