Monday, June 4, 2012

A Close Look at Stitching Another Way

I let out some seams on these garments for a friend. She is an immigrant from Nairobi and she brought these garments with her to Canada. One thing about hemming clothes is that I get a bird's eye view into the construction of garments.It appears these garments were entirely hand-sewn.

The design is simple but the fabric - a plain cotton weave over lace- makes this an elaborate dress. I assume this finery is reserved for special functions.

The pieces appear to have been cut from the pattern and then the main fabric and the lining were sewn together and turned inside-out so that the seam allowance would be hidden. When the seams were sewn, there was still approximately a 1/2 inch seam allowance. (Take a moment to look at the shape of this skirt! How flattering it must be!)

Tiny stitches attached this bias tape - made from the same thing cotton-like fabric as the under-fabric.

The sewing of the lining and main fabrics together and then turning them inside out to hide the seams created a more elaborate seam finish that reminded me of the Hong Kong seam finishes. (While the garment was originally hand-sewn, it has been altered a few times via a sewing machine and you can see the sewing machine stitches here.)

Again, look at the simple design paired with elaborate fabric. This skirt has a tie waistband made from the same fabric as the lining.

Together the set looks gorgeous.
Here is the way this seamstress fit a zipper that was not long enough for the blouse: she put it in upside down so that the pull pulls downward to close. A lot like a working dart. (Remember this is all hand-sewn, so options were limited.)

The top of the zipper is at the bottom of the blouse with the lace!

8 comments:

  1. Interesting. I wish I could see those clothes in person. Is it kind of sad that I cannot even imagine sewing an entire garment by hand?

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't either. I don't even hem my clothes by hand. Everything has to be quick and easy!!!

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  2. Sewing a garment by hand? Wow. These women must really have to take care of their clothes. In our throw-away society, it is almost impossible to imagine.

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    Replies
    1. I think I take the time to stop and smell the roses simply by using my sewing machine. These seamstresses take hand-made to a whole new level!

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  3. Really amazing. And all hand sewn. Wow!

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  4. Remarkable craftsmanship!

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  5. Wow...excellent pieces of work. I love hand stitched clothes..so much love has been out into it. I love all the details on the dress especially the ruffles at the back. It's priceless !

    mongs
    mythriftycloset.blogspot.com

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  6. These are really beautiful clothes. I wish I could meet the women who sew them and tell them how impressed I am!

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