Colette

Stitch and Hem

24

The lovely Lauren emailed me recently to tell me about a new web site she’s got going called Stitch and Hem.

Stitch and Hem is an entire marketplace dedicated to custom clothing direct from small designers. Lauren writes:

“I’ve felt for a long time there is a void in the marketplace for fitted clothing. I’d love to see customers building strong relationships with their seamstress/tailor/clothing designer to create quality, long lasting clothing.”

This is right up my alley, naturally. I love the idea of people forming a more meaningful connection with the people who create for them, and truly considering things like fit and individual style when buying clothes.

What do you think of this concept? I know you can get custom orders on sites like Etsy, but it seems nice to have a whole site specifically tailored (ha!) for this kind of interaction.

Here are some of the pretty pieces available on Stitch and Hem. And I know Lauren is looking for designers to participate as well, so check it out if you’re interested in that end of it, lovely seamstresses!

Could you see using something like this over a bigger site like Etsy, either as a designer or a buyer? I’m sure Lauren would love your feedback.

{Images above: gingham dress by kay.em.kay, infinity dress by lhc couture, the angie dress by Selvage, the wendy blouse by michelletan, the marilyn one piece swimsuit by One Avian Daemon, Isabel’s Picnic Dress by One Avian Daemon}

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. Her roles include communication, strategy, and creative direction. She also edits Seamwork magazine. She often thinks and writes about the way sewing impacts our lives – through body image, identity, and social awareness.

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Comments 24

Ashley Morgan

I would be very much interested =)…super cute items!

Jill Flory sewafineseam.blogspot.com

Very much a needed thing! From both ends! My customers want things to fit properly. And that ALWAYS involves some pattern altering and manipulation. NO ONE is built to exactly fit patterns:)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

So true. Well, I’m sure some people get a good fit out of the box, but certainly not everyone (or even most).

Veronica Darling veronicadarling.blogspot.com

I really like this idea! I sew for a couple of my friends, and it’s really lovely knowing that I make clothes that fit them so well! And they love the uniqueness of them! I’m often too shy for etsy, but my friends give me confidence. An arena that’s just about these things would be really comfortable and needed I reckon!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

It’s not easy to make things that fit others well, so you should definitely let that give you confidence in your abilities!

Lavender threadsquare.wordpress.com

I think this is filling a void, just as Lauren hoped. It’s great to have a dedicated place for custom clothing, instead of sifting through the larger, known venue. One day my confidence in sewing for others may find me on the designer end :)

Sarai colettepatterns.com

I think that’s a real problem with Etsy these days. There is way too much stuff there, and it’s pretty hard to sift through.

Lindsay cloth-cat.blogspot.com

I think this would be a great idea. It could be especially handy over bigger sites like Etsy if it could help you find designers that were local to you to allow you find someone you could go to for proper fittings. I’ve often lusted after some of the custom creations on Etsy only to be put off by the thought that it might not fit/suit me once it was delivered.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

That’s a really interesting idea. I know Etsy has a feature to find local items, but it’s not geared toward custom stuff, I don’t think.

Lolly sartoriallyyours.wordpress.com

I would be extremely interested! However, I feel that Etsy being so huge offers a fast way to get what you need. Marketing could be tough to compete with and I would suggest at least using Etsy as the shopping cart.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Another option might be to use both, if you’re a designer.

Marie-Christine

That’s not a Marilyn swimsuit, that’s a free pattern from burdastyle.com named alyson. Make your own :-).

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Good catch! I think the burdastyle’s copyright allows for this, so no harm offering it to those who don’t sew!

Renee

I LOVE this idea, but I came away with several concerns. There is a lack of information on fees; also I just combed through the site and could find no designers that appear to have sold anything ( according to feedback which was 0 for everyone ). No indicators of how many times an item is viewed ( indicating traffic on the site). I understand it is new-ish, but there’s also no mention of how the word gets out that the site exists: the ‘press’ page is empty, as is the blog for the most part.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Well, you’re right that it’s a very new site, so I’m sure these things will change. I guess it’s a little bit of a leap of faith in the meantime!

hungrypanda hungrypanda.net

There is definitely a market. Have you guys seen eshakti? It’s not a super well built site (hard to navigate), but they specialize in customizing their clothes to your size. Basically, you send in your measurements, and they send back a dress made to your size. I have been told it’s doing very well in the plus size market. I tried out two things with them, and while they fit, I felt that the bust points were not really in the right place, but I guess probably only sewers notice that. Anyway, my point is, there is definitely a market, but for the local designers to compete with the off-shoring, they need to have something extra… ie being able to work with the buyer locally, have some different designs, etc.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

That’s a very interesting concept. I wonder how their things are manufactured.

Cecily

I love your web site!!
I just went to this amazing exhibit in Paris on Lady Grès!!
I am going to try to attach a photo of a dress that I loved so much and reminds me of your pieces!!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cecilymariece/5931100035/in/photostream

I hope the link works….
As we were leaving the exhibit André Leon Talley was standing in line to get in!!!!!
Cecily

Sarai colettepatterns.com

That dress is incredible, Cecily! I love the incredible draping that Madame Grès did. What a talent.

And how fun to see André Leon Talley too!

mary maryweaverart.com

This is a wonderful post!
I just ordered my first dress form (adjustable and from the 1960’s) and can’t wait until it arrives. I am trying to get a hang of sewing because my goal is to make all of my own clothing. I have a feeling the form will help- I HOPE. Can any of you suggest some nice, easy starter projects? I made a dress from a 1953 pattern and it was the hardest thing I have ever done. Ha. Thanks! [email protected]

Lizz agoodwardrobe.com

Download Colette Patterns’ Sorbetto! It’s free, easy, and really cute. Check out the flickr group for inspiration.

mary

Hooray! I had no idea. Will do! Thanks.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Mary, you could also try asking around in our community forum! There are some very helpful people there who might have good suggestions.

mary

Thanks!

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