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ZEPHYRA's avatar

Could you invent a practical piece/item of clothing to suit your needs?

Asked by ZEPHYRA (21581points) November 20th, 2010

Is there something new you could invent or alter an already existing item to suit your needs?

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42 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I’ve done that: when I make nightgowns, I always put pockets in them.

I also created a shopping bag for Christmas shopping, with a loop to hold rolls of wrapping paper upright so they wouldn’t flop over and become unmanageable, two sets of sturdy woven handles (one pair to carry the bag at arm’s length and an alternate pair to make it a shoulder bag), and a small matching case to fold it up and slip it into so that the short handles stuck out as if they were the handles of the case. I used two complementary versions of a seasonal print for that one.

Once I used a pattern for a dress jacket to make a bedjacket in a beautiful eyelet print so my friend could be glamorous right after giving birth, instead of being stuck in a hospital johnny. I added a matching kerchief as a coverup until she could wash her hair.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@Jeruba you must be brilliant with that kind of stuff, creative and imaginative!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I would pay money to see @Jeruba wearing her shopping bag.

I limit my inventiveness to the boat, primarily.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

A tightfitting undershirt with pockets for gel pacs to slip in to cushion around the shoulders, armpits and clavicle so I could fire at clay pigeons all day and not come home black and blue across my chest.

Women’s quality-cotton underwear that is like men’s long boxer briefs but made with elastic lace around the leg openings and across the top so they don’t cut soft spots into “sausage” shapes.

Cruiser's avatar

Thermal insulated ties that hold coffee. I could reach down for a refill at work anytime of the morning!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I don’t invent much in the clothing line, but I re-purpose a lot of things. I once found (I don’t even know how) a pair of XXXL ‘harem pants’ things in cotton. Part of some extra-zoftig woman’s wear, I’m sure. They served me well as pajama bottoms (for the times I want to walk around the house in warm weather and have company I don’t want to shock) for years and years. Before them I had an old karate gi bottom that I used in the same way. I also use extra-long tee shirts as lounge wear sometimes.

I invented the idea of a huge terry-cloth slipcover for a couch that the whole family could sit under and eat nachos… that was an invention born of necessity, I promise.

Jeruba's avatar

Ha ha, @CyanoticWasp. You could say I am “wearing” it when I put it over my shoulder, as much as you “wear” a purse or a shoulder holster.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

You could never say that I wear a purse.

Jeruba's avatar

…as much as one “wears” a purse…

Gad, you are argumentative sometimes. Are you sure you’re not my husband?

MissAnthrope's avatar

YES! I have one such idea in my head, a very good idea, actually. I’m not sure how to get the ball rolling, but it’s something that is desperately needed. I don’t want to tell what it is because I’m determined to make money off the idea some day, but it is a piece of clothing designed specifically for front-of-the-house restaurant employees.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m argumentative all of the time, dear.

Jeruba's avatar

At least my husband takes little breaks and agrees with me now and then. I’m certain he does this to throw me off balance.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@MissAnthrope Good luck, go for it. Don’t think about it too long because some bright spark will come up with it!

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Can’t anything be done to make bras more comfortable?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m sure you’re right. (It’s amazingly effective, too, isn’t it?) I like him already, almost as much as I like you, @Jeruba.

Jeruba's avatar

@ZEPHYRA, yes. You can offer them a nice chair on the patio and bring them a drink with a little umbrella in it.

Bras were invented by men as instruments of torture to keep women in their place, right along with girdles and high heels. The more you suffer wearing them, the more effective they are. What man would ever sit through a job interview and keep smiling with the jagged end of a broken underwire stabbing him in a tender spot every time he drew a breath?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Hanging them on the back of the couch works well, too, @ZEPHYRA.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@Jeruba yeah, Pina Colada should do the trick!!!!!!!!

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@CyanoticWasp if that is done too much, too often, something else will end up HANGING down the front of the couch, if you catch my drift!

Trillian's avatar

I really love my holocaust cloak for those chilly nights when I have to storm the castle!

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@Trillian you must look stunning in it!

Trillian's avatar

Pretty hot!

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@Trillian you must have the appropriate boots to go with it!

BarnacleBill's avatar

I would like socks with a pocket to hold the house key and credit card when I walk the dog up to the coffee shop…

Joybird's avatar

I don’t consider it inventing but I take old clothing items and make them into new items. I’ve taken old skirts that have gone out of style and then made them into tent dresses and I’ve taken caftans and made them into kimono style jackets. I am in the process of taking men’s old jeans and making a scrap denim skirt for my daughter complete with fabric flowers as part of the decoration. I make my own skirts because I like them to the floor. I like tunics so I make those also sometimes out of pareo’s. I had bought all these long knit dresses, two of each color and wore them as kind of a work uniform. This past year I decided to take the extra set and dye them, hand print them and then reconstruct them into a knit kimono jacket with long angel sleeves to wear over the remaining dresses. I get asked where I got it all the time. I think I am somewhat inspired by the Edwardian era and tend to attempt to apply that in creating a piece to wear now. I’d like to make some swede moccasin knee length boots and take them to someone to apply a sole for winter time but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I make my own jewelry off and on also.

