Silver City Vintage

As I mentioned earlier today, we went out of town last weekend to our favorite NM B&B. The place as I’ve said before (don’t want to be preachy) is an excellent example of low tech sustainable architecture. I recommend selecting a room in advance if you can. If you’re partial to cats, I recommend room 3. It comes with a large vine covered balcony which is inhabited by a kitty named Tigger who I photographed last year. Tigger is very charming, she leaves “gifts”. Saturday morning it was along the lines of What Jeff Killed but not nearly so graphic since she ate most of it. Sunday morning it was breakfast in bed. Yes, she brought us a waffle. How’s that for service?

tigger_waffle

Saturday we drove 50 miles to the comparatively bustling urban center -Silver City. Silver is really coming along these days. We window shopped and even bought a few things. There were some great thrift stores. Some things I just had to buy to show you. First up is this man’s western styled suit, likely from the 70’s.

sc_western_coat sc_western_sidepanel

I just love that side panel, it’s pieced. To be sure three of those lines of stitching are pin tucks but one is an actual seam. How come nobody makes anything like this anymore? That by the way, sets the tone for the rest of this piece, namely whining. I actually know how to produce effects like this but does anybody need it anymore? No, they do not. This cost $2 for the three piece suit.

This next piece is a quilt. It’s small. Too large to be a place mat, too small for a baby. It’s baby changing pad sized. I don’t know why I like it, do you know why I would? It’s not even my colors.

sc_quilt

I think it has something to do with the shapes of those cut pieces. Normally I like everything orderly, this wasn’t. Below I outlined all of the seams. This was the most expensive piece I bought, $18.

copy_sc_quilt

This next piece isn’t vintage (Jones New York) although the workmanship in it is rapidly becoming so. It is definitely not my color. Here it looks taupe or beige, the camera is kind. In real life it’s washed out baby puke yellow. Here’s the neckline (below). Now tell me, do you see a seam along the outside edge of the neckline? No, you do not nor should you. Okay, maybe the photo is too small to see so you’ll have to take my word for it.

sc_jonesny_neckline

In this next photo, I’ve showed the neckline from the inside and you can see the seam line along the outside edge. This is how to do it folks.

sc_understitching

It’s a sleeveless style, shown is the inside lining (below). Again, few do it like this anymore. The neck and armhole seams are in one piece (take note Jonas, I’m not the only weirdo who does it like this).

sc_jones_lining

The inside front facing (above) is “problematic” in two ways. One, the seam is very curvy making it harder to sew. Two, it uses a lot of fabric. I like it anyway. This is the way I do it. No mystery why I don’t get much work, eh?

The skirt closure had an interesting feature. It had a button at the back waist to fortify the invisible zipper top (below).

sc_jones_skirt_inside

Yes the button does show from the outside but use a cute one. This button will be covered by the top if one wore it out. This outfit cost me $8.

Lastly, is a close up of the label:

sc_made_in_china

While I’m a proponent of domestic manufacturing, it is simply untrue that products coming out of China are destined to be junk. If you get crappy quality from China, it’s because the person importing the product stipulated the quality levels they were willing to pay for. Nothing more, nothing less.

Speaking of, a bit off topic but I’ve been looking for an excuse to link to it, here’s a video that anyone who contracts with manufacturers has to go through. Customers want the best but they expect their “partners” to make up the difference. Do watch the video on client-vendor negotiations, it’s hilarious. I promise.

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19 comments

  1. Vesta says:

    You know, my favorite jacket ever was made by Jones New York. I inherited it from my mother, so it’s got to be at least 20 years old. Green velour. Love, love, love. I’ve often thought of having a pattern made from it, as I’m about to wear through the elbows. It’s so well-made. Funny, I’ve never sought out any of their other items, as I think of them as corporate wear, mostly. But they must do some casuals, because that’s what my jacket is.

