5 myths about handmade clothing

5 myths about handmade clothing

Im here to talk about myths around handmade clothing and what is not so true. My aim in my business is to bring you quality handmade clothing that last a lifetime and in this blog post I’m going to discuss with you just why

Would you rather buy a piece of fast fashion over and over again or a very well made item that will last a lifetime? I know which one I would choose.

Buying a piece of tailored clothing is a daunting thought especially when you hear such things like:

  • its not well made — poor quality
  • Oh it will just fall apart
  • Its old fashioned
  • Its too expensive

So let’s dive into it.

5 myths about handmade clothing

1. Handmade garments are unfashionable

Wrong! I know it can seem like handmade clothing is just for grandmas who use the kitchen curtains to make a dress or mums who make up the duvet into costume for a school Christmas play… we’ve all been there yeah? I remember having a sheet wrapped around me for an angel in the nativity but enough about that.

Within my designs they are no way unfashionable, I research the latest trends, keep up to date with the latest colours and fabrics. In fact being sustainable and thrifty is the new trend so getting something handmade — you are bang on trend!

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

2. Handmade clothing is too expensive

Yes, it may seem that when first enquiring but if you sit and think abut how much you spend on fast fashion that doesn’t last then in the long run it actually works out a lot less in money.

When it comes to bespoke clothing its an investment piece that is made to fit you so it will not only make you feel incredible, it will also last a lifetime.

When you look at it from a mindset point of view you will probably look after it and enjoy wearing it more than what you would spending on something that you just buy for the sake of buying.

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

3. Hand made clothing is poor quality.

This is one for the mindset again because when you think of handmade you automatically think its going to fall apart because its not bought from a proper shop or it doesn’t have the label on it.

When in actual fact it’s made so much better. Everything in my studio is made from scratch not mass produced so from the cutting out to the sewing up its all checked over by me in which I make sure its made to the highest quality.

When In mass produced factories its passed through several fast production lines which mean a certain amount of garments have to be made in a certain time — where’s the love in that?

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

4. But you can’t send handmade clothing back

My business is based on made to order, personalised and bespoke clothing.

By law my made to order items I do accept returns for faulty reasons and simply if you change your mind.

My exception on bespoke and personalised I can accept returns on the bases on faulty or not as described. However If you do have a problem I always try to find a solution for you especially when it comes to the fit of the garment.

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

5. Handmade clothing is just for special occasions.

Bridal wear and evening wear are special occasions and people feel like these are the only times you should get something handmade.

But I disagree with this I think everyday is a special occasion, if you want to feel confident in what you wear and something that lets your personality shine through then having a piece of handmade clothing is the way to go.

Imagine opening up you wardrobe and seeing something that represents you and you feel excited to wear it — then I don’t have to say anymore.

I definitely think handmade clothing is coming back in a big way, especially when the fashion industry is the biggest threat to climate change. Making a change and buying less choosing well is the way forward.

If you are interested in having coming made by Born to Thread then check out my bespoke clothing service.

 

5 myths about handmade clothing

Handmade clothing edition – Style me up

Handmade clothing edition – Style me up

This year I’m on a quest to revamp my wardrobe with handmade items I’ve made for myself within my business I pride myself on making one of a kind clothing with a feminine edge and I thought if I’m not practicing what I preach then what am I even doing *insert dramatic pose! 

I want to create a style that reflects my personality and that also makes me feel badass whilst wearing them. Confidence is something I have struggled with over the years especially in my 20s and my shyness can be so overwhelming at times but since entering my 30s my mindset has change a lot and my body hang ups are going but it something Ive had to work on and pushing myself out of my comfort zone has been the main thing and I’ve come to realise that it is GOOD for you. 

I find it funny how clothing and hair has always been a fun way of expressing myself and I never had a problem with this, it was like a way of bigging up my confidence which lacked in other ways so now I’m now I’m taking note and creating a fun wardrobe that works for me and make me feel as badass as what my business is. 

If you can find big confidence in yourself then everything else will follow. 

I’m forever inspired by Gucci and I long for the day I can afford one of their kick ass suits so when designing my capsule collection a powered suit was defiantly on the table. Im also very inspired by vintage fashion especially the tailoring, it’s incredible how they had the fit on the clothes. 

