Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Disposable clothing...sigh.

Hi there! It's been a while.

I ended up really, really busy all fall, and let this blog fall by the wayside. Now I have more time to post recons and crafts. I did this one wayyy back in August, for a friend.

It is made from two Walmart shirts that were too short and very much unloved. I forgot how blogger uploads pics, so my photos are in a reverse timeline from finish to start. Next time I'll get it right. Sorry about that. In the photo below, I'm cutting off a section of the metallic stripey shirt to made super-long sleeves. I serged these to the green sleeves.

Annnnd going back further, I cut the green shirt in half, and cut away part of the sleeve.

I cut away the flimsy-looking lace trim, and later added a v-neck collar made from part of the stripey shirt.

This is Seymour, my highly-dedicated feline assistant. No sewing project can be done without him laying on it. Ever.

Back to square one. These are the shirts. They both are from Walmart and they both have issues. The green one is one of their "George" line, and it is a super-lightwieght jersey. Not really suited to this project, but I'm a rebel. The green jersey has no body at all, and is very limp. It is basically a disposable shirt because after a couple of washings, the lace looks like crap, due to the fact that the jersey is too soft to hold it in shape. Ugh. These things must be in landfills all over the place.
The stripey shirt is a "Faded Glory". At first glance, it seems okay, till you try it on and notice there is something vaguely not right about it. Nothing majorly wrong per se, just somethng about this shirt is "meh".
When I proceeded to cut it up, I found out what was wrong. The back of the shirt has the knit facing upside down. It is not readily apparent unless you are really looking for it. Doubtless hundreds, maybe thousands, of this shirt model were made the same way. Why? To save money.
I used to work in the garment industry, and the cutting crew would lay out rows of fabric to cut out all at once with a computerized saw. Our factory could cut as many as 48 of the same pattern piece at once this way, with pattern pieces going down a steel table that was almost as long as the building itself. We did have a lot of waste from making sure the pattern peices all were cut on the grain and right-side up. That could not be helped in order to make a quality product. What Walmart did with this top is choose to make them cheaper by turning some pieces upside down to make them fit more onto the same amount of yardage. While it's good not to be wasteful, the result was a top that only gets worn a little bit, before people decide they don't like it and it goes to the thrift shop or off to the landfill.
I learned that it is not a good idea to try and set a V-neck collar into such a thin jersey, but it was a great learning experience.
I'll still try to recycle Walmart clothes from time to time, but I expect to be frustrated. I will think long and hard about buying anything new from them. Right now I'm in the Wardrobe Refashion, and I signed up for another six months, so I'm saved from new Walmart clothes for now. Yay! :o)
Here's the blog:
Happy New Year to all, and keep recycling! :o)

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