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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Commercial vs Homemade

While I've been making all these kids clothes, I've been thinking too. What makes something look commercial compared to homemade? People often ask me if I made something the girls are wearing. You know, that's really uncomfortable. I don't know if they ask because they know I sew, it looks "homemade", or it looks prettier than commerical. Let's just say, I like things to look handmade or boutique but not homemade. The difference? Quality.

The top ten ways to look commercial:
1. Match stripes. Or don't use them at all. Although I have seen commerical things with unmatched stripes.
2. Make sure your fabric all goes in the right direction. We've all been there. You don't have quite enough to finish cutting out unless you turn the pattern piece another way. But don't! It's better to use a different fabric than to have prints going two or more directions.
3. On the same lines, and I'm definitely guilty, using too many fabrics. Most commercial items use one or two fabrics but rarely more than three. Break this rule if you want, you may just look boutique!
4. Quality construction. Make sure there are no puckers or obvious mistakes. Of course, mistakes do happen but try to minimize them.
5. It's what's on the inside . . . finish those seams! Nothing says homemade more than strings hanging down below a hemline.
6. While we're on the subject of hems, a blind hem is definitely the most commercial. Although it's a rare day for me to actually do one of those.
7. Topstitch. Especially on knits.
8. Too much trim is just too much. Especially several different trims. But again, it can look very boutique.
9. Match thread color to garment color.
and 10. Tailor it to fit your child (or you!) perfectly. A perfect fit goes a long way towards looking commercial.

Thanks for letting me share with you. Since these were running around in my mind, I thought you might find them useful as well.

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24 (NIV)



Jenny said...

great post melissa.
i dont sew clothing, but i got a lot of great info from your list!

Needled Mom said...

I can remember when I was in the 7th grade a girl asked me I had made my straight skirt I was wearing. When I said I had, she informed me that one of my darts was longer than the other. I went home and sure enough - one was 1/8 of an inch longer!!!! They have been exactly the same length ever since!

Patty@Granma's said...

11. Always remove selvege edges!
There's nothing like walking down the street with a white line up the middle of your back (or side) to get people's attention, although not in a good way :~O

Lisa Marie said...

This is hilarious to me because yesterday my mom asked me if you made Emilie's dress and I cringed because I feel awkward when people ask me stuff like that.
But then I've also asked you if you made your outfit too. So I'm guilty as well! =]

ShirleyC said...

Those are all so true, and when sewing, press, press, and press! It really bothers me to see people posting things they made that are so wrinkled. How do they ever sew a straight seam?
I also agree about the stripes. I nearly went nuts last Christmas making red/white striped pj's for the grands and getting those stripes lined up. A serger sure does help!

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