You can see my Pinterest board for my handmade inspo here 

My main piece that I wanted to make was a denim jumpsuit as I’m a big fan of a jumpsuit, think 70’s disco with big flares … Hell yeah 

The best thing about designing a collection is thinking how you are going to style it at the end, letting your imagination run wild is fun. 

I had a little rummage through my fabric and found a piece of denim that I wasn’t using and I just managed to fit the pattern on it. 

So whilst making up orders I managed to get my first jumpsuit made up just in time for the summer time. The denim is a bit too heavy but it was a great way to sample up and see how it was looking, Im going to look into a softer drape denim so that the casual look of the jumpsuit sits a lot softer in the body. 

It’s so comfortable to wear and I loved styling it up my velvet chunky heels and my grandma’s crochet hat which is actually from the 1970s  I also finished it off with my long lace coat dress which is available to order over on my shop page.

Im already thinking what other fabrics I can make it up in, I mean wouldn’t it look good in print say like leopard print.

How have you found your body confidence has changed over the years? 

Bridie x 

Why buy quality over quantity when it comes to clothing and the mindset around it.

Why buy quality over quantity when it comes to clothing and the mindset around it.

Its a no brainer how much fast fashion is out there now, on the high street and even online.

We are bombarded with sales and who has the best deals going and quite frankly I am bored of seeing it, shopping is just not so fun anymore. 

When I was younger I used to love going shopping,  a trip to Harrogate or York was a real treat because it was fun to see what we could find but now every single shop has the same and its like a blummin jumble sale. 

I saw this recently when I went shopping to Leeds, I spent time walking through different designer shops to walking through a few high street shops and I just had to get out of the high street shops I couldn’t stand being in there, which is such a shame. I could instantly see the difference between the both and made me realised why people do go for quality over quantity. 

The shopping experience, service and layout of the shop was so much of a better atmosphere. 

I’m totally over this fast fashion era! It has no personality to it or thought. I feel it’s just how much sales they can get to drive more faster products.

 Its got me thinking what can we do to spend more on quality items rather than just on impulse because its cheap or looks cool. 

It’s all about conscious consuming and I think this is the way forward to get back to a shopping experience we enjoy wether it be buying something handmade or shopping elsewhere. 

So what’s the best way to become  better at consuming quality clothing.

  • Don’t impulse buy

We tend to buy clothes because it looks cool or there is an offer/sale on it and out conscious somehow thinks that it’s the better deal but in reality do we really need it and is it actually going to last long? 

I think clothing in your wardrobe should really mean something to you. They are chosen with thought and really say something about you, align with your personality. 

  • take your time

Working on your new wardrobe doesn’t have to be scary it can be exciting. Pinterest is a great source to start looking at new ways to put a look together, make a vision board of what YOU want to look like, most of all have fun with it.

Explore new shops! Stray away from the norm you’ll be surprised what you will find and don’t be scared to go vintage and charity you will be surprised what you can find in there.

If your looking for real investment pieces then handmade is such an amazing option. Getting something made to your measurements is something so unique and nobody else will have it which is always a winner. 

Check out my bespoke service here if this something you are interested in. 

It’s a slow process but just think of the end outcome and kick ass wardrobe you will have. 

  • Know your quality

The more you start to look else where, the more you will find different quality clothing. Don’t be afraid to go into designer shops either.

Even if you can’t afford it just to feel the quality and see how something is made is just a treat, hey why not even try it on just to get that feel of quality and you deserve it. I do it all the time! 

Look for detailing get to know the garment, is there top stitching? Is there any beading or embroidery? How have the cuffs and hems been finished off differently? What is the lining like?

All these things play a big part into the finishing off of a garment and a clear point to high fashion rather than cheap fashion.  

A lot of this is to do with mindset and what we’ve been programmed to think what we should or shouldn’t buy 

You’ve just gotta push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new. 

 Im in no way to preach how you shouldn’t or should buy and everyone’s budget is completely different but if you are wanting to make a conscious change to your shopping habits then maybe think about saving those pennies to buy quality over getting the better bargain. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments. Is spending more on clothing and buying less is the way forward? Or do you feel that buying cheaper clothing more often works better for you? 