  2. dosfashionistas says:

    Great examples! That pintucking is more elaborate than any I have ever tried to allow for. Would you have it done and then cut the piece?

    But “very unique”? I am reminded of the story about the man who was courting an English major and wrote to her, “Dearest darling”. Whereupon she wrote back, “Since “dearest” is a superlative, I assume that means you have other darlings…..”

  3. Dawn B says:

    Welcome back Kathleen from the land of cute kitties!

    My favorite jacket is a brown velour from the Gap that I got at the Brown Elephant thrift shop in Chicago’s Boystown. Its very early Gap and fits wonderfully and has a nice soft drape. I should have a pattern made too!

    With all the stretch blends now in use, you can make up for a multitude of fitting sins. Who needs to shape anything? Who needs fancy stitch detailing? Just slap a foil print with some crystals on there. Maybe we are evolving towards one-size Star Treck unitards.

  4. Lisa B. in Portland says:

    Ha ha ha! A waffle! Choice!

    I love the pin tucks on that suit! Very cool.

    I always understitch! Things look so tacky when they’re not!

    I appreciate it when people make an effort to sew their own costumes and stuff, but when it doesn’t look like it came from the Paris ateliers of, say, Yves Saint Laurent or somesuch, it screams tacky at me. I mean, we should all be trying to make our stuff look like a million bucks!

  5. Christine Joly says:

    I think that the addition of stretch can often compound fitting problems. Inspired and thoughtful pattern-making, and attention to the sewing details and finishes, can make any garment sing or sink.

  6. Julian Hill says:

    Does Silver City still have that sign that says “Welcome to Silver City, NM. Enjoy your stay but please go home” ? When I was attending UNM in the late 80s/early 90s they put that sign up in response to the Californians buying up property in NM and raising the cost of living so high that the locals couldn’t afford to live there any longer. After Santa Fe and Taos and several others had that happen Silver City put up that sign.

  7. LisaB says:

    Thanks for all the pictures. That pin tucking is spectacular. I wouldn’t have a clue how to do that.

    Regarding the button reinforcement on the invisible zipper… Would the same effect be achieved by making the buttonhole in the tab and placing the button on the inside of the skirt?

    Tigger is a real cutie. I hope she received many free pets.

  8. DeniseS says:

    I’m thinking wayyyy back to pattern drafting classes, and I recall being taught to making the neckline facing 1/16″ smaller at the neckline and garment opening, which is to be done in addition to understitching. It looks like they’ve done that here. So hurray for the 80s?!?

    I agree with kitty being cute…sounds like a great getaway weekend.

  9. Kathleen says:

    Dosfashionistas wrote:

    That pintucking is more elaborate than any I have ever
    tried to allow for. Would you have it done and then cut the piece?

    I would cut the piece, pin tuck it and then sew it to the front.

    Julian wrote:

    Does Silver City still have that sign that says “Welcome to Silver City, NM. Enjoy your stay but please go home” ?

    I think I’ve seen this but haven’t seen it in the past several years.

    LisaB:

    That pin tucking is spectacular. I wouldn’t have a clue how to do that.

    It’s really not that hard. Make a guide (as shown in the book, example of the pocket guide) to mark it. The only tricky part could be on a home machine (haven’t tried this) rather than a dedicated double needle. I’ll have to do a test sample, the pivot point being the stickler.

    Regarding the button reinforcement on the invisible zipper… Would the same effect be achieved by making the buttonhole in the tab and placing the button on the inside of the skirt?

    Here’s a photo showing the button on the outside of the skirt. Yes, the same effect could be achieved by reversing this, namely placing a tab on the outside of the skirt but I guess they figured it would detract more from the clean finish. Plus, you’d have to stick that tab in the same seam as the zipper itself which probably would affect (?) the invisible effect. It’s a tough design decision.

