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How difficult is it to tailor your own clothes?

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Coldsnap, May 6, 2011.

  1. Coldsnap

    Coldsnap Senior member

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    As a student I have more time than money which has lead me to have the urge to start tailoring my own clothes. I have an old sewing machine stashed away somewhere so I guess I have everything that I need. This doesn't seem that hard... unless I need a special sewing machine? I'm guessing just follow a few guides, be accurate, expect to mess up a few shirts in the process?
     


  2. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    certain operations are easier than others.

    hemming pants? no problem.
    sewing buttons? sure
    Tapering a dress or t-shirt? practice, but doable (and will save a lot of money)
    recutting a suit/sportscoat? I wouldn't advise it...
    pants, well you could slim a leg, but once you start playing too much with rises and waistbands it gets complicated.
     


  3. Coldsnap

    Coldsnap Senior member

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    Yea, the only thing I get done is tapering the waist and shortening length which seems easy.
     


  4. meso

    meso Senior member

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    +1 totally depends on what you're trying to do.
    Slimming pant legs and shirts, sure.
    Anything involving a blazer is just ill-advised.
     


  5. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Senior member

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    As a student I have more time than money which has lead me to have the urge to start tailoring my own clothes. I have an old sewing machine stashed away somewhere so I guess I have everything that I need. This doesn't seem that hard... unless I need a special sewing machine? I'm guessing just follow a few guides, be accurate, expect to mess up a few shirts in the process?

    I was actually just wondering about this. I frequently find good-condition, second-hand shirts made of nice fabrics that are just way too big. I was looking around and found this. It's a guide to altering shirts by Paul Smith.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...feb/07/fashion
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...-smith-fashion

    You can see it's somewhat complicated, but I'm sure after messing up a couple of shirts you could probably get the hang of it. My issue is that I don't have a sewing machine, so I haven't tried this myself (yet). But if you give it a shot, let me know how it turns out. As others have mentioned, other than shirts you could probably try slimming some pants if you wanted, but I wouldn't try doing anything to a blazer, except maybe tweaking sleeve length, without really learning how they're constructed first.
     


  6. Navi

    Navi Senior member

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    Hemming pants and adding cuffs is very easy, plus once you find your sweet spot with the perfect break and cuff size, you can make every pair of trousers perfect every time.

    Darting and tapering shirts, bit more complicated, but one or two disasters and you'll have it down. Saves a shit ton of money. Only thing I use my tailor for is most things with jackets except sleeves unless they have functional buttons. Also use a tailor for bigger trouser alterations, like slimming the whole legs down or anything with the seat.
     


  7. Coldsnap

    Coldsnap Senior member

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    ah, awesome I was looking for something like that. I have a few old Uniqlo shirts that I'm gonna try to hem down this weekend, dont really care if I mess them up.
     


  8. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Senior member

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    May as well mention this here. Anyone have a model of sewing machine they can recommend? Don't need bells or whistles or anything. Just solid and CHEAP. Used is fine, even preferred. I know there are a ton on ebay, ranging from old-school 25 lb. Singers to newer models that look like cheap plastic. Any first-hand experience you have would be helpful.
     


  9. Knisse

    Knisse Senior member

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    I need to learn this as well.. Anyone that have made succesful waist alterations of jeans come forth.

    And if anyone has experience with alterating sweaters dont be shy
     


  10. Timbaland

    Timbaland Senior member

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    My mom has a sewing machine and I've always wanted to learn how to do this. If you have pants that are a few inches too long, do you guys cut the extra material with sharp scissors and then fold a little fabric up on the inside and sew it? Or do you just fold the whole thing in then sew it?

    I'm going to try tailoring some old shirts I don't wear anymore. The tailor by my house fucked up 2 of my shirts I had tailored and it got good reviews on yelp.
     


  11. reedobandito

    reedobandito Senior member

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    Man, I just went to the tailor the other day and dropped off about 4 things (this was my first time). When the woman wrote up my bill, I can't tell if she wrote $20 or $80 for tapering a pair of pants. I'm kind of terrified come tuesday.
     


  12. Knisse

    Knisse Senior member

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    Man, I just went to the tailor the other day and dropped off about 4 things (this was my first time). When the woman wrote up my bill, I can't tell if she wrote $20 or $80 for tapering a pair of pants. I'm kind of terrified come tuesday.

    Either way it is pretty much.. Especially in the long run, it would be a handy thing to be able to do it yourself [​IMG]
     


  13. Coldsnap

    Coldsnap Senior member

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    Man, I just went to the tailor the other day and dropped off about 4 things (this was my first time). When the woman wrote up my bill, I can't tell if she wrote $20 or $80 for tapering a pair of pants. I'm kind of terrified come tuesday.

    Yea lol, last time I had something tailored I literally told the lady I couldn't pay the $80 bill to have a $120 H&M suit tailored.
     


  14. Master-Classter

    Master-Classter Senior member

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    gawd when I think of the thousands I've probably spent on simple operations. hell, even most of my T-shirts have been tapered for $7 each, and pants are like $15-20. oh well, my tailors kids will go to college at least.
     


  15. pickpackpockpuck

    pickpackpockpuck Senior member

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    I dropped off four things at my tailor the other day, and it's going to cost me $90. Most of them are fairly simple alterations, too. Gotta hem two pairs of pants, shorten one shirt, and take in the body of another shirt (then one pair of pants I'm having the legs slimmed all the way up, so that I wouldn't do myself). My tailor has really good prices and always does good work (one nice thing about NYC is there are good tailors), but it's starting to seem ridiculous to pay someone else to hem my pants. If people try their own fixes, you should post the results here. It would be nice to know what's easy to do, what people decide might be best left to a tailor, and any helpful tips you pick up.
     


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