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General Tips for Reconstructing Clothes

Let these quick tips for starting to reconstruct your clothes help you avoid the downhill spiral of frustration while still allowing you creative license to do it your own way.

Don't be afraid to cut it

Do not be afraid to cut up the original garment. If the garment isn't being worn or appreciated in some way, it's just taking up the space of something that could.

Let go of your inner perfectionist

Reconstruction is not about being perfect. It's about being creative. So it's okay if your clothes aren't so perfect either. Changing your perspective on things can make all the difference.

Get in the groove of a good pair of scissors

Don't kill yourself over a dull pair of scissors! A decent sharp pair costs only a few bucks. Splurge on a new pair and save your hands from all sorts of horrible fates. If you're doing a lot of sewing, get good scissors made specifically for cutting fabric. You can find these for $20 to $30 at your local fabric store or on the Internet.

Regardless of the type of scissors you choose, make sure they are used only on fabric. How does something as thin as paper dull your scissors? Just believe this, it does! If your scissors are at the mercy of other hands grabbing them up in a hasty cutting need, hide them!

Enjoying evolution

What most people think of as "ruined" you might see as an adventure in creativity. In reconstructing clothing, it is important to realize that you are not fixing or mending the garment so that it looks like it used to. You are not tailoring an old style to be an updated version of its former self. You are changing it. You are creating something new.

You are your own model

How do you know if it fits? Try it on and see how it feels. Different pieces fit different people in different ways. It's important to get in touch with yourself, accept yourself, and get an understanding of what flatters you.

It's the same thing when making and reconstructing clothes. The best way to see how something is going to fit is not to read it in a book or from a pattern. Just put it on your body! Feel it! Are you comfortable? Can you move as you like to?

Don't let a number box you in. Sizes change greatly over time and even at the same time between different manufacturers.

Stains can be your guide

Stains are often seen as the grand finale to a garment's existence. But a stain can also challenge your creativity.

Using the stain as your guide and inspiration on a piece is a fun way of accepting its evolution. Depending on where the stain is and how it came about, you may want to either cover it up or incorporate it into the piece. For example, if you spill a glass of wine on a garment, enhance it by dying the entire thing in wine.

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