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01 August 2019 @ 07:57 am
You know that sort of money-saving tip that can only come from someone who is both very rich and very stupid? Well, the Guardian has given me a new one:

She suggests making sure the seam allowance on a pair of trousers or a skirt is enough to allow you to let them out and the hem is such that you could make the garment longer if you need to. She also advises checking that shirts have a spare button sewn in so if one falls off, you have a replacement.

In reverse order...

- Spare button - yes. Though most important is to know where you put it.
- Altering hem length - can be useful. Though realistically this is something one does upon purchase or never, because the occasions on which you randomly need to make a garment 1 - 2" longer on a whim are limited, but a lot of skirts and trousers do have sufficient hem to allow for lengthening.(Radically shorter, I will concede, can be a fashion choice at any point.)
- Seam allowance on a skirt or trousers that is enough for you to let it out - no. No, no, absolutely no. Has this woman bought a mainstream commercially-produced garment in the past thirty years? The clothes she is telling people to buy simply don't exist. Seam allowances are narrow and serged. The only inch for a tailor to find is the inch that the tailor put there when they made your suit for you personally.

I am all for not treating clothes as single-use disposable items, for the benefits of keeping things in good condition so that they last longer. I can sew, I mend, I wash things carefully, I don't buy stuff I can tell is going to fall apart rapidly. But if you want the general population to look after its clothes, then probably your first piece of advice should not be to buy garments made-to-measure.

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