Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Few Words About Quality

Here is a video made of my friend Erika who is a clothing whore   fashionista of the finest degree. She has impeccable taste and knows quality when she sees it. I made a Poiret inspired silk velvet opera coat for her wedding day, and Ive repaired some of her precious vintage. I do believe that the black fringie beribboned coat was one of the coats that she brought me to work on. There is nothing more exciting than keeping these old treasure alive and wearable! Here is her SF accessories boutique!

Erika Von Petrin for from StyleLikeU on Vimeo.

Most people have no idea what goes into making clothing. They usually don't understand why certain garments cost so much when they are used to purchasing  mass produced clothing that can be worn and thrown away in a season or two. And with incomes going down and the cost of living going up, it is harder to justify purchasing expensive clothing.

Better clothing is usually more expensive because more time and money goes into its construction. But if you purchase things that are made better, they will generally last a lot longer with care. I have altered, repaired, and constructed many garments over the years. Ive worked on a lot of vintage clothing, which were usually made with better care and attention to detail. The ONE thing that I have seen with the older clothing in contrast with the newer clothing is that the older clothing is made with a much tinier stitch length. This has held these garments up to the test of time. The most time consuming part of repairing or altering these garments has been ripping out those tiny little stitches. They often do not rip out easily. Rarely do I see modern clothing sewn with tiny stitches. And it usually falls apart quickly with wear.

A garment of superior quality will look like more care and consideration was taken into its production. The first thing to do would be to go do some window shopping and inspect low priced garments and then compare them to higher priced garments. The item or items should stand out  above the inferior clothing. There may be more detail, seams will be straight or sewn with more care. Bust seams should be smooth with no puckering. Buttons are sewn on securely. Button holes should not be frayed. There will sometimes be smaller machine stitching in the foundation of the garment ( but this is a trend that has mainly died out due to manufacturing costs). Pockets flaps will lie flat. Lapels will lie flat. Inner seams may be bound with bias tape. Threads will be clipped. Linings and interlinings and padding may be used. There may be more curves to accommodate a female body Seam allowances will be clipped so that the seam lays flat against the body. More consideration may be taken into giving a hem or hemline that is flattering. Hems  should not pucker. There may be a bit more weight and drape to the garment. There may be bigger seam allowances to accommodate possible alterations. More finishing techniques may be used to add more life and structure to the clothing.  More thought will be taken in the actual design of the garment. Better fabrics will be used. The inside of the garment should look nice also. Try on the garments and see how they fit. See how they make you feel when they are on your body. There is a reason why some clothing makes you look and feel like a million bucks - much more time and thought went into its' making.

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