Make or Buy? Your preference?

Discussion in 'The Powder Room' started by DrMags, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. DrMags

    DrMags New in Town

    So ladies... It seems we have a ton of talented seamstresses. There's also ebay, vintage websites, and plenty vintage inspired clothing lines..

    Whats your preference? Make, buy inspired, or buy vintage?

    There's tons of cute vintage inspired (blouses with cherries for example) but then I think well maybe I could make that on my own.. maybe...

    I think hair clips will be my weekend project. I was going to buy a couple off ebay but realized for the price of shipping I could probably make my own.. maybe?
  2. Marq

    Marq Familiar Face

    i hate to butt in as i found this on the new posts bit but i think i could have a say.I have been buying vintage for many years now but as the years go on it all seems to be getting more rotten and more holey.I now have someone who makes my clothes and very good she is too.I prefer to use either my old clothes for a pattern as my lady was in the rag trade for years,she is an expert pattern maker.The thing is i prefer hollywood or recardo style jackets and bags now we all know a good original recardo will set you back a good few hundred and still be faded.I think if you can get the original style fabric and the right pattern and the right person to make it then why buy vintage at all to wear?I have a vintage collection but hardly ever wear it for fear of miscreants spilling beer on it or walking off with my jacket but with repro i don't worry.............Marq
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I make most of my clothes rather than buy them for three simple reasons -- one is that the older I get, the more difficult my proportions become to fit in genuine vintage. I really envy those who can slip right into a vintage dress off the rack and have it fit like it was made for them -- I used to be like that myself, but, alas, time marches on. I'll never have a 27 inch waist again, and what little large-waisted vintage is out there tends to be too big in the chest for me. So by the time I've had to do all the alterations to get a piece to fit properly, I might as well have made the whole thing from scratch.

    Second is the cost. When I started collecting 30s-40s vintage, it was both common and inexpensive -- now, it's neither. It's much easier and much more affordable for me to find a style I like in a vintage pattern and make it up than it is to get into eBay bidding wars for something that'll cost me an arm and a leg and probably won't fit properly when I do get it.

    And third is durability. I wear my clothes hard -- I move around a lot at work, and sometimes I even sweat -- and I hate the thought of ruining a really nice vintage garment thru day-to-day wear and tear. When I make my own, I can do so with an emphasis on durability -- I know where the stress points will be and I can take care to reinforce the stitching there, and ensure that when I make a dress it's going to last.

    Most of the outfits I make for myself are simple, functional cotton day dresses -- I do have several genuine vintage suits that I save for special occasions, but for regular daily wear, I generally stick to the home-sewn.
  4. Nashoba

    Nashoba One Too Many

    Nasvhille, TN & Memphis, TN
    I'm kind of leaning the same way as Lizzie. While I can fit much of what I find, where I live things are getting harder to find for decent prices. When I first started collecting I did so pretty indiscriminately and bought if I liked it, the price was right and it fit me. As such I have a decent size collection of things I rarely wear (time to thin out the collection I suppose) These days I tend to buy only if it's unusual, unique, or I really really love it. And I'll spend a little more. I regularly wear the vintage I have but I'd almost rather spend the money on vintage patterns and fabric that I love and make several dresses from one pattern. That way I can save up for the truly amazing pieces. Of course that's the theory. In practice I'm still trying to dicipline myself towards that.
  5. goldwyn girl

    goldwyn girl One Too Many

    I have a lot of vintage that I wear on a regular basis but I also sew, using vintage patterns and if possible vintage fabric or as close to the real thing as I can get. As Lizzie mentioned it's hard to get something to fit, it has to be what you're looking for in your size and alas it dose'nt always work out that way. So making it your self solves that problem. You get the size, colour and style you want. As for vintage inspired, I rarely buy it but on occassion something will catch my eye and I do. So I guess I do all of the above. :)
  6. RetroModelSari

    RetroModelSari Practically Family

    Mostly Vintage in my size turns out to be expensive or has some damage already. So often I save the pics of an garment that I find to recreate it once my skills are big enough. I have a fabric store that I visit regulary that has an allways changing range of high quality fabric for about 1,30 $ a meter. So I stock up there all the time and do my best to make my own clothes. Since I model and the photographers don´t want to photograph the same dresses all the time I´m a bit under pressure to allways have some more stuff once a shooting is set. When I make the things myself it stays a affordable hobby (and a lady can never have too many clothes).
  7. anabolina

    anabolina A-List Customer

    Seagoville, TX
    I also agree with Lizzie. I try to make most of my vintage if only because I've worn vintage to work 4 times and had to do emergency fixes 3 of those times. Yes, I'm a bit of a klutz and Itend to mess up modern clothes much less older clothes that have already been through a lot. I also can't afford most vintage clothes in my size since mine seems to e really common and tends to go for a lot on eBay. I also like to make the clothes so I can make it exactly how I want it, in a color I like, a length I like, and any little details I like. Fo example, I'm planning to make a Vintage Vogue pattern after the family get together next week and it had a drop waist that will look horrible with my hips, so I plan to stick a normal a line skirt on it and use a more natural waistline. What I really like about the pattern was the top anyway. :)

    Of course I still buy too. I picked up a blouse from Walmart yesterday that was mentioned somewhere here on the boards. It's going to go great with the tight vest and flared skirt pattern that I will make up this other pattern in eggplant polyester fabric. I think I'll cut it out today between cleaning the house in preparation of my parents return from their vacation tomorrow... Hmmm...
  8. imoldfashioned

    imoldfashioned Call Me a Cab

    My preference is always vintage, but my pocketbook doesn't always agree!

    I tend to wear vintage inspired modern clothes to work, using vintage jewelry to provide an accent. As others have said, I'm pretty hard on those clothes and, since I take public transportation to work, I don't want to have to worry about sitting in gum in something delicate (it has happened, alas, but thankfully I was wearing a modern skirt).

    I must be lucky because I haven't had too many fitting problems with vintage aside from finding items that are large enough (if only I was a 36" bust; doesn't the best stuff always seem to be that size?). The prices are crazy these days and the variety and quality have definitely diminished. I'll wear my 40s novelty print dresses on the weekends or to a party. If I were rich as Rockefeller I'd be wearing Lilli Ann suits (why didn't I have any money when they were semi-afforable in the 80s?!).

    I'll make something when I can't find it in a modern style, in my size, in my price range or in a fabric I like. I've also copied some outfits I've seen in books or movies when I haven't been able to find them or if I've found a usable quantity of vintage fabric.

    I love vintage patterns whether I ever make them up or not and my "I need to make that" list is enormous. Also, I feel a much greater sense of satisfaction finishing a project from a vintage pattern than I do finishing a modern one since I see it as a real commitment--finding the pattern, grading it up, adding in the steps skipped in the Deltor because the writers assumed women would know they should be inserted, etc.
  9. AllaboutEve

    AllaboutEve Practically Family

    Old London Town
    I recently did a BIG reality check and realised that over the last couple of years I had really been caught up in the market for expensive vintage that more often than not had issues of wear, had fitting problems or was just going to nestle in my wardrobe for the next 2 years in the dark.

    Don't get me wrong I LOVE vintage style, but it has become more about the style and less about the authenticity for me these days.
    I enjoy making simple classic pieces that team up with vintage style modern clothes and then if something vintage and gorgeous turns up on the market that is fairly priced and in good condition I will happily buy it.

    Less is more in my book, and my bank balance!!!lol
  10. Donna/Dante

    Donna/Dante New in Town

    Alexandria, Virginia
    I prefer to make my own using vintage patterns & a mixture of vintage & modern sewing methods & materials. This way I get a perfect fit and something that suits my personal style. :)

    I also have a small collection of vintage clothing, dresses and skirts, mostly 1950s, that I still wear on a rare occasion, but I don't wear them often for fear of messin' them up!

  11. Lady Day

    Lady Day I'll Lock Up Bartender

    Crummy town, USA
    Cause its hard to find good priced stuff in my size, other than coats ;) I make most of my clothing, and save the cash for the brooches.
    Also like most ladies who made things during that time, I can alter to my tastes, measurements and whim.

  12. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

    Sunny California
    I prefer making my clothing, and buying a few pieces that have good construction to study. I have my "core collection" then a few things I get on the cheap and will wear until I don't think I will anymore and resell, but on the whole I'm much more comfortable and at home in something I make. I feel I can actually live without being wary of every time I bend over or eat or sit down or get in and out of a car. I can go camping, go to the beach, walk around town and have nary a tear. It's a fabulous thing! Original vintage is great for study and for ideas for construction and detailing, as well as helping you choose fabrics that are close to the original, but I say for wear it's actually a lot more economical and "vintage" to make your own or buy a good repro- they would have wanted a lot of wear for their money, and I'm the same way :D
  13. NicolettaRose

    NicolettaRose Practically Family

    Toluca Lake, CA
    I buy all my clothing--If I want something made, it has to made by a dressmaker, since I don't know how to operate a sewing machine and have desire to learn..
  14. berrybuzz

    berrybuzz One of the Regulars

    Phoenix, AZ
    For me it's all about the style and look. I much prefer a good repro or home made garment to the actual vintage (which I would be terrified to wear most places for fear of destorying/ruining it) and it's hard to find Vintage 20-22.
    Plus when I make it myself, I can choose colors and fabric patterns I know I like and will look good on me.
  15. Fleur De Guerre

    Fleur De Guerre Call Me a Cab

    Walton on Thames, UK
    I'm too tall and long bodied for most vintage, so I opt for repro. If I could sew, I would (and I really want to learn) but for me it's also about the look and not the authenticity.
  16. Miss Sis

    Miss Sis One Too Many

    Mainly actual vintage is my preference but I'm not against making something to an old/retro pattern if I can't get what I want. Luckily I am a very average vintage size, apart from being tall-ish, so I don't really have any problems getting things.

    As for things I've made, I'm currently making a white linen 1930s suit and I made a pale green chiffon dress for a friend's wedding as I couldn't get anything like what I wanted at a reasonble price, plus I was scared of damaging something so delicate if it was original.

    I don't always wear vintage though. I imagine if I did then I'd go for more repro as I wouldn't want to wear my original stuff out.
  17. KittyT

    KittyT I'll Lock Up

    Boston, MA
    I prefer to buy actual vintage. It's pretty easy for me to walk into a vintage store and find something that looks like it was made for me. I've had no trouble finding beautiful dresses I love, in great condition, in the $50 range, which for me is reasonable to pay for a vintage dress that I can wear to work or shows. It's pretty easy to pay the same price for a repro dress, but modern clothing just doesn't quite fit the same, lacks the same details, and is usually of much lower quality.

    I recently had a repro shirtwaist dress from Target (that darling pink and white striped one) tear in 3 places under the arms, and not in a way that can be repaired. It cost the same as some of my favorite vintage dresses, and I've gotten less wear out of it.

    Also, my time is valuable. Sewing takes time and patience, neither of which I have a lot of, and it's just plain a pain in the arse. I'm in the process of teaching myself to sew from patterns and maybe my mind will change on the sewing issue as I improve.
  18. rubyredlocks

    rubyredlocks Practically Family

    My preferences have really changed over the years.I used to wear only vintage when I was a modern size 0,because it was plentiful in my size and still reasonably priced.After I hit 30 and started gaining weight it became more difficult to find day looks that are in good condition/my size/reasonably priced and so on.
    Now,I mostly shop for vintage-inspired classic pieces that can be paired with the occasional vintage item.I'm also not very authentic anymore,but I still like to pull out all the stops for special occasions.Plus,it's easier for me to find vintage cocktail attire.
    I also think the repros are getting pricey,so I haven't splurged on any of those in such a long time and as far as making my own I haven't the ability or time to learn.
  19. fuzzylizzie

    fuzzylizzie One of the Regulars

    Beautiful WNC
    For the most part, I make my clothes using vintage patterns, and when possible, vintage fabric. I do have some vintage pieces that I wear, especially skirts, jackets and cashmere sweaters, and I buy lots of vintage for my "collection". It really is hard to beat the quality of real vintage!
  20. Shimmy Sally

    Shimmy Sally Registered User

    Ahwatukee, Arizona, USA
    Well, the fun of authentic vintage is finding something $5 or less (sometimes free). I love knowing that other people pay $100 for things on e-bay that I get for a few cents then fix up.
    Then again, making my own I can cheat a little by serging the seams and such though. We've made great improvements in tailor-made clothing since those days as far as fragility and fraying.

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