Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Sew and sew

For every three items of clothing I buy, approximately two things go either to the bottom of my wardrobe or to the charity shop without being worn more than twice. It's not that I am wasteful by nature; it's that I'm not very good at shopping and stuff that looks good in a fitting room can look terrible in real life. Furthermore, everything I buy has to be shortened because the mannequin used in the ateliers of Topshop, Zara and Esprit is about eight inches taller than me.

The dress I'm wearing today is a case in point. I bought it knowing it would need to be shortened; I took it to a tailor and had it cut off and hemmed; then I decided it was too short and let the hem out; then I realised it just didn't look that great. AND THEN... I decided to wear it back-to-front. The result is depicted here. I'm glad I persevered because finally - after a delay of only about, um, 18 months - I have a brand-new dress.

This success story is a bit of a one-off however; mostly my shopping errors have no such happy ending. So I've been interested to learn about a service that revives clothes imprisoned in your wardrobe and mends old favourite pieces so they can accompany you out and about in the world again.

Designer Alterations has launched The DA Seamstress Squad, a handy new service that comes to your home and takes the hassle and time out of alterations and mending. The ‘Squad’ will come over armed with their sewing machines, tape measures and sewing kits to carry out on-the-spot alterations and repairs. They can even overhaul vintage, down to the last bead or sequin.

The Designer Alterations client base includes fashion editors, celebrities and designer retail boutiques like Gucci, Pucci and Burberry, so there's good reason to believe they really know what they're doing. The Squad’s service is £70 an hour; to avert wardrobe malfunctions ring 020 7498 4360 or visit www.designeralterations.com

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