August 17th, 2022
On My Mind

Tinker, Tailor, & DIY

In a post a few weeks ago I mentioned that I am having bags updated, shoes repaired, and six dresses dyed. The bags and shoes are perfect, but the dresses are just okay — they all came out midnight blue and on a few the stitching did not take the dye. Live and learn. But I haven’t stopped there, a Ralph Lauren cream, wide-wale corduroy blazer is getting an overhaul. I’m having the shoulders tightened and the sleeves shortened to above my wrists — I want the shirt cuffs to to peek out. And I, myself, just shortened the very long straps on this unworn straw bag from an earlier post (super glue, fabric repair adhesive, raffia ribbon) and now it’s exactly what I need. #MakeItWork

  • I have a Prada corduroy jacket that has 3/4 length sleeves in navy. I love that look.

    TracyAugust 17th, 2022  2:06 PM

  • Hi Preston! Do you mind sharing where you take your dresses to get dyed? We’re in CT…

    Stella JonesAugust 17th, 2022  2:45 PM

  • Whoop excellent work with the bag. Drag about the dresses but all in the interests of reinvention. The jacket sounds like it will end up being perfect. This morning I pulled out all my blazers and am having cuffs shortened on two of them. Now is the time.

    SueMAugust 17th, 2022  2:53 PM

  • One problem with dyeing garments is the thread, as you’ve experienced. Most garment thread is made of polyester and doesn’t always take (absorb) the dye. If it’s a midnight blue – one trick is to ‘color’ over the stitching with a fine-point Sharpie. (Test in an inconspicuous place first.) Sounds crafty – but if matches and done carefully, it can make a disappointing garment wearable again. (And, no one needs to know.)
    Love that you are having (and doing!) alterations to make things right for you!
    Thank you for your great posts – always a joy.

    Lisa FAugust 17th, 2022  3:08 PM

  • Ooh, I’m a whiz with a sharpie

    PrestonAugust 17th, 2022  3:21 PM

  • Great idea, Lisa F! Please share where you take your dresses to be dyed. I wonder if you could do it yourself with Rit Dye?

    LisaAugust 17th, 2022  3:55 PM

  • I do love the 3/4 length sleeve often found on classic Chanel jackets-although one can’t wear a long sleeve blouse underneath. But, with long sleeve shirts, I always seem to roll up my sleeves!

    RebeccaAugust 17th, 2022  5:07 PM

  • Thanks to your earlier post, I finally hauled my Valentino peacoat off to Alteration specialists to get the costumey gold buttons switched to a subtler horn.

    I’d coveted the exaggerated cocoon peacoats on the Bottega runway, but when Moda had them on trunk show at 5K I couldn’t stomach it.

    Now i get to wear what’s been languishing in my closet!

    SamAugust 17th, 2022  10:40 PM

  • Sharpies work on furniture, too!
    I love this post . . . but it makes me laugh to the point of tears!! I am envisioning all of Preston’s readers, self included, busy re-doing, re-stitiching, coloring, re-making, cobbling, updating everything we own! :-))) Love it!

    PaulaAugust 18th, 2022  12:34 AM

  • When it comes to decorating , Sharpies are used to hide seems on dark wallpaper.

    SusanAugust 18th, 2022  7:47 AM

  • Cute heading:)

    ChristinaAugust 18th, 2022  10:23 AM

  • I do the same to purses too! Instead of cutting them, I tie a knot to make them from shoulder straps to handbag straps that go over my forearm. It’s more comfy & stylish that way for me.

    myda y.August 18th, 2022  1:27 PM

  • Any recommendations as to where to get dresses dyed?

    AlessandraAugust 19th, 2022  9:00 AM

  • Hi Preston,
    Do you have any recommendations on where to take dresses to get dyed? Or do you dye them yourself? In which case, could you tell what brand of dye do you use? Thanks.

    Stella JonesAugust 20th, 2022  9:28 PM

  • I sent the dresses out and, as I said above, was not happy with the results. If I hear of a highly recommended place, I will post on it.

    PrestonAugust 20th, 2022  10:02 PM


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