Friday, September 9, 2011

Frugal Fashion Friday - Quick Fixes and Garment Care

My clothes and accessories span the entire spectrum of price and quality.  I believe in a bargain but many times I opt for quality at a good price, since I know it will outlast a similar item that is less expensive.  My parents raised me to take care of the things I own and to make them last.  I wouldn’t consider myself a seamstress but I can make repairs, sew on a button, and fix minor clothing issues.  These time and money saving fixes can extend the life of your garments and save you a trip to a tailor.

Good tools are key to making these repairs.  I’ve made a list of the items I can’t do without. I have a repair box that I keep to make sure I have what I need on hand in case I need to fix something.  A button or hook always falls off when you are getting dressed and need to leave the house.  You won’t have time to run out and buy what you need but a few minutes with a needle and thread will keep you from wearing a safety pin all night.
My go to kit includes:
Thread and needles - You can purchase a ready made sewing kit at Target or Wal-Mart (even a drug store) or you can select a few rolls of thread in generic colors, like white, cream, black, blue, and brown from your local sewing store.  Dual purpose thread will do.  You can purchase a small pack of assorted needles for a few dollars.
Buttons (organized) – When I purchase a garment with extra buttons (if they aren’t sewn in) I place it in a button box I created.  If I remember, I write a quick description on the packet so I can match them later.  Of course I also have a ton of buttons from clothes long gone that are just extras.
Hooks and Findings – You can purchase a small packet of assorted hooks and snaps at any sewing store.  These come in handy if you lose a hook or snap and need an extra. Most times these are hidden closures. Matching the style isn’t crucial.
Scissors (large and small) – I’ve found that owning small embroidery scissors as well as larger scissors is helpful.  It’s so much easier to snip a thread or a remove a button with small scissors.  You can get them into places the larger versions won’t go.  A large pair is great for creating a pair of cut offs or a DIY project.
Shoe Goo – Nothing makes me crazier than seeing a pair of shoes that is falling apart, especially a sole that is coming off.  It’s an easy fix, with some Shoe Goo.  I’m sure you could use any glue but Shoe Goo is great because it stays flexible and dries clear.  It was made for sneakers but I’ve used it on sandals and the rubber soles of flats.

I know that these fixes can be intimidating to some of you.  Luckily for me I had a mom who taught me how to do these repairs.  I’m here to tell you that minor repairs can be done by anyone, no matter your skill level.  Of course you can always take your items to a tailor or a shoe repair shop and in some cases that is the best option.  However, spending $10 to have buttons sewn on a garment isn't necessary if you know how to do these quick fixes. 

I found some great videos online that might help you if you need a little guidance. 

Fixing a button is quick, once you know the tricks. You can also completely change the look of a blouse or sweater by changing the buttons. It's an amazingly easy DIY.

How to Sew On A Button  by ThreadBanger


There have been many times that I've caught my heel in the hem of a pair of pants or a skirt.  This video shows you how to fix it easily.
How to Hand Hem (Skirt or Pants) by Expert Village


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