Friday, January 15, 2010

New Project: Jean Rescue Surgery

    Lately, between sewing and buying new clothes that actually fit, I've had to think a lot about how I am built. I've known for awhile that the way I am built is not the way clothing is designed. Here's what I've come up with so far: I am 5'6", which puts me on the border of "tall" and "average" for a lot of clothing. I always have to buy "tall" pants. But I can buy "petite" tops. I am "high-waisted," so I usually buy and make high-waisted skirts and dresses. Most jeans don't fit me because they are "low-rise" and that just falls off my waist (or doesn't reach my waist, because it is "high") and land somewhere in the dreaded underwear-showing muffin-top zone. Oh, I have trouble getting things to fit in the bust, too. Or my shoulders are too wide. What a headache!
    My approach to this problem a few months ago was to buy a sewing machine and start making my own clothes. I've also stopped buying any clothing that doesn't fit in a way that I like it. Even if it means going home with no new clothes. Starting from scratch isn't always practical, so my new fixation is with altering existing garments. (This also means that I can buy clothes that don't fit quite right, if I have an idea of how to fix them.)
    The most frustrating thing is jeans. Especially skinny jeans. I love them. I have a pair from Guess that I wear nearly every day that I don't wear a skirt. They are too low-rise and they fall down, but I still wear them. In the fall, I finally found skinny jeans in the cut I like, but they did not come in "tall" and they just looked too stupid. I thought about buying a pair of the "tall" with the not-skinny leg and just taking in the legs, turning them into skinny jeans.
    But I'm thinking of saving the Guess jeans instead. Especially now that I've noticed that they are getting holes under the belt loop from constantly being pulled up. That's where I got the idea--put extra fabric where the problem is.
    Ever since I've had the idea, it's been impossible to disrupt. I am planning to--no, I am going to raise the waistband on my favorite jeans by two inches. I have a lot of scrap denim, and I plan to remove the waistband of my favorite jeans, sew a two-inch band of fabric to it, and then reattach the waistband. Since I don't plan on messing with the zipper, I'll have to add a subtle button closure or hook-and-eye to the extra band. So basically, it's a second waistband.
    Which is how I got my second idea. Perhaps what I really need to do is, instead of butchering the pants, just add a second waistband above the existing waistband. I am going to make it look as much as possible like it's just a wide waistband, not pieces from two different garments slapped together.

I will provide updates on my progress. Google did not help me, so, if I am successful, I will help other Googling-seamstresses. And if I fail, this blog will serve as a warning to LEAVE YOUR JEANS ALONE.

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