Thursday, May 23, 2013

Zen and Fast Fashion

Two diverse topics but today they have things in common in my sewing room. First to the Zen:

I did hems today, by hand and machine. I took in waistbands. There is something very meditational about doing mundane repetitive work such as hand hemming. I enjoy it. It's satisfying, calming, and helps me have a better wardrobe than off the rack as well as some serenity time. All of these pants are off the rack. There are two pair of fleeces for hubby. He never wears such things but now needs them for his therapy. Then there are three pair of "thin" pants. I don't call them skinny pants because they are not skin tight and I couldn't look skinny if I tried. But years ago I wore "thinner" pants, ankle length, not skin tight but a definite more slender profile. I like the look. Alas, they went out of style and it was back to trousers. But I always missed them. In my opinion, on  a petite, even a curvy one, a closer cut was in better proportion. Once again, I am not talking tight here, just slim. Think Audrey Hepburn, black silk pants, hemmed at the ankle bone.

Pants like this do not exist where I live up here. But I saw them everywhere in Mass. and NH recently and couldn't wait to get my hands on a pair, or two , or three (wink;). Why didn't I just make them? Well, right now time is at a premium. I would need to work out a new sloper with this profile and I just don't have the required free hours to do it. I'm on vakay this week and went down to NH to get some dental work done by  my daughter. I brought my supply of gift cards with me to spend. I managed to find two hours to hit the store and this is what I came home with. So Zen was the feeling as I stitched through those hems and got them properly at my ankle bone a la Audrey. I love these pants. Are they perfect? On to Fast Fashion:



Well, for one, they are made in China. At this point and from what I have read I think that is better than Bangladesh. They retailed from 70 to 100 dollars a pair. Of course I didn't pay retail, but not far off. Here's what I saw in my fast fashion at that price:

* Hong Kong seamed waistband

* Understitched waistbands

* Nice fabric that I would actually buy to make my own.

Not too bad. But  the surprises awaited me. I went to sew the hem on my Boho floral pants and found this.

Now I really don't know what the green embroidery floss is doing here. It goes 6 inches only up from the hem and is a chain stitch. I don't get it. Then there is the lovely little tuck in the hem seam from the seam allowance. I undid it and fixed it. It really bothered me. I also reduced the bulk you see in the hem. No seam allowance was trimmed back to eliminate bulk. Why would you? Bunny can do that herself. (eye roll). OK, the Bohos are now fixed.





But here is the one that really fried my ass. And I never noticed it while trying on the pants. Fast Fashion is getting worse by the minute. In the top and bottom pics you see the back pants leg. It is seamed at the knee! This is not a style line, trust me. This is to save fabric and still be able to churn out cheap fast fashion. Look closely at the top pic and you can see the piecing across the back of the knee, barely visible, so why would you other than to save fabric? I have the black pair turned inside out for pressing and look at that! This is only on the back legs. So next time you go shopping make sure you check out the back of the knees. This one got right by me and I didn't find it till this afternoon, back in NY. I don't mind it on the print because it is pretty well camoflaged but on the black it is quite obvious. I guess I will call it a style line in that case. Do we have to pay a freakin' fortune to get a whole pants leg today? Honest to goodness.........Bunny



15 comments:

  1. We sewers would never make pants with the back leg pieced. I must check that out the next time I buy pants. Thanks for letting us know. Love all your sewing!

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  2. That piecing takes the cake. It's been years since I bought RTW pants, but I will definitely check the back next time I buy some

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  3. Oh my goodness. That is ridiculous. Yet another reason to sew and not to buy. I could almost understand this if you were paying Mart of Wal prices, but not at this price point. I will definitely be checking the back of pants from now on.

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  4. I knew I'd seen back piecing before - http://cocosloft.blogspot.fr/2013/02/vogue-8859-marci-tilton-skinny-pants.html She thinks it is less likely to gather behind the knee. I would be interested to know what you think.

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    1. Hmmm, from Marcy Tilton I will take that as solid info. But given the source of the pants, I just have no faith that is what is happening in this case. Once I get wearing them I will let you know if that is the case. Next thing you know maybe we'll see side darts on butts like on Brazilian jeans! I think you have to have a Brazilian butt to make that one work, however!

      Thanks for that link, Helen.

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  5. The Ralph Lauren pants with all the lacing up and down like Mariachi pants that I had to hem had horizontal seams but front and back. So to see pants with only one back seam makes me wonder and wonder badly like is this a trend to some...where else will they compromise for the sake of saving fabric? Could that weird green stitching be something for a vent that was never done?

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    1. That green stitching goes 6 inches up on every leg seam. It cannot be seen on the public side. It looks like a decorative idea that went "fugetabotit".

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  6. stranger and stranger - the plot thickens ha ha - I am with you someone making sure of efficient use of every scrap of fabric.

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  7. Loved this post!!! I was laughing, even though I'm not a morning person! I bought Marci's seamed at the knee skinny pants pattern because Coco made red ones that are major cute. Vogue 8859.

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    1. Coco's are darling. Given the shortness of my legs I never gravitate toward designs that cut the little stems in half.

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  8. I wonder if you could rip on the seams from the hemline to the knee, make a little horizontal tuck in the front leg to match the seamline in the back, and topstitch across the seam? It would look like an intentional style line. Hummmm.

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    1. I've given them enough attention with their hems and waists so consider them finis at this point. But wow, have I learned to look all over the next pair of pants I buy.

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  9. RTW really makes my blood boil at times. How sneaky!

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  10. I've never seen this before. Of course I haven't bought rtw pants in quite a long time! I love that narrow, not skinny pant at the ankle look too. I just made a pair that I love. I could never wear really skinny pants, but I really like how I look in narrower pants. How is your husband doing?

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    1. He is doing much beter, Nancy. Thanks for asking. He has a long way to go but can now perform his "ADLs." (activities of daily living, like eat at a table, shower, etc.) He was totally bedridden before. He has a long way to go and still has contant pain but to a much lesser degree. But there is a plan now and all the health pros are very positive. Best news is he's positive.

      I would love to know what pattern you used for your slim pants if you geet to see this request. Can anyone recommend a slim pant pattern and why do you prefer it?

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