5 Reasons Why You Need To Repair Your Own Clothes
And alas.. This month we are finally going to cover how to repair your own clothes! I feel like learning how to repair your own clothes is a topic that you guys have been wanting to cover for a while now, am I right?
There isn't really a 'class' or an 'all-in-one lesson' that shows how to repair your own clothes. (At least not that I have ever found?) And I've been home sewing for quite a while now.
So how exactly did I learn to repair my own clothes, you might be asking? Well, my friend.. You aren't going to like the answer. I learned how to repair my own clothes just by practicing sewing, and by working with different sewing projects.
As repairs for my own clothes have come up, I just figured out how to repair them through trial and error. If the repair works and looks great, then cool. Use it again.
But if not, then I would try to figure out WHY the repair didn't work. And then try to fix it again. Lucky for all of you, I am working on creating a step-by-step guide to repairing your own clothes, based on repairs I have done in the past.
I'm pretty sure it's going to be the closest thing to an 'all-in-one lesson' on how to repair your own clothes that you'll ever find.
And I'm not going to just make these repairs up. The repairs in the step-by-step guide are all from clothing that my family has given me over the last few months to fix.
Which means that they are repairs that REALLY happen on a daily basis. Which also means that they will be more helpful to you. (I can guarantee you've probably got a few pieces in your closet that are in need of the same love.)
But first.. You may be wondering WHY you need to learn how to repair your own clothes.
And that's what I'm going to cover in this post. There are many more reasons, but I'm giving you my top 5 on why it's so important to learn how to repair your own clothes. So. Let's get started, shall we?
#1. Why you need to repair your own clothes: Repairs generate less waste
This is a big one, especially in today's fast fashion world. (Have you checked out the post we did a few months back? I went into some serious detail on why it's time to stop buying fast fashion.)
Because the bulk majority of clothing today is made cheap and fast, the mindset we associate with clothing has changed. How many times have you said, "I can just go buy another shirt, it only cost $5."
But it really isn't a healthy way to think of clothing, if you really think about it. While it might not seem like a big deal with one shirt, or two shirts.. It adds up. Even if I said "I can just go buy another shirt, it only cost $5" five times.. That's five more shirts added to the trash dump.
And while there are definitely times when a shirt (or whatever) is beyond saving with repairs.. More often than not, that isn't the case. Most of the time, something is repairable, we just don't want to (or care to) take the time to fix it.
And since taking said shirt to an alterations shop to get fixed would cost more than the garment, the mindset is to just throw it away and buy a new one for less.
And it's shiny and new, too! Moving from "I can just go buy another shirt, it only cost $5" to "Hey, I think I can fix that" is a major mind shift. And a very important one if you (like me) want to generate less waste in this beautiful world of ours.
#2. Why you need to repair your own clothes: Repairing clothing yourself is free
I feel like that pretty much says it all.
If you know how to repair your own clothes, it would literally cost nothing (with the exception of time) to do it. And while there are definitely some more challenging repairs and alterations out there that might definitely need to be taken to a professional..
Most repairs (in my experience) can actually be fixed with just a needle and thread. (See reason #4 below, for a more detailed explanation!) Pretty much everyone has a needle and thread in their home.
SO theoretically, you should be able to do most clothing repairs that pop up in daily life. It just takes some time to figure out HOW to do it.. But once you've got that down, you'll be saving money in no time.
And really--You'll not only be saving money by not taking your clothing to an alterations shop for repairs. Remember the example from above, about the $5 shirt? You'll also be saving money there.
Instead of repurchasing something, you're literally keeping that money in your pocket. You're welcome.
#3. Why you need to repair your own clothes: Favorite pieces last longer
I feel like this one is also pretty self explanatory. We all have had that favorite piece that finally ripped or somehow got a hole in it.. And despair sets in.
But no longer! With knowing how to repair your own clothes, you can fix that rip or patch that hole. Which means that your favorite piece will stay in the closet longer than ever expected.
And more often than not..
Which means that that favorite piece most likely wouldn't still be available a year or two down the road, when it finally starts to wear out. (Part of the fast fashion industry's intent, it's pretty frustrating.)
So. Learn how to repair your own clothes, and you will be able to keep your very favorite pieces longer.
(I literally still have some of my favorite dresses from high school, because I've just been repairing them over and over again. No joke!)
#4. Why you need to repair your own clothes: Improves hand stitching techniques
I mentioned above that almost all repairs I work with are fixed with hand stitching. Seriously, it's true.
Whether it's hemming something, patching a hole, or stitching a tear back together.. My go to for repairs is always hand stitching. It's much easier to control, and is just easier to work with when it comes to small areas.
Because more often than not, repairs are not very big.
Very rarely have I worked with repairs that are larger than a few inches. And who's going to get their sewing machine out for a few inches? Not me.
Not entirely confident on how to hand stitch? Don't fret, my little dove.
We have TWO hand stitching tutorials up on The Flora Modiste, that teach you how to sew 8 different types of hand stitches. Grab the tutorials below:
- How to Sew 5 Different Types of Hand Stitches, Part One
- How to Sew 3 Different Types of Hand Stitches, Part Two
And if you need to work on your hand stitching game, repairs are the perfect place for it. Practice makes perfect!
#5. Why you need to repair your own clothes: Start a side hustle
I cannot tell you how much money I have made over the years, just by repairing people's clothing. Seriously. It's actually a pretty large amount of my income.
People literally pay me for the easiest of easy repairs.. Things that they could do themselves in a few minutes, a few hours.
It somehow always gets around that you 'know how to sew', which is somewhat of a rarity these days. So when someone finds out that a friend of a friend can sew, they pounce and give you all of the repairs that they have.
Which means that you can slightly undercut any shop, and you will always get chosen to do the work. (And I wouldn't worry about that either. Most of the time, repairs are so incredibly simple, shops just upcharge because they can.)
Keep in mind though: Repairs are different from alterations. Alterations can be tricky as hell, which is why they cost so much. And alterations take MUCH more time and knowledge than repairs do, and should be priced accordingly.. But most of the time they aren't.
But anyways.. If you learn how to sew and repair your own clothes, I can guarantee that you will have people coming to you for help with their own. Make that money!
Why you need to repair your own clothes: Are you in?
So. Have I convinced you of all the reasons why you need to learn how to repair your own clothes yet?
I pray you have moved from denial to the acceptance stage of this whole process.
There are many more reasons why, and many, many more benefits to learning how to repair your own clothes than what I have gone over in this post. But these are the ones that I think are MOST important, and are most likely to shift that fast fashion mindset:
- Repairs generate less overall waste.
- Repairing clothing yourself is free.
- Favorite pieces of clothing will last longer with repairs.
- Repairs can improve hand stitching techniques.
- You can start a side hustle by repairing others' clothing.
Stay tuned next week for a step-by-step guide to repairing your own clothes.. Is there any specific repair you'd like to learn how to do? LET ME KNOW!