Jeruba's avatar

@BarnacleBill, aren’t you wearing anything else that could have a pocket? Like, you know, pants? a shirt?

faye's avatar

I have seen those socks @BarnacleBill in a catalogue. I also remodel clothes, turn tablecloths into Hallowe’en costumes, interesting sheets into nursing scrub tops, but pockets in a nightgown is the best! I used my kids crib sheets as liners for kid-size sleeping bags that had a teddybear head. So many scraps became the stuffing!

Jeruba's avatar

@faye, I made a lot of costumes, capes, etc., for my kids, but my favorite thing that I made for them was a playhouse.

I took my scraps collection and picked out all the pieces that could be trimmed to a rectangle at least six inches wide, and then I sorted the chunks by width. In each width I strung them together to make a long rectangular piece: a series 6” wide, another 8” or 10”, and so on. Now I had these long, extended patchworkish rectangles.

Then I stitched the long segments together side by side to make a long patchwork bolt about 36” wide. I fitted and cut panels of that to cover the top and sides of a folding card table, with one corner seam open, finished off, and overlapped a little bit to make a tent-flap opening. This became an instant playhouse. My kids could crawl under there and do all the playhouse-pretend games that kids like to do, and then in a moment it could all be folded up and put away.

Now it’s in a closet waiting for grandkids.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Damn, @Jeruba
Re: @BarnacleBill in socks

What has been imagined cannot be un-imagined. Thanks so much for the image.

I may never get to sleep again.

faye's avatar

@Jeruba The work! what a wonderful Grandma-house item.

MissA's avatar


Oh, how I lurve a multi-faceted woman.

augustlan's avatar

@Jeruba I had no idea you were so handy! You should set up a shop on Etsy… I would buy those shopping bags.

@BarnacleBill I’ve seen those socks, too. they have a little zipper pocket, if I remember correctly.

As for myself, I’d love to be able to design my own shirts. I’m a busty woman, but not terrifically over-sized elsewhere. Regular sizes are too small for my chest, and plus sizes are too big everywhere else (particularly in the neck and arm areas). If I could afford it, I’d have all my clothes custom made instead of making do.

A bra improvement I’ve thought of for women like myself: Hard-ish, molded cups underneath the breast, but not covering the nipple or above (that area could either be ‘free’ or just covered with fabric). Just something to keep them up in the right general area, but not like a piece of armor all over the boobage. Covered in cotton, please.

faye's avatar

@augustlan I know how to sew because I had to reshape shoulders of pant suits sold in one size top and bottom, polyester, burn into your skin, so cool. It’s funny looking back on the sizing system. I was a small girl, 5’1”-105 lbs. How could my bum be too big?

downtide's avatar

I would like to invent an insert that I could put inside a shoe that’s too big, to make it fit comfortably.probably some sort of gel thing that forms itself to the shape of my foot. The reason being, my feet are one size too small to fit most mens’ shoes.

But I have no idea how to manufacture something like this.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

I thought that there was something like that available, however I don’t think that it forms itself to the shape of the foot. Now that would be practical!

janbb's avatar

A friend and I agree that the terrycloth or velour stretchsuits they put little babies in would be very comfortable for everyday wear. It would make going to the supermarket even more of a sensory delight than it already is though!

@Jeruba You are smoking on ths thread!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@downtide look into “InstaMorph” moldable plastic. It might be just what you’re looking for.

ucme's avatar

Hmm, maybe an inner sleeve to house my trouser snake. I go commando see & well, this would be a handy alternative…....okay it wouldn’t then.

faye's avatar

@janbb You must be slim. A stretchsuit sounds like one of the levels of hell to me. Watch Walmart People- I would be one!

Jeruba's avatar

@janbb, I don’t smoke, honest!

I started sewing in secret to make a birthday gift for my husband, who liked to wear caftans. But what really got me going was when I was expecting my first child. For some reason that year all the maternity clothes looked as if they were designed to make you feel depressed about being pregnant. So I started sewing in earnest, everything from cheery print tops to a full-length banquet gown with lace bodice and covered buttons. I also made several cloth purses of my own design, with zippered pockets, little loops for my endless pens, and woven straps that went all the way around, under the body of the purse for support, instead of just being anchored at the top.

I loved sewing because it was completely absorbing and mostly right-brained, a true vacation from the mind I usually lived in. I especially enjoyed modifying patterns to suit me: zipper back instead of button front, inset panels, different sleeves, etc. And pockets! Everything gets pockets. When you’ve had allergies all your life, you always want a tissue close by.

What ended my sewing career was carpal tunnel syndrome. Sewing time is mostly pinning time. Once the cutting is done, most of the careful, beautiful craftsmanship takes place during or depends on pinning: pin for 3 hours, stitch for a few minutes, and then unpin. And I could not pin for more than 5 minutes at a stretch without my fingers’ going numb.

Since the surgeries on both hands, I haven’t tried it again, but one of these days I will.

faye's avatar

@Jeruba Funny, I’ve sewn many years but really seriously as married with kids. I wanted to stay home with my babies so I sewed, baked, canned and jammed, grew a big garden etc etc. Now when I have leisure to sew all I want, the arthritis in my hands is making it difficult. I did think of a better answer to this question. I would love to make a caftan type outfit with leggings and feet in it- so cold in my house!

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