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Wednesday, December 26, 2012


It’s sweater weather. I don’t know about you but the older I get, the colder I get. Dressing in layers for me is really important. On a recent Wednesday, I went to put a sweater on and found a hole in it. Bad news because I had to quickly scramble and find something else, but the good news is that many times a sweater with a hole can be repaired.

If you have a garment with a hole in it, don’t write it off. Depending on the size and condition of the area, one of these methods may be applied:

1. French Weave - Also known as the Invisible Weave, this technique is done on select fabrics with small tears, holes and burns. Individual thread strands from hidden areas, such as a cuff or inseam, are actually woven together by hand. This creates new fabric as it closes the hole and the repair is virtually indistinguishable from the surrounding fabric. Some fabrics, such as gabardine, don’t always lend to completely invisible results.

2. Inweaving - For larger tears, and when the French weave is not practical. The weaver cuts a patch of hidden fabric and places it over the damaged area, matching the fabric’s pattern. The frayed edges are then hand woven into the material. The edges of the repair are invisible to the eye.

3. Reknitting - Similar to the French weave, this involves taking hidden strands from sweaters, double knits and wool knits and knitting them into the damaged area. Intricate care is taken in matching the garment’s knit pattern and style.

Unfortunately, not every garment is a candidate for reweaving or reknitting, and because of its time consuming nature, it can be a costly process. But check with us first. We might be able to help you save a favorite garment.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Nice Tip

I never lose track of money, but my husband has a habit of leaving change or a few dollars in his pants pockets. Whenever I discover money while doing laundry, I simply place it in a jar in the laundry room. I’ll let it build up for a bit, then Gray and I will take it and go do something fun like get frozen yogurt. I consider it my tip. But that’s not our policy at A Cleaner World. If we find money in a customer’s clothes, we return it.

Recently I was talking to Norman Fitzwater, Owner of the A Cleaner World in Blacksburg, Virginia. Norman had an employee of about 12 years – Pam. He spoke highly of her – her work ethic and the fact that she was a single mom. One day while writing up an order, Pam discovered a lot of money in a customer’s pocket - $5,600.

Norman immediately called the customer to say that they had found a large amount of money in his pocket. The customer asked how much, like around $1,000? When Norman told him the amount, the customer said, “Wow. I had been to the race track and won a bit, but I didn’t realize how much.”

When the customer came to pick up the clothes, we returned the money. He was so grateful that he purchased a $250 gift certificate for Pam just to show his appreciation. That’s a way better tip than some frozen yogurt.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Another Party Dress

My husband started working for his current employer in October 2009. One of the first things he learned about was their Christmas Party, in particular that it is a huge deal. Not knowing what to expect and not having much direction, I opted for a black skirt and sweater. I was incredibly under dressed. Good thing I am a fast learner because the next year I too went all out.

So as our 4th party approached, I started searching for a dress. My husband asked, “Why can’t you just wear one you’ve already worn before?” He’s kidding, right? But in all honesty, I’d already purchased two dresses that I’ve only worn once. Remembering a story I saw on Fox & Friends about renting designer dresses, I checked out www.renttherunway.com.

Here’s how it works:

• Select the dress and accessories you want. They even offer you a guaranteed fit by sending you a second
size for free just in case. Then if none of the dresses fit, they issue a credit.
• Select the date you want it to arrive.
• Mail it back when you are done.

So I set up an account and got started. The choices are lovely and endless, and they have a user friendly filter that helps you search according to your taste.  I found several things I really liked but ultimately I ended up buying another dress, and here’s why. First, as much as I’d like to wear a Nina Ricci or a Badgley Mischka, I’d be the only one to know that. It’s not like there will be someone at the party interviewing me on the red carpet. Second, all the dresses I picked out rented for $200 or more (but many do rent for $50 - $100).  I purchased my dress for less than $100, and it’s just as lovely.

So while I didn't take advantage of renttherunway.com this year, I will keep it in mind for next year or other occasions.  This year I'll just add to my collection again. Perhaps in another 5 years, provided it’s still in style, I’ll find the nerve to wear it again.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Don’t Wear It Too Often

Whenever I admit to one of my crazy quirks, I worry that I may be revealing a bit too much about myself. But here goes. Whenever I worked in an office every day, I used to keep track of my outfits to make sure I didn’t wear the same thing too often. Oh I hope my husband doesn’t read this.

To keep track of it I simply rotated the clothes in my closet accordingly. If something was folded, I strategically placed it on the shelf or in the drawer. And even though I had a reasonably simple system, I occasionally got things out of order.

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I get when I discover an app on the iPhone that helps me more efficiently handle my quirks. Let me just share with you the latest thing I have discovered – Pocket Closet. It’s an app that can turn your iPhone or iPod touch into a personal wardrobe manager. Below is a link so you can click on it if you’re interested in more details. But there are three things this app does that I really like.

1. You can organize your clothes by type
2. You can record outfits already worn on a built in calendar, then you can look back to see when you last wore it
3. Just shake your iPhone or iPod touch and it gives you outfit suggestions


It’s a really nifty tool. And since there is an app, I assume there are lots of folks like me out there with crazy quirks. That gives me comfort.

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