The Details

Hellu Pussycats!
There is a saying: "the devil is in the details".
This was never more true then in garment construction.

**1. Zippers:
Move the zipper up and down a few times.
Check that it moves smoothly.
They should lie flat and not be puckering. When you get to the top,
make sure that the zipper "locks" and doesn't come open on its own.
A little test: When the sip is at the top, pull the sides a bit.

If the zipper opens on its own it isn't locked and
won't stay up on its own.
This is not good especially in skirts, trousers & jeans.
Double check for missing teeth.

In my opinion, if you see plastic thread used instead of regular thread
( unless it is a special application)
that should be a deal breaker. How many times have you have a hem
fall out of a skirt or dress?
When you look to see why the hem fell out and it unravels
with plastic thread. yuck.
Plastic thread is just like a very thin fishing line.

Don't get me wrong, it does have its applications and can be very
useful in beading and applique work.
However, in my humble opinion, it has no place is quality
garment construction such as hemming.

The most important aspect of finish in any garment is the stitching.
Whenever you're considering buying an item,
turn it inside out and look at the stitching.
Are there loose and hanging threads?
Is anything raveling?
Does the thread colour change partway down a seam?
These are all very bad signs.
Stitching should be clean and neat and except for when
it's deliberately meant to be in contrast, should sink
almost invisibly into the fabric.
Usually the thread should be the same shade
or one shade darker, than the cloth.

Another sign of a well made garment is when they
took the time to match the top stitching thread colour on various
pieces. If the collar is blue is blue and has been top stitched w blue
thread and the blouse is yellow
and has been stitched with yellow thread, this is good.

Time was taken to match the fabric and not
just use red or white for everything. 

**3. Seams:
Seams should lie absolutely flat with no puckering where the fabric
pieces join together. Seams should be well pressed.

You shouldn't see large needle holes in the seam.
( this means the wrong kind of needle was used or
they were too big for the fabric.
It created holes in the babric instead of
just pushing the threads aside to create a stitch.)

The seams should be reinforced
( look for back stitching to secure it from ravelling)
and the thread should hold securely.
On a woven garment ( non stretchy) you should see a row
of stitching  then the serged/finished edge. This means the manufacturer
has taken the time to sew the item together with a
proper stitch length and then gone back and finished
 off the raw edge. You are looking to see they are willing to
take the extra step to ensure a better made garment.

Stretchy fabrics usually just have serged or overcast seam
because that kind of stitching
will stretch w the fabric and that is very important with knits.

**4. Linings:
Linings are there to help you garment hang better ,
give it a good shape and look more polished.
It should be a pleasure to wear a lined garment not annoying.

A quality lining should be made in stable, thick, sturdy and
antistatic fabrics.It is good to know that there isn't just
one kind of "good" lining. I change up the fabrics I used
depending on the season. I like to use cotton in the dresses b/c that
is much more comfortable then a satin or polyester. The key is to
look for a lining that isn't sheer, looks stressed or flimsy.
You want your lining to provide you with some stability.

The lining takes the stress off of the outer shell of the garment.
This is why you often see fancy fabrics,
loosely woven fabrics, suedes and leathers as well knits lined.
It helps protect the outer shell from sweat
and skin oils, and providing some ease when one
garment goes on over another.

Most of the time a quality item will have the entire item lined
(a full lining in a jacket, for example rather
than a half-lining that only covers the top half of your body.)
Linings are particularly crucial in tailored garments
such as jackets and coats .
Look for full linings and slippery linings in the sleeves.

This jacket has a fun cotton plaid lining w slippery sleeves.
Good! :)
Zip in and zip out linings in jackets and pants for wear
ability thru different seasons
is a bonus for sure. A top notch garment esp. in outer
wear and leathers should have swing tacks - long threads of stitching,
spaced at intervals, allowing the lining to move independently
of the outer garment without pulling on the hem.

Fitted or tailored skirts should be lined at least to the knee.
A lining in these skirts can be crucial to how
the skirt hangs. You don't want the skirt to cling to your thighs or
bumm and ride up on your tights or panty hose.

Turn the garment inside out and make sure the lining hangs are
nicely as the outside. If it looks twisted or sewn in crocked it could
make for an awkward fit. Lastly, the lining and the outer
garment should be the same care code.
I have seen cotton dresses w acetate linings, hence the
Dry Clean Only label. There are some fabrics that
are used for linings that don't take well to being washed.
Acetate is one of them.
The bottom line is that the manufacturer
should take the time to line your garment well and with an
appropriate match to the outer shell.

FYI- Well made items in such fabrics as wool or silk can
be manufactured unlined. If the item doesn't have a lining
I would consider wearing a full slip underneath instead -
this gives the same effects of slip and hang

**5. Facings

A facing is a piece of fabric ( usually with interfacing) used
to finish off the raw edges of a garment at open areas,
such as the neckline, armhole. On a quality garment,
facings are usually deep and tacked down
to a seam. On a cheap garment the fabric may simply be turned
over and stitched down and there will be no facing.
Facings are important because they provide structural
support to the garment as well as a
clean finish, so they are worth looking out for.

You can find the entire series here on my web site.

Hope this was helpful!!
Have a great afternoon.
Luv Weezi xo

1 comment

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

That's so weird that manufacturers would use plastic thread. It must be cheaper, huh? Great info here, Lisa!