Fashion Revolution 2016 - By Hand

It's day two of Fashion Revolution 2016, and the theme is:

Flashback Summer: Fashion Revolution 2016 - By Hand

I didn't realize this until recently, but all garments are made by hand, in the sense that a human being is manipulating the fabric and working at a sewing machine of some kind or sewing with a needle and thread.  I used to think that clothing, especially cheap clothing, was made entirely by machine, much like most of the other products we buy nowadays.  However, that's not the case with clothing!

Every item we wear has been sewn by a person.

Flashback Summer: Fashion Revolution 2016 - By Hand

Have you ever had a clothing item that you didn't think much about until you tried to make one yourself?  For me, that has been a t-shirt.  I figured that, as the seemingly cheapest  and most plentiful clothing item available, a t-shirt had to be an easy, throw-away type garment to make.

It is no such thing!

Flashback Summer: Fashion Revolution 2016 - By Hand

Geez, after learning about it, there is so much more to a t-shirt than I had ever realized!  Now I value t-shirts so much more, knowing all the types of machine and sewing skills that goes into each one.

As vintage wearers, many of us bemoan the loss of those gorgeous, intricate details that clothing used to have that has been cut out of most modern clothing by profitability and the throw-away mind set.  As we wear our vintage clothing and invest in these more expensive pieces, as we sew and include our own "slow fashion" details, we are reminding people around us of what clothing could be if we started to really care about it again instead of treating it as a fad that is to be thrown out in a few months.

Thinking about how every clothing item is made by hand, here are my takeaways for the day:

Flashback Summer: Fashion Revolution 2016 - By Hand

Is there a clothing-making skill or garment that seemed simple to you into you delved into it?  How did it change your perspective?

How do you think we can balance the needs of lower-budget consumers with the needs of clothing artisans to be paid fairly for their work?


  1. Excellent questions. I think that a very sizable amount of the issue (re: your last point) lies in the fact that many (if not most) of us the world over have become extremely accustomed to low priced clothing and do not (often at least) budget for more expensive pieces on a regular basis, often eschewing quality over quantity. Gone are the days when magazines like Seventeen laid out a strict sum and suggested how a person spend it on their wardrobe over the course of a season, year, or sometimes even longer, encouraging items to be bought and invested in one or two at a time. We now have big closets teeming with even larger wardrobes and would need a fairly radical shift in our personal budgeting to return to the way most people clothes shopped even just a few decades ago. Given the already frequently stained pocketbooks of many folks, I don't think that would be an easy thing to - pun not really intended - sell and such may only come about on any kind of large scale if peoples' economic situation truly necessitates it.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. So true, and so sad. I've had to change my own mindset when it comes to shopping, being willing to pay a lot of money for one item. I do it for ethical reasons, but also to "retrain" myself into buying more quality pieces and to feel the "pain" associated with a big purchase. It helps me not to impulse buy and to think about how I spend more.