Goodwill Alterations #1 | next >
I've been meaning to start working on this for awhile. Being uncompromisingly picky with clothing decisions and living off ramen wages can lead to a few painful choices. I'd really love to invest in pieces from world class designers but the cost is just unjustifiable at this point in my life. There's a few options to pursue here:
- Spam lowball offers on grailed.com.
- Give up and go normcore/thriftcore etc.
- Make it yourself.
I'm here to tell you that the first two options are shameful, confusing distractions; we can do better. My big idea is to harness the endless selection of cheap clothing and fabric at Goodwill and turn it into something interesting and wearable. I'm starting from near-zero sewing experience and this is really an experiment more than anything. We'll see how I fare.
What to Get
I bought my first machine secondhand for $25. Obviously it had quite a few issues or it wouldn't have been sitting in the bargain rack. The light was broken, it was missing a foot and the tension knob was locked at one grip setting. This site was immensely helpful for my parts issues and seems to be comprehensive enough to cover any used machine you'd come across. I fixed the tension by pulling the cap off and cleaning between the grip plates. Thanks to the wealth of grandma-hosted Youtube series available to me I was able to learn enough to get started fairly quickly. What I couldn't get secondhand I caved and bought from Jo-ann fabrics which is generally a bit pricey.
- Self-healing cutting board - $35 - Fabric Store
- Iron - $5 - Goodwill
- Portable ironing mat - $20 - Fabric Store
- Ruler - $8 - Fabric Store
- Cheap thread set - $10 - Goodwill
- Small-head screwdriver set (for mucking with your machine) - $8 - Hardware Store
- Tailor's tape measure - $1 - Goodwill
- Bobbin set - $12 - Fabric Store
- Machine needles - $10 - Fabric Store
- Rotary blades - $25 - Fabric Store
- Seam ripper - $3 - Fabric Store
- Pin cussion + pins - $15 - Fabric Store
- Shears - $20 - Fabric Store
- Basic hand-sewing set - $2 - Goodwill
- Fabric markers - $5 - Fabric Store
- Singer 4552 - $25 - Goodwill
You don't need all of this stuff to get started but I've used all of it at this point so I'm going to claim the whole lot as a solid investment.
My friend reccomended taking an old shirt, hacking it apart and then reconstructing it as a first project. Thankfully I happened to own this piece of garbage.
There's a million places online that can explain sewing method and technique better than me so I'll try to focus mainly on results.
After the reconstruction it went from an M to a cropped XS. The cheap cotton was a little annoying to work with as it flares up and falls apart as soon as you make a cut. This led to some pretty awful seam allowances that I didn't care to go in and clean up.
It's quite plainly an unwearable rag, given, but I did manage to learn quite a bit by letting loose on an inconsequential project. There's no pressure to get your stitching perfect. I sewed one of the sleeves back on inside out and now I'm keen to keep my sides straight before rushing into stitching. It was a great confidence booster and quelled a lot of my concerns before tackling something of value.
Gus ~ 4/10/2016