Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

Repairs and Alterations


Who has a pile of clothes that sit around waiting to be repaired? Who puts off making alterations in favour of a totally new project? I’m going to hold my hand to both of those!

This past year I have been trying to break these bad habits. It hasn’t been entirely successful, but I can claim that I did do some repairs and alterations. And because I want to feel positive about doing this and I suspect, I just want to hear some encouragement from you super people in the blogosphere, I thought I’d write a post about it.

On the repair front, I managed to darn quite a few socks (although there are a few pairs of thick tights that need my attention). I also managed to sort through all the socks and re-pair (that’s put them in pairs again) when I could. The rest just hit the graveyard of lone socks.

For alterations I picked three items that needed something doing to them. They ranged from simple to time-consuming.

Sorbetto Top

This is my favourite Sorbetto top and one that I wear regularly. I think I know more about how to fit a sleeveless top these days, but my main gripe with this top is that it cuts a little too high under the arms. It isn’t a bit deal; it’s not hugely uncomfortable nor does it look bad on me. It’s just a niggle really. To make the adjustment I took off the bias-binding from the armholes, cut the holes a little deeper and reapplied some new bias-binding.

Written like that it doesn’t seem like I did much, but given that I made the bias-binding myself from the same fabric as the top, it did take some time to do.

It’s a really small change and just improves the fit a little. If I was going to make a sleeveless top now, with hindsight I’d add a little more fabric into the bust dart to stop the gaping at the armhole.

Effort required 5/10

Happiness 6/10

Favourite Sorbetto Top

Favourite Sorbetto Top

Corduroy Trousers

This pair of trousers has always been a little on the loose side and since I made them I’ve discovered that I really do prefer a graded waistband on my trousers. With this in mind, I used the pattern piece from the Grainline Moss skirt and made a new waistband. Sadly, as I was doing this extensive alteration I noticed that these trousers are getting rather threadbare. To some extent, I feel that I shouldn’t have bothered with the alteration as there is such limited life left for them.

Effort required 7/10

Happiness 3/10

Autumnal Corduroy Trousers

Autumnal Corduroy Trousers

Classic checked shirt

My last alteration was very simple. One of the problems with the shirt pattern I used was that it only had xx buttons marked on the pattern. Fortunately, I realized early on that the number of buttons were not going to be sufficient and so I added some extras.  However, I don’t think I added enough buttons. When I wear a low rise pair of trousers I notice that the buttons finish before the waistband and this means that the shirt front doesn’t sit just right when it’s tucked in. It could result in the revealing of a tiny amount of belly.  This was easily fixed by adding one extra button at the bottom of the front band.

Effort required 2/10

Happiness 9/10

Classic checked shirt

Classic checked shirt

Do I have any future plans for alterations? Of course I do…..but perhaps I won’t share them just yet. Without the pressure of sharing them as a plan on the blog, they might actually get done!

Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

5 thoughts on “Repairs and Alterations

  1. I love to mend / alter. I’m not saying I do it very promptly but it always brings a bit of happiness…
    Glad you got yours done x

    • I’m glad you get pleasure out of mending and altering. Although I did feel particularly pleased that I’ve added that extra button on my shirt – it certainly improved it’s wearabillity. Perhaps that’s the key – when the end result really makes an improvement, rather than just making the best of a bad job.

  2. It certainly takes some effort to work up the mindset for repairs, but it’s so satisfying when they’re done! You’ve inspired me to tackle some darning and button-sewing of my own now.

  3. Pingback: Proud that I retraced my steps and resurrected this…… | Steely Seamstress

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