Featured image by: Stockphoto

 

The inspiration behind my new designs

The inspiration behind my new designs

My new design have gone live! If you haven’t heard already if not where have you been.

I started working on the design development last summer whilst I was on holiday in Portugal. Trying to sit still and relax doesn’t last long with me and my mind is always going, always wanting to do the next thing.

So whilst I was sat sunning myself I pulled out my sketch book and started designing.

The main focus of on these new designs was the tailoring the fit and the purpose of them especially when it came to the jackets.

I also wanted to make them sustainable ad ethical as possible.  My whole business is based around slow fashion and creating quality investment pieces to your wardrobe and outfits that make YOU feel like da bomb! 

I’ve made many garments throughout the years but I always home back in on tailoring and the finished outcome so I went with my strengths on this one 

I wanted to steer away from custom designing the back of them, as much as love creating artwork for the back of them but there is a hell of a lot out there now and I wanted to offer something a bit different and unique. 

I will still be offering the custom design just on a smaller scale. 

Going a little off course a bit but here is a little back ground story of how I first started making biker jackets

Back in 2015 when I first started getting into making these jackets I never knew they would take me this far, from a tiny sample of fabric I saw to making actual real leather jackets. 

It has been a hell of a learning curve, the first ones I made the fabric was well not very good at all but you’ve got to start somewhere and I didn’t have the budget at the time to go for real leather. 

I had never made a leather jacket before so it was completely alien to me. Finding videos as well for guidance was very slim.

I had worked a little with leather before but not on a massive scale so I took one of my favourite jackets and created a pattern from scratch just by looking and measuring it. 

After creating a sample from the pattern I had done I was hooked and was truly excited by what I had created just by eye.

From this I took the pattern and graded up the sizes to a size 8 to 18 this tested all my knowledge of pattern cutting making sure everything was accurate.  

I started with making sleeveless design with what I can say now not very good back designs at all, I was still finding my feet and handling the fabric.

I sat down and developed on these patterns and found these were more popular so bye bye sleeveless jackets.

Roll onto now and back to the original story I was telling you about my new designs.

Each pattern has been developed again to ensure a great fit and I now have a short waisted jacket and a longer length jacket. 

I wanted these designs to be made sustainably as possible and with everything being made in house by myself and all the materials being ethically sourced it has really brought the whole look together. 

LEATHER

I have two leather options available —  real leather and vegan leather. 

I have sourced high quality real leather from GH Leathers in Northampton who are a well recognised for their fabric been ethical and that was a big factor for me.

The warehouse was like an Aladdins cave when I went to look around, I literally spent three hours there easily. 

The iridescent and matt black jacket fabric have been made from the GH Leather. 

Now the vegan leather I was using for the sleeveless jackets had to go that was non negotiable, I disliked it and didn’t show off my jackets to the full potential. 

So I searched for what seemed like forever to find the perfect PU vegan leather to keep this as an option for people. 

After many samples and feeling like I was never going to find the one, I stumbled across a fabric company that I already had an account with just never really used, so I checked out there selection and low and behold they had it all along. It’s soft, slightly stretchy and has a matt finish to it; It could almost pass for being real leather, but it’s not. 

Lining

I have always been a fan of leopard print so I took to procreate to design my own fabric which I could use as a design for my linings.

This has always been a massive goal for me to create a unique design that would stand out and is recognised for been a BTT garment. So the fabric has been designed by me and printed in the UK. I’m hoping to have a few more selections in the future.

Zips 

I had this thought how cool would it be to have black zips, it took me forever to find nice looking ones and companies that actually do them. I then stumbled across a place that makes zips by hand and had an array of colours, They did black, YEY! 

So even my zips have all been handmade within the UK which I am very proud to support these business and not have sourced overseas. 

Boxes.

The final touch was to create a luxury box for my garments to be sent out in, I knew in my head what I wanted but finding the right dimensions was a tricky one.

Luckily I had used the Tiny Box Company before and they didn’t fail to deliver. It was a big cost and with all of my money going back into developing everything it was do I don’t I kinda move and they are made from recyclable products which is a winner and they are handy to reuse after 

I bite the bullet and went for it and I am so glad I did because the perfect and just what I wanted.

