May 04, 2023

Three Things Thursday: Alterations

Like I mentioned before, I've been doing a lot of sewing in my spare time recently. It's one of my favorite hobbies and rather than make clothes and things from patterns, I like to buy clothes from thrift stores or garage sales and alter them in some way.

Sometimes they turn out really great, and other times they are hideous. The beauty of thrift shopping, though, is that making a mistake isn't the end of the world. I get brave sometimes and do drastic things. Other times I just alter them for practical reasons (mainly so that they fit better).

I am 5'4", and without many curves. I have pretty much no butt or boobs to speak of (and I actually rather like my body that way!). I have loose skin on my arms and thighs from the weight loss, and I choose not to wear shorts or skirts that go above the knee.  In my upper body, I have loose skin around where my bra band sits (I need a bra that covers a large area under my armpits). 

I say all of this not to rag on myself about my body, but rather to explain that it's hard to find clothes that fit! I usually have to take in the waist of jeans and hem pants a couple of inches shorter. And when I have the patience, I like to turn a boot cut or straight cut pair of pants into a flare cut. (The flare just looks better on me.)

Anyway, for Three Things Thursday, I thought I'd share three of my most favorite alterations!

1. I don't have a "before" picture of these jeans, unfortunately. But, if you just picture them to be completely plain--no patches, no rips, no drawstring--that's what they looked liked. I was terrified to cut them up because I *really* loved the jeans, but I had fabric that I thought would look good for patches. So I added patches here and there, and I got very brave and cut a large hole in one knee (leaving the strings across) and then put a patch underneath to peak through.

The only downside to these jeans is that they are hard to find a top to match! So I don't wear them very often; when I do, though, I love them!

2. This was a totally crazy "fuck it" moment I had when I altered this dress. I bought it ages ago because I LOVED it--but it was too short for me to wear. It went down to about mid-thigh. Also, the off-the-shoulder look hasn't really been in style for a while (or maybe I'm wrong--I don't follow fashion trends, if it's not obvious, haha). I didn't want to get rid of the dress, though, because I really loved all of the black lace.

I knew I was never going to wear it as-was, so I decided to see if I could attach the shoulders to the straps. That was a huge pain--much more difficult than I thought! I liked the square neckline that I created. It didn't solve the problem with the length, however, so I decided to turn it into a shirt. I kept the length, but I gathered the hem and attached elastic to it so that it sits like a shirt would.

I love how it turned out! It was one of the more drastic alterations I've done. I don't wear it much because it's not really a "wear around the house" type top, but I'm holding onto it for when the occasion rises.

3. I saved my most favorite for last. I bought these jeans at a garage sale or a thrift store, I can't remember which. I thought they were unique because they had lace patches inside of the holes. 

They are good quality jeans--Silver brand--and the only thing I didn't love was that they were straight leg. This is what they looked like when I bought them:

They were also low-rise jeans, and I don't do well with low-rise. Without having any curves, it's hard to keep them up over my butt! Finally, they were a little short on me.

First, I added fabric to the sides to make them flare rather than have the straight leg cut. Because they were a little too short, I added the same fabric all around the bottom cuff to make it look more intentional.

And just recently, I added a second waistband in that same color. I attached the second band just on top of the first--it added height to the top, making it a mid-rise jean instead of low-rise. And now they stay up over my hips! I LOVE LOVE LOVE these jeans!

And then when you put it all together, I have this pair of very tailored jeans:

I have a couple more alterations lined up and I'm excited to work on them! :)


  1. Your alterations are amazing! I know you do them for fun but you could do a boutique business and sell your jeans for a lot of money. Love reading your blog.

  2. Katie, I love these alterations!

  3. I’m amazed at the black top! Wow. It’s a little dressy but it’s nice to have a dressy top. The first pair of jeans with all the patches are super cute.

    Also I think the straight leg jeans look really great on you! The flares are fine too and very much in style right now but you can definitely wear a straight leg.

  4. These are PHENOMENAL! OMG what you did with that top. And I'm alway so happy when you say you don't look good in straight jeans. I feel the same way about myself. But, in the photo, you look fine in the straight-leg jeans to me, but it's important that YOU feel comfortable.

  5. I wish could sew like that! You must save so much $$ with that talent.


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive