A got an SOS call from a friend over the weekend who is about to jet off to Europe and she realised her favourite skirt had a tear in it. She needed to give it some quick emergency surgery to salvage it, so she called me.
Of course I said yes, because she is a good buddy and she also brought a bottle of wine with her! Ha. But usually I don’t do mending. My husband thinks it’s silly that I can sew but I’d rather pay someone else for alterations and mending jobs, but I’m sticking to it, and here are my reasons why.
1. Just because I can sew, doesn’t mean I can sew ANYTHING.
A common misconception amongst non sewists. “Oh Ros makes quilts. I’m sure she could make some curtains for my holiday house!” Uh, nope. Wouldn’t have a clue where to begin.
2. I’m not skilled in garment construction.
I can make simple dresses for my kids and at a stretch I can make the odd thing for myself. But the interior of the garment is pretty messy, even with an overlocker, and I’m not familiar with the varying skills it takes to finish a garment well. A garment I make will not look store bought. If I mend something, it will not look professionally done.
3. Professionals have experience.
Many are trained tailors or people who have had careers in textile and garment factories as machinists. They have great working knowledge of fit, size and how to work with different fabric. They have spent decades sewing professionally and I will happily pay for those skills.
4. Professionals have the right equipment.
My machines are great, don’t get me wrong, but a professional alterations business has industrial machines that can work with a huge variety of fabrics, work with bulk and can replicate the appearance of a store bought garment. They also have a endless threads so they can often colour match exactly. Recently my husband needed a small repair on a leather jacket. I tried, but my needles just weren’t strong enough. I took it to the local place I use and the jacket was not only mended, but I couldn’t even tell that the tear was ever there.
5. Time is money.
In my case, between work, family and all the other busy things that go on in our day to day family life, when I sew, I want it to be fun. Hemming my husband’s jeans do not fit into that category. Chances are those jeans will sit on the pile for a month. Taking it to the tailor and paying $15 will have them done in 24 hours and completed to a professional standard. Worth paying for in my opinion.
So what do you think? Are you a mender or will you happily outsource?