All my jackets are now posted in a bespoke black and pink foil Born to Thread reusable box which snaps shut with an internal magnet fastening. 

Which brings me to the inspiration behind it.

If anyone know me you’ll know how much I love the 80’s not just the fashion move in movies and music kinda way so when I was researching the key person that stood out for me was Madonna, I mean what’s not to love about her style which has changed many of times.

It was interesting to see how there was a lot of leather and lace mixed together around that era which is why I have a lace coat dress in my collection 

Another era I absolutely adore is the 50’s not just for the cute dresses but mainly the tailoring that carried on from the 40’s its amazing how fitted and tailored garments used to be. 

Prime example of this is Dior swooooooon in fact I’m going to see the Dior exhibition at the V&A later this year and I’m beyond excited, to see the garment up personal is going to be a real treat for the eyes. 

I also did a lot of research into leather jackets, looking how they were made and all the different style features they had. 

Come follow me on Pinterest to see what else inspires me

With mixing the two together it helped me create the look I was going for and also in keeping with the present day too. 

I pride myself in making garments that make you feel empowered when wearing them and with these particular designs I wanted YOU to feel wild and free whilst wearing them. 

Now to introduce to you my new designs, there may only be three but I didn’t want people to feel overwhelmed and with the leather being a big cost I had to narrow down my choices to begin with.

Also I’m all about slow fashion so I can launch more jackets later when I want. 

I teamed up with the incredible Natalie Pluck who takes the most dreamiest of photos and Gemma Rimmington MUA who’s make up skills are just amazing. 

We styled the shoot at Saltburn by the sea on what was the most foggiest day ever, after such a glorious week of sunshine we were baffled when we were graced with this on the day but I have to say it gave the pictures a more depth and atmospheric.

I thought the beach would be the perfect setting with feeling wild and free. I believe you should be carefree about what you wear,  your style is YOU and don’t let anyone tell you any different. 

LOOK 1 
Iridescent short waisted leather jacket
LOOK 2
Black frill leather jacket
LOOK 3 
Heavy corded lace coat dress.
The difference between Bespoke and Couture – What I offer in my services.

The difference between Bespoke and Couture – What I offer in my services.

First of all I want to explain to you the difference between bespoke and couture.

The two are similar and can be classed as ‘made to order’  with custom measurements. They both suggest high quality materials with quality construction.

“Bespoke” is an English and means ‘made to order’ mainly from the customers measurements and alterations to the customers taste. Customers choose the fabric and the design and very much have their personal input into the whole process. 

A bespoke garment is usually constructed mainly be machine but still has the integrity of high quality materials, design and construction, but would not be considered as couture. 

“Couture”  means ‘highly handmade’ and is a French word for sewing or fashion.

About 60% of the garment is hand sewn, not by machine. This means hand finished seams, hand finished hems and possible hand-beading or other embroidery.  

“Haute Couture” is a very specific term and only certain fashion houses are legally allowed to use the term and they all have to meet a criteria list for membership which includes: design made-to-order for private clients with fittings, have a workshop in Paris with at least fifteen ateliers, at least twenty full time technicians on hand and present a collection of at least fifty designs twice a year.

Official top designers include: 

Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, Valentino and Jean Paul Gaultier. 

I see a lot of people throw these terms around without doing the proper research and mainly to make their work seem better, which can be very frustrating for the actual professionals out there. 

With my handy guide up above, it helps to know so it’s easy to research when you’re looking into a handmade garment. 

I pride myself at Born to Thread that everything is made in house form my small studio in Yorkshire with a mixture of bespoke and couture. 

What does this mean? Well, the main body of my garments are made by me using a sewing machine and then the finishing off of the garment is always done by hand. 

If I was to be embellishing anything then that would be done by hand also.

Why go bespoke?

At BTT I love to capture YOUR personality through fashion which is why it makes its such a special experience. 

  • It’s made to fit you, to your exact measurements.
  • It’s higher in quality, which means it last’s longer than fast fashion.
  • It’s sustainably good for the environment
  • It’s and investment piece and made with techniques and care you won’t find in the shops.
  • It’s a one off just for you. 

It may feel a very daunting experience getting fitted for a made to measure garment, especially if you have never had one made before but I trust you its not, in-fact its turns in to a such a memorable experience and one you can remember when wearing the outfit. 

