Sewing is not a skill that comes to me naturally, but because I like clothes and wish to maintain my wardrobe like a proper adult, I occasionally find myself needing to pick up a needle and thread. While I’m very interested in the art of designing, crafting, and mending garments, I must admit I’ve developed a slight fear of tackling these sorts of projects due to my perfectionist tendencies and aversion to failure. I have an ever growing mental list of holes that need to be darned, hemlines that need to be raised, and ideas for augmentations that would enable good pieces to reach their full potential. But when it comes to taking out the sewing box and getting to work, I’m like a teenager procrastinating on math homework.
My wardrobe deserves better. And so, with a gentle encouragement approach, I’m trying to set aside dedicated time each week, from as little as 20 minutes to a solid few hours, to practice my sewing skills and give my clothes the TLC they desperately need. To make it a whole experience, I’m going to put on some relaxing tunes, prepare a nice beverage (bourbon is the choice today), and give it my best shot (i.e., try not to poke myself to death).
For today’s project, I’m starting small: replacing the straps on this patterned camisole I purchased online last year. It was one of those pieces you randomly come across online, but can’t get out of your head, and before you know it, you’re in the (virtual) checkout line with your credit card ready to go. When I received the item in the mail and went to try it on, however, I was disappointed with the cheap quality – particularly the flimsy, nylon “straps” that would constantly slip off my shoulders.
To make this piece wearable, I knew that I had to replace the straps with more functional ones. A few months ago, while browsing a hardware store, I found a pack of this thin black elastic that I thought would work perfectly. I now had everything I needed for the operation.
As you can imagine, the rest was a pretty easy, straightforward exercise that took me less than 30 minutes (including some bourbon-sipping breaks). First, I snipped off the useless original straps and put them in the garbage, where they belonged. Then, I put on the strapless top to measure out the elastic, pinning it in front of the mirror to find the right length. Finally, for the climax of today’s sewing adventures, I handstitched the new straps on.
I’m very pleased with how the new straps turned out and the little effort it took to make this change I’ve been putting off. They have a similar dainty look, but with way more grip. I also adjusted the length of the straps so the top would sit higher on my bust for extra snugness and security. I can’t wait to wear this top all summer, without worry of public indecency.
Until next week.