How to spot badly made clothing

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How to spot badly made clothing - tips from someone who sews

  • check the brand (cheap girls chain stores like Supre and Valleygirl are notorious for bad sewing)
  • Check the fabric. It's a bad sign if you can see your bra through the top, especially if it's not meant to be sheer. ALWAYS try on lined dresses with a patially transparent outer fabric i.e lace as your underwear may be visible through the lining. Supre (or, in America, Wal-mart and stores like that) is especially bad for this, but many stores try to use thin, cheap fabrics that, in any light colour, a dark bra can be clearly seen through it. You could always get a slip to go under it but it would probably end up costing the same as a more expensive, better dress.
  • Check the fine print. If it says 'designed in (add country - Australia, USA etc) always check to see where it was made - probably China or India.
  • Check any gathering for bad sewing - bad sewing here will reduce the life of the garment. Bad sewing is especially noticeable in thick or shiny fabrics, such as leather, thick jacket wool, PU, satin, patent leather and spandex. ALWAYS look more closely at sequinned garments as they are hard to sew because of the sequins, meaning errors are more likely.
  • Frills always show bad sewing. If the frills are not overlocked, that's a bad sign. If the overlocking or frills don't sit flat (curls forward or backward) it means the garment is of low qualty. Over the life of the garment the frills will curl even more.
  • Check the price. More expensive garmets are almost always sewn better than cheap ones but don't bet on it.
  • Check the zip. Bad sewing is usually the worst on the zip, as the zip is the hardest piece to sew in. Especially check both ends of the zip. 

The best thing you could do is check out sewing guides. They will show you what is involved in sewing, hence giving you a better idea of what to look for. Especially check out fabric guides - they will tell you which fabrics are most notorious for wear. I'll tell you one now - bemsilk, usually used in lining.



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