So you maybe wondering now what my services entail and how long it takes.  Here is a small run down of the process of a bespoke service. 

CONSULTATION STAGE

Born To Thread invites you to an informal free relaxed consultation at my home studio where tea and biscuits are on hand or if you live far away Skype appointments are also available. 

We will discuss your ideas on design, fit, fabrics colours and timescale to help me understand how you would like your unique garment to look and give you more of an idea of how the process will all work.

Please note Skype appointments are only for consultations and design stage not fitting stage. 

It’s hard to give an exact price straight away, until I know a clear outlay of your idea and what fabrics you would like to use, I can then curate a guide price which can be finalised throughout the design stage

As a rough guide price bespoke garment start at £300 

If you are completely happy with what we have discussed then a 50% deposit is required. 

DESIGN AND FABRIC STAGE

From the consultation stage I will then work closely with you on the design development of your outfit involving sketches to the ideas we have discussed also fabric samples and embellishment will be sourced to the preferred colour-ways. I strive to find the best high quality fabrics to bring out the best in your garment. 

Another meeting will be set for us to talk over fabrics I have sourced, look over designs/modify any details and choose final outfit. I can also send you samples and meet over another Skype call to discuss all of this.

MAKING AND FITTING STAGE

A made to measure garment takes time with care and attention.

Working with your personal measurements a paper pattern is created from the chosen design.

Once the pattern is all ready a toile garment is made for the fitting appointment – a sample garment which is made from a plain fabric that allows me draw in style lines and see where we need to make amendments. 

The alterations from the fitting will be then transferred to paper pattern and also changed on the toile followed by another one to two fittings if needed. 

Depending on the alterations it will either be in the toile again or actual fabric. This will be discussed along the way. 

Once you are happy with the fit and style I will then go ahead and make/finish off your outfit, a final fitting is required to double check over last adjustments to make sure we get a perfect fit. From this personal experience, you will see your outfit come to life with experienced techniques.

Through all of this I will keep you regularly updated via email. 

The process of a made of a made to measure garment can take 6 to 8 weeks (depending on the garment being made) with a final fitting required to ensure the perfect fit and finish. 

I hope this has helped to give you more of an idea into choosing bespoke, if you have any questions or want to enquire more, please contact me. 

Style me up – Handmade skirt edition

Style me up – Handmade skirt edition

Style me up Sunday

I have been thinking recently on ways to be more stainable so this year I have decided to spend less on clothing and use my skill to make outfits that I want to wear. 

This made more sense to me because I will actually get a wardrobe that I love and I will have outfits that match instead of buying random things which don’t go with anything I own! 

So I did a little poll on my Instagram to see if people would be interested in following my journey in to the items that I make and how I make them. The response was surprising and gave me the kick to actually do it. 

So first up I made a leather skirt.

There is a big trend in mini skirts (very 1960s vibe) at the mo and I love the variety that is out there. I went for a more straighter line rather than A-line as I find that suits my figure more and gives a bit of length to my short legs!  

If you’re not sure what style suits you the best thing to do is to go find skirts that you like and try them on and you will instantly see which style will flatter you. 

With all my clothing I make the patterns from scratch this way you are guaranteed a perfect fit and  its easier to make any amendments if needed. 

From this I needed three easy measurements — waist, hip and finished length of the skirt. 

I then took these measurements and applied them to guide in my pattern book. 

The pattern books I use are Winifred Aldrich Pattern Cutting. This is an old book but updated versions are available, stick with your own measurements though as standard body guides have vastly changed since this book was published. 

The basic tools to use whilst pattern cutting are:
  • Dot and cross pattern paper — great guide for straight lines. 
  • Set Square or pattern master — rulers with guides and curves 
  • 2H pencil
  • Tracing wheel — to help trace the pattern out for the block that you created.
  • Tape measure 
  • paper scissors 
  • Small paper weights 

Using the instructions in the book I drew out the front and back skirt design using my measurements also remembering to add hem length on to the bottom, the skirt is usually blocked out as a half, so half of the front and half of the back — all of your measurements will be either half or quartered but the book has good guides on how to do this. 

