Alterations save you money!

The President of the United States and the media have said that there may not be a turn around to this economic sitaution for at least a year. That means that you have  less disposable income with which to live on. Cutting corners whereever possible has never made more sense than now.

You can save alot of money by doing basic alterations yourself. This is especially true if you buy your clothes on sale, at a thrift shop, garage sale or consignment shop. Many of my customers do the same. This site will cover not only the basics, but the more complicated alterations for those of you in business or those who want to do all their own alterations.

I have owned and operated a sewing business from my home since 1988. I began by making bridesmaid dresses and bridal gowns and then switched to alterations. They are not difficult once you know how. So, that’s what we’ll cover, learning how. Once you have done a couple of hems, for instance, it’s like riding a bike. You just practice a few times and you’ve got it down.

I’ll start by teaching you the CORRECT way to hem pants. We”ll also look at hemming jeans, taking in waistlines of pants, skirts and jeans. How would you like to be able to take in the fullness in the legs of your slacks? It seems like there are so many books and websites out there that are  incomplete in their instruction. How many times have you tried to hem a pair of pants and ended up with puckering all around the hemline, for example? I’ll show you how to correct that.

I’d love to know what you’d like to learn. Chances are, others want to know it too. You can respond to the comment section below or e-mail me at thesewinggarden@gmail.com.

See you soon!

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4 Responses

  1. This looks like a great site. I have sewn a lot in the past for myself and 5 children. But somehow got away from it all when I found I could purchase quality items from Talbots Outlets over the years. But I always wanted to get back into sewing now that my husband and I are empty nesters.

    This past March and April I lost 30 lbs and literally have no clothes. I was hoping to get through the summer with my present wardrobe. I have been washing and drying my washable items for the past 3 weeks and I still have very baggy pants.

    I have been trying a trick that my sister suggested: Undo the crotch area and take in the seam of the inside pant legs all the way to the hem, then sew the crotch back up. It works “sort of” but it leaves me with a funny crotch seam.

    Sometimes I still have to take in the side seams. I was wearing a 16 Women’s Petite and I didn’t realize how big the upper legs really were.

    Any suggestions? I am just not up to taking each pair of pants completely apart right now.

    I will subscribe to your site – it will keep me going.

    Julie Snyder

    • Julie, Thanks for your comment. Congratulations on losing the weight. That is not easy to do so you should be very proud. As to the clothing dilemma, I usually find that if someone has gone down more than three dress sizes, it may be better to buy new clothing, depending on the garment. Here’s why: If you take in the waist, you’ll need to take in the center back seam and if there are pockets, those pockets meet together and it just doesn’t look good. Plus, sometimes, you literally can’t sew that seam because of pocket facings.

      If you take in the crotch seam, which is exactly what you should do, you’ll need to take in the same amount on the side seams so that your pants hang correctly. This is not always easy especially if you have side pockets in the pants. You may be losing alot of the pocket and if you have metal grommets, you can’t get around those without tearing them out which leaves a hole.

      If you pay someone else to do these alterations, it gets very expensive. Most of the time, it would be cheaper to buy a new pair.

      I’ll write a new post that speaks to these alterations and how to do them, but you have the first “leg” of it correct!

  2. I have a lady who has alot of clothes that has to bealmost made over
    I don’t want to over charge but they only want to pay 5 or 10.00 sometime it takes days to get those clothes done. what should I charge
    her for these

    • Hi Ida,
      If you were charging the going rate for alterations, it would probably cost her more than a new garment for your work to makeover her while garment. I cannot tell you what to charge, but I will say that if it takes you 4 hours to makeover a while garment and you’re charging $20 an hour, she would owe you $80. I certainly would not do the work for $5-$10. I’ve had customers tell me they won’t pay more than a certain amount and I’ve had to tell them that I’m sorry, but my time is worth a lot to me and I turn down the work. Don’t be afraid to turn this customer down if she doesn’t want to lay what you’re charging. You will find others that are more than willing. She wants a deal and I get that, but not to your detriment. My guess is that you are not charging best enough for your work. Ask what other shops are charging in your area and adjust your prices. Then explain to her that you’ve been undercharging and in the new year you’ve got to increase your prices. Don’t worry if you lose her. Stick to your guns.

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