Improving on Ready-to-Wear

Improving on Ready-to-Wear

I love purple. I love fabric. Therefore, I had to own the Aubergine Duo. Of course, I love any fabric from Eileen Fisher. To fill you in, SO/077 Aubergine Mesh and SO/078 Aubergine Solid are the fabrics in question. They are 55% linen and 45% rayon. Yummy. Care code is hand wash or dry clean. My life style is casual so I plan to wash these two fabrics before I work with them. The solid is destined to be elastic waist pants with side seam pockets. With the mesh, I plan to create a “sweater” set. Haven’t decided whether the under piece will be a tank top or a short sleeve tee. The other mesh piece will be a hip length, v-neck, unstructured cardigan. Although there is still plenty of snow on the ground here, the season will change, so I must motivate!

I research ready-to-wear to learn about styles, techniques, and fabrications. My style of shopping probably looks strange to the casual observer. The first thing I do when I put my hands on a garment is to squirrel my hands to the inside in search of the little white label with the fiber content. This is difficult to find sometimes and the garment is quite contorted by the time I find it. One might wonder, “Whatever is that woman doing to those clothes?” It is a wonderful way to learn about new fabrics and new ways of blending familiar fibers. Many ready-to-wear garments are coded dry clean only. Ha! We, as sewers, can prepare the fabric before cutting and create for ourselves wonderful washable garments.

I have a couple of reactions when studying techniques. One is, “Oh, I can do a much better job than that!” The other is, “Now that is clever. I’ll have to try it!”

Ready-to-wear is a good place to discover new design lines, especially in high end departments or shops. It’s one thing to see new fashions on the runway or in photos. It’s another to peek at the placement of seams, darts, tucks, and pleats on actual garments. Even classics and basics undergo subtle changes. There’s information for everyone out there.

Armchair research is also available via all the catalogs that arrive in my mailbox. My eyes scan the catalog copy for information on fiber content first and then style details. All too often, the garments look great in the photos, but I am disappointed by the fiber content. However, the concept has been planted in my brain and I can create with more desirable fabrics. Catalogs can be a better source of information on new fibers because often an informational paragraph is included to educate the consumer. Catalogs are free. This information doesn’t require a fee!

One Response to “Improving on Ready-to-Wear”

  1. Anonymous


    I don’t understand why sewing machines are always so expensive. I needed a new sewing machine recently and found the best prices on (

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