Saturday, 20 August 2016

In Sewing News Today...

Did you catch this article earlier this week? Polly Dunbar wrote a piece called, "How Your Clothes are DESIGNED to Fall Apart:  From Dodgy Stitching to Cheap Fabrics, Today's Fashions are Made Not to Last--So You HAVE to Buy More."

Dunbar exposes a fashion industry that designs garments to self-destruct in various forms in order to easily force unwitting consumers to replace poor quality goods with the same. I felt that Dunbar unfairly blamed consumers with an uncontrollable appetite for fast-fashion. But I think there is something else at play that Dunbar doesn't mention. Just consider that consumers have lost a very power tool in the 1970s when home economics classes that focused on clothing and textiles were removed from the curriculum in many school divisions. If knowledge itself is power, by taking away the education that makes one an astute consumer in terms of quality workmanship of textile goods and replacing it with cheap prices is there any wonder how this has happened? Brand consultant, Tony Glenville points out that today's consumers do not check the quality of the fabric or seams. But hold on a second!  If they haven't been educated in this essential skill, how would they know what to look for?

Yet we can see that my "home economics theory" has
a hole in it as illustrated with one of my own RTW t-shirts.  

It is a good article, Dunbar interviews many working in the field to expose this long suspected fact.  I especially appreciated the reference to the quality of fabrics found now-a-days.
And the fabrics we wear today are far less hard-wearing than in the past. Until synthetic materials such as polyester and nylon became popular, virtually all clothes were made of natural materials: wool, cotton, silk and linen.  These are more durable than synthetic and blended fabrics - which is why so many ‘vintage’ pieces have survived.  Read more: 
I couldn't agree more with this part of the article. I also find this at the fabric store. I have fabric in my stash that is from decades ago. Yes, an archival collection of fabric, some pieces I'm too scared to cut into. But I digress...

The comparison in quality and weight is highly noticeable when compared to similarly labelled fabrics of today. If I want to make a dress of cotton fabric some of the best finds are in the home decor department not the fashion fabric side of the store. It seems next-to-impossible to find a white 100% cotton shirting fabric, not a cotton blend, that isn't see-though now-a-days.

Talking about finding good quality natural fibre fabrics worthy of clothing in the home decor department... I scored this lovely cloth while at Fabricland this week. It is currently on sale. It is a medium weight cotton. I'm thinking a shirt-dress.  

In other sewing news, I've been busy sewing up a storm to get craft sale inventory together. More microwave bowl holders and kids' clothing are in the works. And these items are not made to fall apart. I'm also thinking about sewing up some tweed teddy bears with some mens' suit jackets that I've collected for messenger bags. We'll see how they turn out.

Tomorrow, I would like to take a break from craft sale sewing and finish up that Issey Miyake dress. I'm just worried if it will fit. It is not yet at a point where I can try it on.

And maybe a new bag.

Well, that's all the sewing news I have for now... Until next time, happy sewing!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the article link. Bad work on RTW is nothing new in women's wear at least. I've been battling buttons that fall off shirts soon after purchase since the early 80s when I started buying & caring for my own clothes. Buttons rarely ever fell off DH's RTW shirts. What's concerning is that as bad as the fabrics are in RTW, it's mostly no better in fabric stores, at least not the chains I get to. Also, if home decor fabrics are light enough to make garments from, what does that mean for the durability of furniture we put it on? Or are home decorating fabrics considered a separate class from upholstery fabrics?


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