Clothing Alterations – Life After Fitting That Perfect Garment Pattern!

Clothing alterations are more involved than merely altering, changing or modifying a garment. Clothing alterations often involve the mending or repair of a garment, and may even involve the transformation of one garment into another, such as transforming a pair of pants into a skirt or a pair of jeans into jeans shorts.

Clothing modifications take place after the garment has been in use, to either rescue the garment or reinvent a garment, thus breathing new life into a previously worn garment. Clothing modifications are often thought to apply mainly to ready to wear clothing, but can be performed on clothing that we have sewn ourselves from store bought patterns.

What are some of the tools needed for clothing modifications?

• Tape measure

• Scissors and pinking shears

• Straight pins

• Steam iron

• Ironing board

• Tailor’s chalk

• Seam ripper and razor blades

• Sewing needles

• Pressing cloth

• Yard stick

• Sewing machine and serger

There are some good written instructions online for altering or repairing clothing, such as at the link to Genie Centre that gives some good free tips for clothing alterations

However, I think that alterations and mending must be seen in order to truly understand what is being done.

To that end there are some free videos online at the link to called the Basic Tailoring Tips: Video Series, which is a 13 part series

It is difficult to really see a process in a 2-3 minute video for anything but the most basic alterations or repairs. Therefore, one alterations DVD training series that I found on the website is at the link to Alterations Made if one wants a detailed training on how to do one’s own alterations for our own clothing or for profit performing these tasks for others. I found that I like this method of learning alterations best for me, although the DVDs are a 6 DVD set and must be purchased as a 6 DVD set which can be a little pricey.

What the DVDs don’t show is the steps of measuring the client for the alterations, but just like in pattern alterations, measurements must be taken in order to know how much alteration is needed to a garment. With alterations also, if a garment is old the original fabric may not exist for use in adding to the garment if an enlarging or letting out of the garment is needed, so any added fabric must match as closely as possible. It is important that alterations are learned in some manner that allows for seeing the process from start to finish and this is not something easily learned from a book, although there are some good books out there.

For those that are considering starting an alteration’s business, I found a nice little e-book at the link to detailing the technical steps of starting this type of business Alterations can be a profitable business for those that want to open such a business.

Clothing alterations and mending are really not difficult to learn or to do. It does; however, take patience and attention to detail to get it right, especially if one is doing these tasks as a business for others. The garment should look professional when the project is completed and should really not look like it had ever been altered or repaired and that takes real skill and thorough training, but anyone can learn to both alter and mend clothing.

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