24 March 2007

man vs. machine

A couple posts back I expressed my scaredy-catness about venturing out into the world of making things for other people. My fear of a button falling off or a crooked seam has been a long standing excuse to not be doing what I want ought to. Why would people spend more money to buy something I've made when they can go to the mall & buy complete outfits for dirt cheap?

Hmm..maybe because I cannot possibly be the only person who is fed up with the crap ass quality of cheaply made, mass manufactured clothing.

Zara knit hoodie. After 2 washings, the lovely cuffs have almost completely broken themselves free of the rest of the sweater. There's also a large hole at the back shoulder seam. two. washings.

Club Monaco sweater. The ribbing along the bottom began ripping apart from this within the first couple of washings. Was this to be expected? I did, after all, buy this from the outlet store. The reasonable Nicole told the pissed off Nicole that that's probably why it was heavily discounted; so I ran it through my serger, fixed the problem myself & continued to wear it.....until it started happening again. This time in a different spot - of course, the area I had already fixed with my own machine was still perfectly in tact.

Sweater purchased from Winners. After the first wash a little hole in the neck band formed. I paid no mind. After 3 more washings the neckband has come unattached enough to make me feel like a teenage goth when I wear this.

I've only documented these three instances of what seems to be a regular occurrence. What do I do every time it happens? I shake my head, I regret spending the money, I LIVE with it. I accept it as an inevitable part of mass production, and before long I fall victim to yet another cute sleeve detail & a low price tag.

Meanwhile, proof of the fact that I have something resembling talent, or, at least ability hangs in my closet & is folded up lovingly in my sock drawer. Every pair of socks I've knit seems to improve with washings! The mass amounts of skirts I've made have held up through countless wash cycles, my winter coat looks like I made it yesterday, the tops I've made for myself are my *favourites*.

Handmade *is* bettermade.


Melsky said...

Yeah, don't let that stop you!

You could always offer a guarentee to fix the seams if they come undone or something, since that seems unlikely anyway.

Pippi said...


Flying Pizza said...

Yeah, word! Go for it Nichole, start making clothes for sale! (I'd buy from you--I'm desperately looking for a sassy, independent clothing maker who makes clothes that would fit me to support.)

Flying Pizza said...

whoops, i mean nicole.

Cat said...

So true! My knit sweaters are all WAY better quality and fit than most things I have seen in stores.

fivegallonbucket said...

I agree with flyingpizza, the world needs more well made indie clothing, and your style can't be beat.
Sewing for money is tricky, though. You have to have things well thought out and then be flexible to boot.