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DIY is "manly" except for clothing (?)

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    DIY is "manly" except for clothing (?)

    Common "manly" tendencies:

    1. Oil change: DIY

    2. Unclog sink: DIY

    3. Assemble bookshelf: DIY

    4. Pants too long: go to tailor, hand them pants, followed by money

    I hope I'm not trolling, I just wonder what you all think?

    P.S. sewing machine: power tool?


    If I knew how to tailor professional-quality clothes I'd do it for sure... There are designs I'd love to see that I either can't find or can't find for a price I can afford.



      Well said, I don't disagree with that; tailoring a jacket surely requires a professional's touch.

      But still I think there are very doable alterations that we relinquish to a pro: Hemming pants, sewing buttons. Taking in pants and sewing darts are a level harder, but I think still very feasible compared to common home improvement endeavors.

      And whether an amateur can trust his own handiwork to be of high quality? Consider the man that works on his car and proceeds to drive it at highway speed: I think that point is covered!



        Not to put you on the spot, but I'd be interested to hear what designs intrigue you and are unfortunately hard to acquire?



          I used to sew my own buttons until I figured out my tailor would do it for $1. I think it's similar for hemming pants--doable, but is it really worth your time? And, really, the same can be said for changing your oil.



            Agree with Jose and Jason. Plus, things like an oil change or replacing brake pads are definite. The oil comes out, new oil goes in (simplified obviously), take old pads off, put new ones in. Tailoring is not so definite. There is a lot more finesse and expertise that I think most lack. That, or it would require a lot of practice that I would not want to try on my clothes.

            "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano



              @jose_jackson: That makes sense. Nothing wrong with valuing your time over your money, life is short.

              @greg_s: Interesting about the "definite" factor, that's something I didn't think of. As for not wanting to ruin ones own clothes, I think the consequences of botched home improvement or car repair are much worse, financially and safety-wise. But as you say, maybe those are more straightforward to do right.

              I'm definitely not arguing to do everything DIY, carry around an ax, and be Super Artisan Man. That's not exactly practical.

              But I still think that if you plot DIY hobbies on a scale of popularity for men, simple clothing repair/alteration falls disproportionately low, considering the level of attention on clothes. Is that a valid thing to say?

              (But maybe the level of attention is what scares people away from mucking it up, as said earlier.)

              Ok now I'm talking to myself.



                DIY may not make sense, but doing it occasionally, or watching it performed, gives you an appreciation for the craft.

                Has anyone here taken a sewing class, say at a local community college?

                I too have some designs in mind that I don't see. I'd like a pair of cream trousers. I really like dark, rich shades of red, a red version of bottle green, and I'd love to have a velvet jacket in that color, and really anything. I find the color palette of mainstream clothes limited, dull and unflattering.



                  @CharlesMartel: Have you ever tried dyeing? You might ruin a few, but it's pretty cool when it works. Just a $3 investment for the dye. Though, bleaching a dark color and then dyeing it a different color has never worked well for me.

                  I've never taken a sewing class, I'm just self-taught through little projects I take on. Don't know if I'll ever make an item from scratch (cutting patterns out of fabric, etc). Armholes... that's scary.

                  I like the "appreciation" argument. To continue the car analogy, if you've got a meticulous stable of classics, but can barely pop the hood or describe how an internal combustion engine works, isn't something missing?



                    @AL_VA Stuff like a bespoke suit... WWII military inspired overcoats, which are becoming more available but are $1000+

                    But then, I also take my car to get the oil changed 'cause I don't want to deal with it and it's worth $30 for me not to have to... Unclogging the sink, on the other hand, I will attempt to do, but I have had times when you have to call a plumber like when my son flushed a plastic toy.



                      One economics counterargument I thought of:

                      It sounds lots of you have tailors that charge reasonable prices. On the other hand, lots of people are afraid of getting fleeced by a mechanic/plumber/electrician/contractor/etc.

                      So it could be a rational response to the "market", to choose certain DIY things over others.



                        @Jason Carreira: That overcoat sounds pretty cool. And yeah, I take my car in for oil changes too.



                          AL_VA, the dyeing sounds like a great idea, I could start off with a garbage white tee. Do you have any instructional resources/links to recommend?




                            On the other hand, lots of people are afraid of getting fleeced by a mechanic/plumber/electrician/contractor/etc

                            I think this is true of any service that more complex than I can understand. It's harder to call 'BS' when you don't REALLY know if you need a new water pump in the Chevy.

                            Jose hit on the second point: Only you can gauge what side of time vs money you fall on. I pay for my oil changes but cut my own grass, take dress shirts and slacks to the dry cleaners but cook all meals. To me I only do what I enjoy, can do quickly, or have to do my way. I've taken my house down to the studs and it was *really* hard to pay someone else to put up a new fence - both because I knew I would do it better and much cheaper.

                            Some ways to get into the DIY part of clothing:
                            <ul>While watching TV: Mend rips and tears, move / replace buttons

                            Make your own cotton pocket squares from leftover scraps at the fabric store

                            Making leather belts/bracelets

                            Dyeing clothes (starting with fades jeans?) RIT is popular[/list]

                            I consider restoring furniture as a 'manly' DIY activity, and you can get into some complicated sewing with some types of upholstery.

                            My Measurements: 6' 1" height, 35" sleeves, 41-42" chest/jacket, 35" waist, 34" inseam, 11.5D/EEE shoes, 200 lbs



                              @YackoYak: Cool suggestions. The restoring furniture sounds intriguing. My girlfriend has a beat-up armchair with sentimental value. The batting is dead, some of the fabric is in tatters, but I think the skeleton is fine. I wonder what I'd be capable of doing on that.

                              Yep I have only used RIT. There are some guides with pictures online, but the instructions inside the box are pretty good. You get a few different options: stovetop, washing machine, bucket, etc. Garbage white tee is a great idea, though if your next piece is not cotton, it might not be such a great predictor. Not sure how much to expect differences between knit/woven and fabric weight either.