Thursday, September 17, 2015

How to Spot a Sewist at the Store

Whether you call her a sewist, a sew-er, a seamstress, or something else, you may occasionally see her out looking at clothing in the store. She is easy to spot. Just look for these signs.



1.) She turns all the clothes inside out. While most of the shoppers will pick up an item of clothing and hold it out in front of them, or maybe drape it over their bodies, imagining how it might look on them, the sewist will try to turn the item inside out so that she can see the inside of it. She is looking at the seams and analyzing the construction. She wants to know how it was made and if it was made well.

2) She uses oddly specific terminology. While others might point to "that blue shirt over there," she will refer to the "bias-cut blouse with the neckline placket and the welt pocket." She might even use a word like "garment."

3) She is shopping in the big men's section for her baby boy. Because all clothing is really just fabric ready to be cut and sewn into something else.

4) She pulls out her fabric tape measure. This one is a dead giveaway. She might be discrete about it, but if you see her pull out that fabric tape measure and start measuring the dimensions of the garments, you know she's a sewist.

Have you done any of these things? Do you know someone who does? If you sew, and you notice someone else doing these things at the store, maybe you should say hi!

25 comments:

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    1. Glad you liked it! I'm always glad to know it's not just me who does these things!

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  2. so true! I did that this morning at Target ;)

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  3. Lol what a pretentious bunch we are! Using words like "garments" ;) I am always flipping my husband's clothes inside out to figure out how they're constructed, and whether that t shirt is just serged around the neck binding, or if the seams are neatly enclosed in twill tape to keep the neck and shoulder seams from stretching out ;)

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    1. LOL - "pretentious." I suppose I can be that when it comes to clothing construction. My husband knows that when I am looking at him really intently, it's probably because I am trying to figure out how his shirt was constructed or something.

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    1. Me too. ;) It's good to know we're not the only ones.

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    1. I know that not everyone likes that word. I admit it is hard to find a good word for what we do. If only we could all get together and come up with a really good word.

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    2. Yes yes! Textile Whisperer!! I concur completely!

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  6. Must confess to the first 3 points on the list. Especially nr 1. Not to forget, walking out of the shop because 1) the clothes were not put together well enough according to your standards, 2) you know you can easily make it yourself 3) buying the fabric is cheaper and you can make more out of it 4) the kids have enough clothes! :)

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  7. Don't forget checking to see if the plaids match at the sides and down the front. Maybe that and seeing if things are cut on grain just pertains to us well seasoned seamtress. Plaids are popular now and I bet everyone will be checking.

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    1. Plaids matching is definitely a good sign. They are very popular right now and so many don't match!

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  8. Don't forget checking to see if the plaids match at the sides and down the front. Maybe that and seeing if things are cut on grain just pertains to us well seasoned seamtress. Plaids are popular now and I bet everyone will be checking.

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  9. The measuring tape is always rolled in my purse and so is a small pad with the measurements for my sons waist and inseam on the chance I find something I can alter to fit them. And absolutely I can tell when some garment is a 'lost cause' or the "I can SOOOO do something with that." Yes, that's me...former fashion designer now garment upcycler!

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    1. I always keep a measuring tape in my purse. You never know when it might come in handy. Knowing whether something is worth altering is a good talent to have.

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  10. So true! I whipped out my tape measure at a thrift store last week to determine if I could get enough 9.5" squares out of some jeans... I bought 4 pair that will be making their way into a rag quilt for my B-I-L soon. Oh, and I salvaged the zippers while deconstruction the jeans, too.

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    1. Ooh, good find. And good thing you had that tape measure!

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  11. Lol... My kids get embarrassed when I do this in stores. I take it up a notch if I really like something and take pics of it inside out in the dressing room...it helps with the recreation. If I see someone in something I like I ask them where they got it so I can track down the store and check out the garment with out being creepy :)

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  12. A very beautiful mid calf, light grey, fantastic quality linen, large and loosely pleated skirt from I. Magnin found me at the thrift store the other day. Two dollars. I did not need to pull out my tape measure or even think twice already knowing there something beautiful waiting to be made within that linen skirt. One of my greatest joys is thrifting for beautiful high quality garments to repurpose for nickles and dimes. I love your article, so true. If buying new, I always check construction, but in the dressing room.

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