Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Clothes, sewing and value

For a blog about vintage sewing I realise there hasn't been much sewing on here...ahem.  I have to admit, that instead I've been, well, SEWING! Obsessively and to the exclusion of many other things in my life (such as housework and eating).

Clearly things cannot go on like this. And perhaps they won't. But for now, the creative buzz I get and the amount I learn from every piece is just so valuable to me. I was reading over some of Gertie's old posts recently when I came across one she titled 'Why I sew', including how dreaming of sewing projects keeps her awake at night...um, I know how that feels. I am an olympic sleeper but when I'm in the middle of a project I can slap that alarm on and leap out of bed an hour early just to get some stitching in before work.

It appears that I am not crazy and also I am not the only one. Many of Gertie's readers cited the ability to self-determine their wardrobe as a key factor in why they sew, and how disappointed they are with much of what's available RTW. I would have to agree that it's very liberating to be free from needing to buy whatever is offered by chain stores and the like. However I also think it has given me a great appreciation for what some RTW collections CAN achieve for the price they ask, now that I know how hard it is to create certain finishes and pieces.

Take this morning, I saw a girl in a cute black and tan striped T-shirt with a large black sequinned love heart in the middle. It looked adorable. I don't know what she paid for it, but I do know that I couldn't replicate that sequinned love heart in a month of sundays! Maybe I'm exaggerating, but what I mean is, if someone's charging $50-60 for that T-shirt, I think that's pretty reasonable given how long it would take to sew on those sequins. Now, whoever did sew on those sequins probably didn't do it by hand and almost certainly didn't get paid enough for their skill, but that's another issue.

I just want to say, some clothes should probably cost more than they do.We can thank mass manufacturing for making clothes more affordable. Sewing has given me a lot more respect for the clothes I see in stores, but I'm glad I can now make my own too.

One label that I definitely think is worth its price is Melbourne designer Anna Thomas, check out her SS12 campaign. I love her ladylike styling and luxe finishes. I was especially chuffed to see a stunning black linen sheath dress with green bias trim...is there anything bias binding can't improve?

I would also love to own the entire Jigsaw Australia Spring 2012 collection (except the hems are too short for me!). Love the linen dress with scallop trim, and the liberty-print dress with triangle back cut-out. I used to find their items a little expensive, but now when I look at their finishes and fabrics sometimes I wonder how they manage to make it for that price.

Oh, and I promise to get some actual photos of sewing up here soon!

1 comment:

  1. I like that scalloped linen dress too and totally agree that some rtw clothes should cost more than they do, and not just on ethical considerations. Even fair rtw prices still give women a very skewed idea of what things cost to make should they ever go to a dressmaker to have something custom made from absolute scratch- hard to explain sometimes if they don't pattern-make and sew themselves

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