Space, especially closet space, is a premium. Many people simply don’t have the room to keep their entire wardrobe in their closets and dressers year round. Storing your winter wardrobe in bins and garment bags frees up space for your spring and summer apparel and accessories. It provides you the opportunity to wash, fix, recycle, and organize your cold weather clothing.
Cleaning, Repairing and Recycling Your Winter Wardrobe 1.Machine wash or dry clean all of your winter items.
When stored for long periods of time, dirty clothing attracts pests and can also
produce unwanted odors, mold, or mildew. Unclean items that contain perfumes,
lotions, oils perspiration can also cause the fabric to stain and yellow.
Before you pack up your winter wardrobe for several months, you should properly
launder each article of clothing.
Machine wash all of your non-delicate winter items.
Dry clean any winter items made from natural materials, like silk, wool, and cashmere. Do not store these items in a plastic garment bag.
Wipe down and polish your shoes.
Winter shoes come into contact with harsh salts and dirt. Prior to storing these items, thoroughly clean each pair. Remove built-up salt and grime with a cotton cloth or shoe brush. Don’t forget to polish and condition your leather boots.
If your winter shoes are badly stained, consider having them professionally cleaned.
To prolong the life of your winter shoes, clean them frequently throughout the winter too
Send out items for repair.
As you wash, dry clean, and clean your winter items, set aside any pieces that appear damaged or broken. This might include coats with missing buttons, clothing with minor rips or stains, and/or shoes in need of new soles. Bring the items you are interested in fixing to a reputable seamstress or shoe repair professionals.
If you don’t have an interest in fixing the item, find a way to recycle it.
Donate items you will no longer wear.
While you sort through your clean winter apparel and accessories, set pieces aside to donate. These items may include garments that no longer fit you and/or items you didn’t wear at all last season. There are several ways to recycle these items.
The most common reason to visit an alteration shop is to have hems and sleeves adjusted on skirts, dresses, jeans, slacks, shirts, bouses and blazers.
Other popular services include mending and resizing garments. Mending services include repairing holes and tears and replacing broken zippers. Size changes can be achieved through adjusting or adding darts to blouses, dresses and blazers. Seams can be taken in or let out to improve fit. The waistlines of pants, skirts and dresses can also be adjusted.
Best fit for pants, dresses and jackets
Here are best-fit guidelines for men and women:
Ideally, the pant leg falls to the top of the shoe and fabric does not touch the floor.
Jacket and blazer sleeves should fall to the bottom of the wrist bone on the thumb side when arms are resting at both sides. For men, shirt cuffs ideally fall one-fourth to one-half of an inch lower than the blazer sleeve to show a show minimal cuff.
An empire waist flatters women with fuller hips and a smaller torso by bringing attention to the waist. An empire waist also flatters straight female silhouettes by creating the impression of a curvy figure.
Custom, or bespoke, tailoring
Custom tailoring is the process of making clothing to fit an individual, and differs considerably from alterations made to a ready-made piece of clothing.
Custom tailors, also known as bespoke, or made-to-order tailors or dressmakers, are highly knowledgeable about how to get a good fit, and about sewing and clothing construction methods. They often work in specialty clothing boutiques and family-owned businesses, or as independent tailors.
Costs depend on the type of item, type of fabric and embellishments, amount of detail requested and prices of the specific tailor. Shirts generally cost at least $100, pants cost at least $250 and jackets are at least $350.
Custom tailoring takes between one to six months, depending on amount of detail and garment type.
Tips for finding a tailor:
Research and get recommendations
In addition to consulting Angie’s List, ask friends and family for recommendations for dressmakers or tailors. Ask your favorite dry cleaners if they have an alternation or tailoring staff or could make recommendations, since they often work with expensive, custom-made clothing.
Ask whether a sewing professional has experience creating the kind of garment you want. Ask to see photos or examples of the dressmaker’s or tailor’s work.
Ask for quotes
As noted above, custom-made clothing can be very expensive. However, the price depends on several things, including the type of garment you want, the complexity of the pattern, whether you need a pattern made for you, and the fabric used. If you have to undergo numerous fittings, that will increase the cost. Ask for an estimate before commissioning any work.
You’ll be called in at least once or twice for fittings. Fittings take time, so you may want to look for a seamstress or tailor who works close to where you live or work.
Cost-saving tip: If you can’t afford custom-made clothing, having store bought-clothes professionally altered can be a good compromise. The secret of many well-dressed people is that they take their moderately priced clothing into a dry cleaner, seamstress or tailor for alterations for a close to custom fit.
Sewing experts can provide additional services, including restyling clothes and repairing fine leather. Restyling keeps clothes current. Sewing experts who provide this service can convert necklines to accent the chest or elongate the neck. They can turn a dress into a skirt or alter the style of the sleeves to create a fresh look.
Minor fine leather repairs involve carefully weaving new stitches to blend into the fabric. Extensive damage to a leather garment may require new material to replace the original leather.
Work with a reputable fur salon before deciding to buy a fur coat. It’s best to hire a professional to repair, clean and store your precious fur.L
DIY tailoring is not as simple or easy as it sounds. Sewing a hem or stitching a seam is not tailoring. To get the fit and lay you want for your clothes to fit right usually requires a sewing machine, serger, seam breaker, sewing mannequin, irons and various other seamtress tools. Tailors even use specific type of sissors called shears.
For most consumers it’s not worth an investment in tools or material. Not the mention the damage that can be done by incorrectly cutting a piece of fabric or finished garment. If you’re not willing to learn or don’t have the patience to apart seam, leave it to the professionals.