  10. LisaB says:

    Kathleen, I wasn’t clear with my pin tuck question. I was wondering if you could have a tab exactly as it is shown above but simply put the button on the inside of the skirt. However, thinking about it further, I think my question comes from a home sewing perspective, because I’d hand sew the button inside without any thread showing on the outside of the skirt. This in itself probably means the tab wouldn’t accomplish as much reinforcement. With the button sewn on by machine, I suppose that automatically means that thread would show on the outside. LOL…I’m probably not being any more clear this time either.

  11. dosfashionistas says:

    Back to the pintucking again. Would you have allowed for the takeup of the tucking in the vertical only, or would you have allowed some in the horizental and if so, how much? That is what I was trying to figure as I looked at it. It looks as though all the tuck begin and end on the vertical, so my guess is vertical only. ???

    And while we are talking about nice construction. I would love to see a tutorial showing exactly how to line a skirt with a pleat so that everything is attached, neat and finished.

  12. kathleen says:

    LisaB wrote:

    I wasn’t clear with my pin tuck question. I was wondering if you could have a tab exactly as it is shown above but simply put the button on the inside of the skirt… This in itself probably means the tab wouldn’t accomplish as much reinforcement. With the button sewn on by machine, I suppose that automatically means that thread would show on the outside. LOL…I’m probably not being any more clear this time either.

    Oh I get it now, sorry ’bout that. Yeah, you could sew the button to the inside back waist facing and not have the stitching show on the outside. It’d have to be done by hand but totally doable. It probably wouldn’t be as structurally sound as doing it the other way but the tab would still be closest to the body and the first layer of defense rather than having no tab at all and the top of the zip taking the brunt of it all.

    dosfashionistas wrote:

    Back to the pintucking again. Would you have allowed for the takeup of the tucking in the vertical only, or would you have allowed some in the horizental and if so, how much?

    I’d do this using B.F.I -brute force and ignorance. First you have to have a pattern piece to fill that side panel space whether it had tucks or not. So starting with that, I’d cut a piece of sample fabric larger than I needed, sew the stitch pattern on it, trace the base side panel onto the stitched sample and then take the pintucked sewn lines apart from which I’d make the actual pattern.

    When you asked before, I thought you were asking about to the sewing process not the pattern process. You can do this mathematically too which I like to do (proving it with a deconstructed sewn sample) because it gives you more options plus it’s much cleaner but I don’t know how to write equations properly. I had Eric write out an equation for bias calculation (adding/reducing for fitting etc) telling him what the answer was as a percentage of an inch depending on the angle of the seam but his equation didn’t make sense to me. I wouldn’t be able to do the math like that and come up with the answer I needed altho I have no doubts his equation was correct.

  13. Sandra B says:

    I love looking at well made clothes. I have a skirt with a tab just like that one, but the button on the inside. Yep, hand sewn. It was from a chain store, made in China. The next skirt on my rack has a bias tube loop and the button on the inside. I don’t like the look of the button on the outside, it seems out of context. My op-shopping has been fruitful lately. I just found a beautiful jacket with the most incredible pattern matching, fantastic buttons and a really intriguing pocket flap detail. It’s someone or other “for Nordstrom”, made in Korea. Everything about it screams very high quality, so of course I opened the lining seam to have a look inside. (Most of my jackets have the sleeve lining unpicked so I can poke around inside LOL) The ends of the darts were marked with a grey pencil over the interfacing. The stitching was immaculate and any bit that may have flapped around was secured with a few tacking stitches or, at the armpit joining lining seam to garment seam, a small rectangle of lining fabric (for movement). The Escada jacket I’m wearing ($20, local op-shop) has the same little lining flaps, but the big surprise in that one was the quality of the shoulder pads. Cheap cheap cheap foam. And being 25 years old, disintegrating. Yuk.

  14. Kate in England says:

    I did a couple of things recently with somecrazyseams – kind of fun but time-consuming. Guess that’s why they don’t make financial sense…. LOVE that 70s jacket though.

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