Sometimes you just need to tweak a bit

Sometimes when I don’t know quite what to do (sew) I head back to my wardrobe to see what is in there, and what I am actually wearing from it.

It always amazes me how little of my clothing I wear on a really regular basis. I admit I am almost always in casual clothing, usually the sort that I don’t mind crawling the floor pinning client garments in, so I really need to consider this when I sew.

However, when you have got right to the back of the wardrobe and dragged everything out it is a perfect time to try on and clear out. There were a fair number of things I immediately decided had to go – if they hadn’t been worn in 12 months there had to be a reason. Sometimes it was clear that something could be done to make things wearable, on other occasions it just wasn’t worth the time.

Better.. but not quite

Better.. but not quite

Frumpy in extreme

Frumpy in extreme

Remember this dress? I was slightly amazed that I made this in August 2011 (yes, I do hang onto my clothes a long time) and have worn it a number of times. I really like the cool cotton fabric – and it has birds on it. whats not to like? However, with the exercise I have been doing I have changed shape a bit so the picture on the left shows the horrid reality of how it looks. Ouch.

I pinned the back and  hem to see if that would make it work and I am happier, though I think it needs a proper assessment of what is needed rather than a quick whiz round with the pin box. When I have more time I will get at this with a fully engaged brain.


The other thing that almost ended up in the recycling/charity bag was a pair of RTW shorts. I rarely wear shorts but I have been recently tested for Vitamin D levels which turned out to be very low so my intention this summer is to expose more skin whenever the sun is out. Sorry world.


Image result for lofty it ain't half hot


Shorter shorts

Shorter shorts

'Lofty' shorts

‘Lofty’ shorts



This pair reminded me very much of Donn Estelle as Lofty from the old TV program ‘It ain’t half hot mum’. Not quite the look I wanted. Once pinned up a couple of inches they looked acceptable. Not lovely, but I will wear them until a better option is available.


With regard to the sewing I was considering in my last post I have decided to make the Stacie jean jacket first. I circled the patterns many times before making the decision which was entirely based on the fact that I had everything I needed to make Stacie but would need to plan and buy supplies for the other options. You will be surprised to hear that the fabric is another bright – either yellow or orange (again) depending on how I feel when I go to cut out – but I have a soft rayon or cotton type fabric (nice, been around for ages so I can’t be bothered to test) which will make a coordinating dress or those wide trousers. wow, wardrobe planning.

Since the weather changed here in the UK to be a little warmer lots of my clients have come out from hibernation (or I think that’s where they have been) and I have too much ‘work’ to sew for me at the moment. Oh well, the sooner I get it done the sooner I can sew for me again. Bye!

38 Comments on “Sometimes you just need to tweak a bit”

  1. sew2pro says:

    Here’s to Vitamin D! Apparently, a lack of it is very common and can be blamed for a host of medical conditions in our corner of Europe.

    What a fantastic difference raising those hems makes (the brain makes the instant assumption that the person on the right is younger). It’s suddenly very windy and cold here (showers too) but once the sun is out again, you don’t want to be sewing so yes, be prepared. What a shame those clients didn’t have the common sense to get their bits done in winter so as to free up your time now – though I admit when it’s cold and my legs are white with cracked, dry shins, the idea of trying on summer stuff pains me!

    • Thanks for the comment. I was horrified to find out how low my vitamin D level was, though given how little sun we have over a UK winter I shouldn’t be – and yes, I now find it is connected to other health problems I have. Supplements and sunshine needed.
      I wish my clients would spread out the work but in over 20 years I haven’t managed to train them!

  2. Well done for finding the mojo to do the tweaks…I can rarely be bothered and then things end up in the crate of shame…for YEARS. I agree about the length- I think we’re similar shapes [although no idea how tall you are]. I find that everything needs to be on or above the knee, except for very full skirts, which can be longer, especially worn with heels. All about the balance isn’t it? Flats are comfy, but not usually flattering I find!

    • I’m 5’4″ and I agree on or above knee suits me better. I have no hips to speak of so I tend to avoid a-line and full skirts – although I have a hankering after a full skirt at the moment. I may just have to go snoop shopping to see how it would look.
      I love ‘the crate of shame’!

  3. Thimberlina says:

    You’re looking fab!! The excersice is certainly showing on you and you look lovely in your ‘new’ frock! And your shorts too! I imagine a lot of your clothes will be needing some adjustments. I hope mine do too! 🙂

    • Thank you! I exercise for health rather than weight/body shape but it is an unexpected benefit. Hope you are still going to Parkrun when you can!

