The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

From $1,000 suit to a $5,000 suit

This is an excellent graphic that shows the different steps from RTW to Bespoke.  Bespoke is an English term:

“custom or custom-made, made to order,” of goods, as distinguished from ready-made, 1755, earlier bespoken (c.1600), pp. of bespeak, in a sense of “to speak for, to arrange beforehand,” a sense attested in bespeak from 1580s. Now usually of tailored suits. (Courtesy of
The article is from NPR and clearly shows the difference, and in some cases things you wouldn’t even imagine that are being done to a suit – somethings that we sewists would not even consider.  But while you’re looking at these graphics also look at the prices.  The sewn suits are a good thing to compare your own time and work to, not to the discount suits
GLUED!  How many of you would even THINK of gluing.  Of course this is an amazingly easy and very quick way to assemble a garment, but I can’t think of one sewist that would even consider this method of assembly!
OK – this gets into a little bit more of what we do, but still there is a lot here that is not good quality and certainly nothing we would ever do.  Primarily what we wouldn’t do is make a pattern up and finish it (except for the hem) and then make a few alterations and call it done.  A few alterations no matter how well done on a standard pattern fit, is not a good fit.  I think we can all figure that out.  It’s great if you have the figure of the Duchess of Cambridge, but honestly, most of us don’t and don’t want to.
This is more what we would consider for a sewn suit.  Something like this is what we all strive to learn and to do.  Please notice the base price, and folks let me tell you something, this base price is the bare bones price, and it’s not very often.  Most of these suits run in the $7,000 to $12,000 range and really on up from that.  But even taking this suit at $5,000, you can see that your work is worth something more than $99.
The point in all this is that too often I see novices and particularly folks outside of sewing and new to sewing compare their work with the cheapest and most poorly  made garments.  That is NOT what we do, it is certainly not what we strive for.  So comparisons here are stupid and wrong.  Additionally, I hear about a lot of my students who have either just broken to a better level of sewing and their family and friends are all over them – “Oh make me something!” or “Man you’re really great at this, why don’t you make something for some other folks!”
This really shows an incredibly lack of understanding of clothing, even among some of my students.
Value your work, and as a matter of fact your work is more valuable than you think.
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