Saturday, January 29, 2011

spring cleaning the wardrobe

With the sun shining and a rather chilly minus 2 in the studio, I decided cold or no, I was going to light the fire and spend the day shut away in my studio.

It only took a couple of hours to get the temperature up to 8°c, and then I was good to go, coat off and erm........ well a whole load of spring cleaning first actually.

What is it about an unused room that over winter you just get in the habit of opening the door and throwing stuff in then closing the door and walking away?

After battling past the coffee table dumped in the middle of the rug, nestled up against the stool I have promised to someone else but not got round to dropping off, then sidestepping the two bags of donated clothes, the bag of castoffs from Thea's wardrobe; I ended up tripping over the two hangers of clothes needing some attention to make them fit that I had casually left lying on the table that was then used to elongate our dining table for New Year so someone (who shall remain nameless lest I get caught up in finding new swear words to rhyme with husband) had dumped them on the floor and left them there.

By lunch time with the temperature up to a very moderate 16°c in there, I settled in to finally do some sewing, after my machine had defrosted sufficiently to allow the oil to lubricate it.

Two pairs of trousers turned up, two tops with the elastic removed and new hems added, one shirt collar fixed, one jumper seam fixed, two pairs of jeans turned up and one pair of jeans with the waist band adjusted - and for once adjusted in the right way.

Here is my super easy, super fast way of taking in the waistband on a pair of jeans (as long as you are not too fusy and do not require your jeans to be perfect and are therefore happy with a few loose threads - although if you do require your jeans to be perfect you probably iron a crease up the centre of the legs in which case stop reading now and go away you scary person).

Ahem - ok, take a sharp pair of scissors and cut off the waistband. Remove the belt loops from the waistband and the jeans. Discard the belt loops - the object of the excerise is to take in the waist itself and therefore not need a belt to hold up your pants.

Rough cut edges to rough cut edges mean that you have to turn the waistband upside down.

Pin the end of the waistband that has the button on it to the flap of material that covers the zip, then with the zip closed, pin the waistband all the way around, gather if required at the pocket side edges.

If you are doing this to stretch jeans then you won't need to gather because you can stretch the waistband to meet the material.

Fasten the waistband button over the zip to make sure that you have a straight even front. (Because this is where lumps and gathers will show if you are not careful.)

Make sure any slack is pulled taut and pinned in place at the side seams, this is also where the material is at its thinnest and so the easiest place to pin and add any darts if needed.

Then sew in place with a thick cotton thread - either in that gold/cream colour of denim stitching or something more discreet.

This method is also great for taking down high waisted jeans for shorties like me.

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