 

When I finished my skirt pattern it looked like this

This is where you handy tracing wheel comes in, I cut out a new piece of dot and cross paper and placed it under the block that I created (front and back) I then used the wheel to trace around the front and the back so that they are two separate pieces. 

With the set square I then went over the tracing to create the outline of skirt again. This is where I added 1 cm seam allowance all the way around the skirt apart from the hem which had 2 cm on. 

I also wanted a waistband on the skirt but not a massive one so I went for a 4 cm waistband which was doubled over so finished it would be 8 cm them 1 cm seam allowance all the way around apart from the centre back and front. 

I then used this pattern to cut out in my fabric which I used a leather look fabric. I drew all around the pattern pieces with tailors chalk making sure to mark the darts ( darts help give shape to the garment and to stop it from bagging around the waist) I could then cut this out and prepare it to sew it together. 

Sewing Time 

When you come to sew leather look fabric or even real leather, the fabric doesn’t like pins and they have a bit of marking which you don’t want! 

A handy trick to use with these fabrics are small bulldog clips as they help keep the fabric together whilst you sew also another handy tool is a roller or teflon sewing foot for your machine. 

This helps it glide across stubborn fabrics. 

I decided I wanted a seam down the front and a seam down the back of the skirt for a bit for a design feature. I started by sewing in the darts on the front then on the back.

When using a leather look fabric its not advisable to iron it as it could melt but if you put your iron on low and place a pressing cloth over the top it helps just get that dart and seam a bit flatter —  not for long though 

From this I then stitched up the front pieces, then the back pieces together followed by the side seams. I could then add topstitching to the front and side seams to add more feature to skirt. 

I love a good topstitch and think it adds a bit more of a finishing touch to the garment. 

Once this was all done I added the waistband which is just a straight stitch all across the top.

Zipppppp 

I have an array of zips ranging from old and new. Some have been taken out of clothes no longer in use and some of them are vintage ones that have the original packaging. I absolutely love vintage sewing packaging. 

I used pink metal zip and made it exposed so it shows the teeth to give the skirt another feature and a little pop of colour to the back. I could then finish off the back of the skirt and add the topstitching down the bottom half just under the zip. I did the same effect to match the front. 

Home stretch….

The skirt is nearly finished. The waistband was folded over to the finish 4 cm, I then folded it in on the inside of the skirt 1 cm and stitched all the way around to give a finished neat effect on the inside.

I then topstitched around the bottom and the top of the waistband to add more detailing it also tied in well with skirt. 

The finishing touch goes to the hem, turned up 2 cm and stitched all the way round. 

Wallah one skirt already to wear. 

The styling bit.

I mean whats not good about choosing what to wear when you’ve made something. A mini skirt is such a easy thing to wear you can either keep it casual for day wear think comfy tee, over sized jumper and splash of colour for the tight or you can dress it up for going out out think a cute shirt tucked in, suit jacket or any jacket would go well and a pair of cute ankle boots to finish off the look. 

For me I went for the comfy day wear to show you how easy it is. I kept it clean and stylish, I popped on a white tee which was a small mans t-shirt I found but I loved the graphics on it. Im not keen on high necklines as they don’t seem to suit me so I chopped off the neck and it made it wider. I also cut up the sleeve and just caught the bottom back together so it created a slit effect in the sleeve. 

You don’t have to keep t-shirts the same you can alter them to any way you want. 

 

I’m a big fan of Calzedonia which is an Italian company and their tights are so good. When I was in Portugal I found this awesome pair that had a shiny line down the back of them. They went really well with the skirt keeping it quite monochrome.

Talking of monochrome I love a bit of dogtooth print yes it might seem a bit grandma-ish but get it in the right item and your winning, It also looks really cool on. 

A few years back I made myself a winter coat using Linton Tweed in a dogtooth check print. It has been an absolute fav of mine ever since I made it and it’s a timeless classic so it goes with anything and will last a lifetime.

You can read how I made it here 

I though this was very fitting to go with this outfit on blustery day, I felt stylish but comfy. 

I strapped on a pair of leopard Vans (the perfect choice) and I was ready to go. 

Real leather bag was also made by me and is available to buy from my shop. 

Have you made your self or thinking about making clothes? I’d love to hear your comments.