I would much rather make something new than alter something, but I also know an altered RTW fits and looks so much better. I also know mending is economical. So sometimes I get down to business and do it.
After all the months spent working on the matron-of-honor dress, I needed a palate cleaner.
So I started working on my mental list of things that really should be done. It feels relaxing and inspiring to have those things completed.
I always wished I had put handles on my well-used Cooper bag, in addition to the shoulder strap. When the shoulder strap eventually frayed out of the bag, I unpicked the top and sewed it back in with some changes.
First, the strap was too long for my 4-foot 11-inch height, so I shortened it. I also melted the ends of the strap to hopefully reduce future fraying. I had enough strap left to make one handle, but couldn't find enough for a second. The only thing I had in a suitable color was bias binding. I put interfacing on it and used it for the second handle. I've yet to use this bag, so I don't know how that will work.
When I sewed in the handles, I forgot that I might want to carry by the handles with the flap closed. Oh, well.
I also cut off the heavy metal lobster claw clasps that I never used.
My winter coat is a $30 Wal-Mart deal that I got for $10. My dream is to own a perfectly fitted wool coat, but until I can afford that, I make do. For two years, I've been meaning to shorten the sleeves to suit my shorter arms. I finally got around to doing it and cut off three inches. I much prefer shortening sleeves with linings. Without a lining, you have to be so careful to get the measurement exactly correct and then have to figure out what to do with the raw edge.
A sleeve with a lining gives a lot of room for error. I started by having a three inch "seam allowance," but after trying on the coat, realized I wanted the sleeves a half inch longer. So the outer sleeve has a 2.5-inch turn up. The lining has about six inches turned up. I hand hemmed the lining to the sleeve and now when I wear the coat, I'll feel more polished.
I also learned to try the coat on the correct way, not inside out, no matter how tedious it is to pull the sleeves through again and again. I probably could have gone with my original three-inch hem if I had tried on the coat properly the first time.