      • Thimberlina says:

        I’m free this saturday, it’s quite a few weeks since I last did it. I think i’ll be doing it though not smashing any records, but it’ll just be good to get back into it 🙂

  4. sewbussted says:

    Just be careful about your sun exposure. When I saw my doctor this past Monday, I asked if he felt that skin cancer is really more prevelant. He said, “most definitely.” He said that when he first began to practice, a basal cell or melanoma was a very rare occurrence on a young person. He said that now it is common place. So be sure to us sunscreen and then take a vitamin D3 supplement.
    I think you have a great pair of legs BTW 🙂

    • I agree a balance needs to be struck but the sort of sunshine we get here in Worcestershire is rarely particularly strong. We are fortunate to see it at all! As someone who burns easily I have to be very careful anyway but my bones are clearly crying out for vitamin D. Another bone scan tomorrow so I hope it is holding steady with the exercise now 🙂
      Thank you for the comment about my legs *blush*

  5. Mike Eaton says:

    I do like the ‘new’ shorts, tis a ‘man’ thing I’m afraid! If you’ve got it flaunt it and I agree with “sewbussted” above – they ARE a lovely pair of legs – goes with a lovely woman I might add!

  6. That dress is adorable and well worth fixing! I love skirts and dresses, but don’t wear them often–after three foot surgeries, heels are out of the question, so I tend to stick with a boho look that works with sandals.

    I like the shorter shorts, too. You have a good eye for proportion.

    Good luck with the vitamin D–wish I could send you some sunshine, since I live in the New Mexico desert, where the big worry is skin cancer.

  7. tialys says:

    Funnily enough, I have just been looking at two dresses (RTW ones) that I feel I should love but something is not quite right. They are longer than I usually wear (I bought them online), they come to just below the knee and I’m only 5’3″ so I look ‘drowned’. It doesn’t help that they are dark colours. I took them round to my sewing friend yesterday and tried them on and I said they looked frumpy but couldn’t translate the word into French – she said they look ‘malheureuses’ which basically means ‘miserable’ . Charming! Four inches, no less, have to come off because – as with your dress – when we pinned the hem up the difference was amazing.

    p.s. I have clothes in my wardrobe from way before 2011!

    • Whisper it but so do I!
      I’m glad you are able to have a friend help sort out your ‘malheureuses’ garments 😉. I love that word and if I can remember it I will make use of it.

  8. fabrickated says:

    Just the same as Sew2Pro – the length makes all the difference. I help people with style advice sometimes and these great “before” and “after” pictures are very compelling. You look so great with a shorter skirt/shorts. Lots of women do but worry that after a certain age skirts much be longer. You are DF both have great legs and (both) you look your slimmest when the focus is on the length and slim shapeliness of the legs. I like wearing shorts, even in winter, as it is an acceptable way to wearer a short look without looking “inappropriate”. I hope you can find time to do the alterations because you look great – toned and stylish.

  9. mumokio says:

    Love the shorter shorter shorts, they definitely suit you. How amazing to find another sewing parkrunner (Rushmoor and Alice Holt here).

  10. Isn’t it great when you exercise for health and find your clothes don’t fit anymore! Hope you can “fix” your dress, it is lovely!

    • I’m surprised at the change despite my weight barely changing. I have to keep the effort up, my bones are always going to be a concern as both mum and granny had/have osteoporosis and my test wasn’t magnificent so there could be even more change.
      I’m certainly going to be attending to that dress when I clear a bit of client work.

      • Well it’s nice to hear that your body can change even if your weight doesn’t. I haven’t been taking care of myself for probably 4 months now, but more paying attention to someone else who is ill. I have been training for a 10krun, but doing that sporadically. I haven’t lost any weight, like I usually do when I train, so it’s nice to hear that it still might be doing my body some good! I wish you good health even with your osteo condition! Keep up the good work – sewing and health wise! 🏃🏻

  11. sdbev says:

    I do like the alterations you are planning. They look like significant improvements.

  12. The clothes look great after the tweaks. And you don’t look at all like Lofty!

  13. amcclure2014 says:

    I agree with the comments that there is a vast improvement with the length change and your tweaks. A good chunk of my wardrobe is pre 2011. For golf, shorts need to be longer and your original length would have been good for that. Horses for courses!

  14. sewruth says:

    That’s a really good strategy Kim – check what you wear and how to make some things better so that they will be worn. A great way to save money ( no new fabric purchases), salvage perfectly good items and update your wardrobe – I’m off to do a recce….
    Oh, and your make-overs are super successful!

  15. mrsmole says:

    You look amazing and all that swimming and exercise shows! No hips and great legs….totally green with envy! I don’t know that we can ever “train” or control our clients…and one day when we stop this merry-go-round of sewing for others they will find another source. Hopefully we will one day have free time for our own cool creations…fingers crossed!

  16. merlatma says:

    Oh… The shorts look so great on you!!

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