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DIY dressmaking kits
Anothe way for designers to cut costs!
lareine
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lareine  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/15/10 7:11 PM

A girl at my workplace asked me for some help yesterday in understanding the instructions for a dress she's making. It's a dress by a New Zealand designer, Annah Stretton, but it comes in kit form. All the pieces are already cut out and have numbers stuck on them so you know which is which.

I went on the designer's website and was absolutely horrified by the price. $250 for a dress that you still have to put together! And it seems like it could go horribly wrong so very easily. My friend was having terrible trouble with the bias binding, which was actually just ribbon and not bias binding at all (she says that's all she got in the kit). I think she has also sewn something incorrectly at the bottom because one piece has ended up far too short.

This DIY dress is the exact same style and fabric as one that is sold already assembled in the designer's stores. Don't you think that's a huge risk on their part? They could potentially have customers walking around in badly-assembled, ill-fitting clothing that gives the impression that the whole line is badly-assembled and ill-fitting.

What do you think of this?

mochalover
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mochalover  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/15/10 7:19 PM

I see this as a big money making scheme. Obviously, the people that would even think to buy the kit for this price are definitely not sewers. So either they will find someone to sew it for them thinking that they got a bargain or feel that the real price to buy off the rack is worth it because of what a difficult time they had completing the item. Even though if they are not putting the necessary items in the kit it will be extra difficult.

So saying all that to say I think the designers know what their doing. They will have people buy the kit (overpriced) or buy off the rack (overpriced). A definite win-win for the designer.

nancy2001
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In reply to lareine


Date: 10/15/10 8:04 PM

Absolutely ridiculous. Who in their right mind would pay $250 for a box of precut fabrics to make an ugly one-size-fits-all dress? Even when it's perfectly sewn, it looks like a wadder. I can't think of a surer way to kill a beginner's enthusiasm for sewing than this kit.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

Coconuts
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Coconuts  Friend of PR
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In reply to lareine


Date: 10/15/10 8:19 PM

Quote: lareine
This DIY dress is the exact same style and fabric as one that is sold already assembled in the designer's stores. Don't you think that's a huge risk on their part? They could potentially have customers walking around in badly-assembled, ill-fitting clothing that gives the impression that the whole line is badly-assembled and ill-fitting.



What do you think of this?

I'm snarking on the designer, not you- but how are we supposed to tell that it's badly assembled? Those dresses are a mess in the pictures.

Fit-wise, they won't be any more ill fitting than RTW. They've removed the cutting/grainline errors (presumably), so as long as you sew fairly straight, it should be ok.

But I'll admit, I have no idea who their target customer is. People who can sew usually want to alter the patterns to fit them better (and don't want to pay $250 for a dress), and people who can't aren't going to spend $200 on a sewing machine to sew a $250 dress.
lareine
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In reply to Coconuts


Date: 10/15/10 8:41 PM

Quote: Coconuts
I'm snarking on the designer, not you- but how are we supposed to tell that it's badly assembled? Those dresses are a mess in the pictures.

Fair pointAlthough in real life the dress is lovely, apparently. One of the other girls at work has it in the off-the-rack version and she's going to bring it in next week. I hope I'll have a chance to see it as the designer intended it to be sewn.

Judging by the one person I know who purchased the kit version, the target market is the beginner seamstress who knows how to sew a straight line but not much else, and who would love the off-the-rack version but can't justify the cost when there is a more affordable version available with a bit more effort involved. I actually thought it was a pretty smart idea when she first told me, and only recoiled in horror when I saw the price she paid. She doesn't even own a sewing machine (she's going to somebody else's house to sew). I think buying a sturdy second-hand machine, a basic pattern or two and some fabric would have been a much better investment...

jannw
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In reply to lareine


Date: 10/15/10 10:04 PM

That box has 23 cut pieces in it! It also looks as if there are ruffles at the bottom..that doesn't sound like a good beginner project at all. Do let us know what you think of the rtw version.

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snuzal
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Date: 10/16/10 2:23 AM

*waves* often wondered this about them.
I LOVE Annas work, especially her garb range. And she's an amazingly inspirational woman. But. Those kits, have often made me think. The prices made my mouth drop when they were first released. lol

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MNBarb
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Date: 10/16/10 8:11 AM

Looks like a difficult pattern, even pre-cut, for a beginner.

I bet your co-worker has been seeing you come to work in your beautifully unique, wonderfully fitted and designed clothing and decided that if she was going to look as good as you she needed learn to sew. This was the only way she knew how to get started.

I think you're a trendsetter at the workplace and aren't aware of it. Are you noticing that the other women are a little green with envy when you walk in with a new garment?

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Barb
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skae
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In reply to lareine


Date: 10/16/10 10:58 AM

If you we're to make one maybe exactly the same one. The fabric you would use would be designer fabric. You can only purchase that fabric at speciality places. To get the pattern and the fabric its a easy 250. or more. Maybe 250 isn't a bad price.

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Ecclesiastes 11:7,8 Nothing on earth is more beautiful than the morning sun. Even if you live to a ripe old age, you should try to enjoy each day, because darkness will come and will last a long time. (CEV)

lareine
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In reply to skae


Date: 10/17/10 2:09 AM

Quote: skae
If you we're to make one maybe exactly the same one. The fabric you would use would be designer fabric. You can only purchase that fabric at speciality places. To get the pattern and the fabric its a easy 250. or more. Maybe 250 isn't a bad price.

There is a branch of Global Fabrics within walking distance of the Annah Stretton shop here in Christchurch. They often have designer fabric for sale on the bolt (I've seen Donna Karan fabric there several times and others as well) so it wouldn't surprise me if I could actually buy the same fabric at some point. Wouldn't my friend be shocked if I turned up in the same dress as hers at a fraction of the price?
-- Edited on 10/17/10 2:10 AM --
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