Memorial Day 2008
So how was your holiday? I start out every entry after a holiday just like that. Dull huh? I do the perfunctory “how do you do” before launching into my own long-winded recitation.
We went up to Albuquerque on Saturday. My MIL was having an open house to celebrate closing of her old house and warming of her new house. It was also a celebration for two BIL birthdays and my niece Riley who is one year old.
When I come up, my SIL has a pile of garments set aside for my inspection or comment. She had a bathing suit from Land’s End and wanted to know if it was defective and whether she could or should return it. The cups were lightly lined with a thin foam padding. When she washed it, the foam wadded up. This is definitely defective. It wasn’t a matter of dry cleaning (it’s a swimsuit!), it’s that the foam padding either was not caught in the seaming so it’d stay in place or it was that the foam was too delicate and tore from it’s mooring in the wash. Something you might want to keep in mind. I told her it’d be no problem to return it; that’s the sort of defective that won’t become apparent until it’s washed (hint, hint).
She also had a top that was too long and wanted to know if she could return it for that reason. It wasn’t easily altered with a contrasting band sewn to the bottom and top stitched; a rather loose cotton weave, almost like cheese cloth. I looked at her askance and said “Stephanie, you’re only five foot”. ‘Nuff said. However, the front placket was sewn off kilter ending a good 1/4″ to 3/8″ off center front. So, under that pretext she could return it (online catalog purchase).
Stephanie also shows me baby garments that she likes. She wishes you’d make more of these:
It’s a onsie that looks like a dress from in front. The back of it is smooth around the legs.
If you need a construction or design cheat sheet, the photo below shows how it goes together. The front is two full layers.
Lately, I’m collecting photos of construction with a mind toward writing an entry about clothing discomfort for people who have dyspraxia, autism or who are tactile defensive. The photos below illustrate some seams that may pose a problem for some people. Keep in mind these are on baby’s clothes! Babies can’t tell you the seams in their clothes hurt. They’ll just cry for “no reason”.
On a long sleeve, this would probably be okay but this sleeve was 3/4 length brushing mid arm. Watch your thread. Some nylons are like fishing line. It feels like a razor blade grazing the skin.
This first one (blown up below) also annoys me. We didn’t use to make clothing like this (home sewers still don’t).
Why has everyone gone to sewing the ruffle or edge on first, and then closing the side seams? I’ve also seen this on tee shirts. They hem the fronts and backs (and sleeves) and then join the side seams. In my opinion, higher quality goods are hemmed and finished after the side seams are formed. It’s much cleaner. Plus, that seaming is not rubbing into your hip area if you have the shirt tucked in. That’s another reason autistic kids are known for taking all their clothes off. If anything, avoid these seams in pajamas.
Another thing to watch for is elastic. Many autistic people can’t tolerate elastic next to their skin. In pants or sleeves, it needs to ride in a casing. Some elastic is ribbed and when extended, the ribs pull apart trapping body hair so it pulls. Here’s the elastic on this baby top. It is fairly soft and smooth:
You can still run into trouble with this finish if that elastic edge curls up to ride against the skin.
You can avoid this by closely top stitching the elastic into place and making sure the elastic isn’t loose and flopping around. It should draw up the garment. Test that elastic edge though; it may be a little rough depending on the finish. Rub it against the most sensitive part of your body and try to imagine how it’d feel by a magnitude of ten.
On Sunday, before we returned to Las Cruces, we met my favorite gal pal Sal and my favorite Bob at the Double Rainbow. Oh wait. It’s called Flying Star now. It’s been my favorite place to pack on the pounds for the last twenty years.
Frankly, I was a little disappointed this time around. The magazines hadn’t been merchandised recently and no one had set them to rights, totally disorganized. There were none of my favorite fiber magazines at all. Still worse, the bathrooms looked like they hadn’t been well cleaned for some time (soap residue built up on the back wall). I hope this is not a sign of eventual decline of the coffee house. Wah!
On Monday, Eric and I went to the Harvest Wine Festival at the fairgrounds. We go every year to sample the local vintners and buy what amounts to a year’s worth of wine from local producers. The wine industry is really developing nicely in New Mexico. We were disappointed last year. The show’s organizers should be developing this into a regional arts festival but they haven’t. This year, there were fewer vintners than last year. Not a good sign. We were hoping that there’d be more artisans showing their goods (with the occasional DE) but other than a woman showing chile printed pot holders, we were out of luck. I do wish they’d ban whoever it is who’s selling cigars. They smoke those right next to the wine sampling and it’s so pungent (to me), I can’t taste the wine. They should at least ban people smoking those from X feet of each wine booth. Eric thinks the festival has gone downhill because it’s a cheap drunk for people who want a buzz. They’re certainly not attracting the sort of people that used to attend. Sad that.
When I was resting in the shade, I saw this lovely young woman wearing a dress that caught my eye and asked if I could take her picture, that I run a fashion website.
She so quickly assented that I felt I had to qualify it. While she was attractive, I wanted the photo because of (what I consider to be) a design defect. I told her I ran a technical design site and that in my opinion, her dress wasn’t designed properly.
See that seam above? It should be riding under her bust, cupping it, not midway through it. This endlessly annoys me. She was not overly large busted but as proportionate as one could expect in an average fit. She was not overweight either. Even worse, this was a knit dress. For the life of me, I can’t see why this wasn’t done right. Remarkably, she agreed. She knew it wasn’t right. That surprised me. I thought most consumers these days -habituated to poor design- don’t know that but she did.
Eric later asked me why she bought it anyway even though it wasn’t right. I explained it could have been any number of factors, an informal score card of sorts. The size was right, the color was right, she wanted something sleeveless, comfort, price, you name it. It was the weight of all the factors combined that made it a choice for her. Any other possible combination could have weighed against it. But in the end, the reason it sold was not because it was designed properly. You guys have to watch that stuff and get everything aligned to create the maximum value for your customers.
So what did you do? Hope your holiday was grand.