August 03, 2009
I have the greatest admiration people who alter and repair clothes for a living.
You see there's a lot at stake with that kind of sewing. You are working with a garment that already has a history. A piece that someone loves and cares for enough to pay to keep wearing. And if you muck it up ... well who knows what might happen. That's a great deal of responsibility.
So, as you might understand, I felt a little nervous during the weekend's assignment: altering a friend's top from maternity to civvy. A favourite, treasured garment. A beautiful, fine wool blend stretch knit in a lovely colour.
If you think I was being overcautious, I should throw in that the fabric of course had a two-way stretch. With the crosswise stretch being 280%. Yup ... this top had more chance of ending up wavy than the Bells Beach Surf Carnival.
So I did what you have to do with stretch fabrics: stared it in the eye and tried not to show my fear.
The first part was easy - I used the overlocker to trim the excess length and overcast the new hem edge. The second part was a comedy of errors. A misplaced love of twin needles - and a unfailing belief in their magical properties on stretch fabric - was the source of much unpicking. Twice. There were ridges, puckering, waves and snapped thread. And swearing. So ugly.
Finally I tried fusing the hem turning with some stabilising Vliesofix tape, then securing it with a single line of lightening stitch (a little zig-zaggy stretch stitch that many machines have). Much better.
That said, I think we can safely assume that I will never work in a business that bears the word alter in its name.
Filed under: Sewing