Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesdays Tip from the Green Housewife - Be Your Own Tailor


Last year, my sister-in-law Gina went from a respectable size 14 (at least I hope this size is respectable) to a svelte size 4. She gave me a pair of designer jeans that no longer fit her, and they fit me perfectly except for being 6 inches too long! Not wanting to spend the money on a tailor, and not owning a sewing machine yet, I decided to be adventurous and tailor them myself by hand.
           So I measured them according to a pair of jeans I had tailored a few years ago, and double checked that length by trying them on. Then I cut off several inches of extra fabric which was in the way, and pinned where I wanted the hem. Over the next several months, I slowly hand stiched the hem while relaxing and watching movies at night with Pete. I finally finished them this week while recovering from a nasty bug, which means I can cross one more thing off  my "50 things" list and I have the satisfaction of wearing something I tailored by hand! In this day of fast fashion, where Chinese workers are paid as little as 12-15 cents an hour to churn out cheap clothing for Western buyers who discard this slave labor in landfills for next season's fashion, it feels good to "mend and make do".

Here is the final result:




What are your green or frugal tips?

17 comments:

  1. Good job! Well done. I always mend things and take up hems and such. I sometimes sew from scratch but usually for my mom and not myself. I don't have a lot of patience for making entire garments but I do it as a gift for my mom. I try to make my own products (laundry soap, cleaning products) recycle items, repurpose items, knit and crochet and grow a small garden. I'd like to do more and will do more as I am able :-)

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  2. I'm very new to mending and barely now how to sew - so this is a new adventure for me! Wow - that is awesome that you make your own laundry soap - I do make my own cleaning products. And the garden is a, ahem, work in progress! So Joyful, you are far ahead of me :).

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  3. Awesome job! I hem a lot of my pants because I am a respectable (it had BETTER be respectable) 5'4". But these are generally the new pants. However, in the area of frugality, I do a lot of thrift store shopping (ironically especially for pants - way cheaper), as well as give away as much unused stuff as possible via Goodwill or Craigslist - no point in throwing things out if there is still use to be had. But I have much more growing to do. =)

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  4. @ Jessie Bee - we thrift store shop too sometimes. What a good idea to give away stuff on Craigslist!

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  5. Very good job!

    That took some work to do by hand!

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  6. @ Mrs. Rabe - it was some work, but I figure I need to learn to sew by hand before sewing on a machine!

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  7. Good Morning I think you did I fine job. I love your socks.Congrats Gina good for her good for you.

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  8. By hand! How long did that take?! Also I like your "you may also like" suggestion. How did you get that on there?

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  9. They are very neatly stitched. At 5'2" I usually have to cut bottoms off new pants or double hem them to shorten them sufficiently.

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  10. @ Heather - it took several months, but for just 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there while watching movies at night, lol. You can get the "You may also like" widget from http://www.linkwithin.com/learn. Got the idea from another blog.

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  11. @ Robyn, I'm also 5'2", and I rarely find pants that I don't have to get tailored or tailor myself :)

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  12. Hello
    Great Job with the trousers, but tell me what did you do with the leftover fabric?
    Rachel

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  13. @ Rachel - I think I threw it away (in the recycle bin at least)! I guess I could have kept it for something - new to sewing and frugal living :).

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  14. ahh you will get there, just that I am addicted to fabric . My Partner said " honey you need to get out more, I was a bad girl and suggested he help me with this. All I got was him peering over the newspaper and with a smile said Baby I need a coffee lol?
    If you want to swap yips or even glean some different ones happy to share
    all the best
    Rachel

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  15. Look good - a great feeling to knock something off the to-do list!

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