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Jun 26, 2012

Curse You, Miuccia Prada! + Pre-treating Fabric Confusion



Argh!  Have you seen what Prada showed last Sunday in Milan for Spring/Summer 2013?  You haven't?  Well get aload of THIS:





Readers, those lapels, those lapels -- they're W-I-D-E!

I'm sure Prada isn't the only culprit, but this is the first I've seen of wide lapels and I'm ready to spit.  We've been shown narrow lapels for at least a decade now, the economy sucks, and Prada wants to bring back wide lapels?  Here I am, about to make a jacket, and I intended mine to have narrow lapels, which also happen to be more flattering on shorter, more narrowly built men.   I mean, I guess I could go for wider lapels (I own Simplicity 9598, below), but to me they look straight out of The Odd Couple.




Friends, I know fashions change, but style stasis is one of the unspoken benefits of being a man.

Anyway, thank you to everyone who gave me advice about pre-treating my linen yesterday.  I've read advice from Marcy Tilton, Claire Schaeffer, and Sandra Betzina (among others) and wouldn't you know they all say slightly different things.  The general rule, however, is that if you're going to machine wash and dryer-dry your garment, pre-wash and dryer-dry your fabric.  But I've noticed that a lot of people prefer to air-dry their garments (I always do this with shirts), which presumably cuts down on shrinkage and helps the garment last longer.  Others hand wash everything.

I checked my linen carefully, and there are no signs of significant sizing in the fabric, though some linens are apparently also chemically treated to discourage wrinkling, and this will wash out.  I took Nancy K.'s excellent advice and washed (and machine dried) a small fabric swatch, and while it came out softer than my original linen and with a bit less sheen, the difference after ironing was minor, and after doing an interfacing test, even less.  I did a cold water wash and used a medium dryer setting, though usually I wash on warm (the Colors setting on our commercial machines).

So even though I would never put a blazer in the washing machine, I may pre-wash and machine dry my linen anyway.  Or not.  I just haven't decided yet.





Here's a dirty (no pun intended) little secret.  I have a gray linen blazer I bought five years ago from H&M of all places, and I have gotten tremendous use out of it.  And you know what?  I have NEVER had it dry cleaned, nor have I laundered it.  Before you say Ewww, let me say that I hang it up and air it out after wearing and it does not smell at all -- I mean, I'm pretty sure it doesn't; don't snicker!  I bring this up because it's entirely possible that the jacket I make will never be cleaned, period.  I should only get five years' use out of it!



Anyway, that's how things stand for right now.  I'm not going to start cutting my fashion fabric this week most likely anyway, so I can ponder the issue a bit longer.  This is where I can start to obsess  and I'm trying not to do that so early in the process.

Even though I do all the laundry in our household, I never give it much thought.  (You've seen some of the sorry results.)  Seriously, though, is there really such a big difference between a cold water wash and a warm water wash?  My clothes hold up pretty well and I can't say I ever remember ruining anything I've sewn myself -- jog my memory if you remember differently.

While I get the importance of clean underwear, I do think we're a little obsessed with laundering in this country, and especially dry cleaning, which I haven't done in years.  I hate the expense, the mystery of what's actually being done to your clothes, and the environmental impact -- not to mention the impact to your skin on contact.  But that's me.  And I don't use fabric softener.  Or bleach.  Or dryer sheets.  And please don't mention Febreze.  Like Strontium-90, we're all probably carrying trace amounts of Febreze in our bodies.  We smell good but oh, the toxins!

Readers, I fear I have raised more questions today than I've answered -- my apologies.

Have a freshly-scented day, everybody!

Febreze / Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific!  Separated at Birth?

65 comments:

  1. Amen to the laundry obsession. I have a designated section of my closet for "gently worn" clothing which can be worn again (and maybe again) before laundering. Obviously if one sweats into something it should be washed, but not everything needs to be washed every time it's worn.

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    1. I have the same system and can honestly say I always look and smell clean... Well I hope I do :) I remember my Grandmother saying once that washing clothes too often does them no favors.

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  2. I wash almost everything on cold. My whites get washed on a warm wash, cold rinse cycle, because it seems (in my hands, at least) that they stay whiter that way. I almost never use bleach in the laundry (only for cleaning, and even then only occasionally), but I do presoak stained whites in OxiClean (or generic), and that usually works pretty well. (Especially when I forget about them and they end up soaking for a few days...) I do use cloth rags for cleaning, and those I will run through a warm wash, warm rinse cycle.

    And I agree - we don't need to wash everything after one wearing.

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  3. I'm with you. It would probably shock those around me how often I wash/dry-clean certain items. Sweaters that are always worn over other shirts? Once a year at best. Sweaters that I think will shrink? Spot clean. Any items that don't get sweat on them? After a few wears. I agree- we waste water and electricity washing clothes that are clean. I also air dry everything to cut down on wear and tear. All that washing and drying can really lead to worn out clothing.

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  4. Laundry is an expression of self. It is.

    There are the staunch fabric softener types, the unscenteds (of which I am proudly one),
    the negligent types who allow washed clothes and towels to remain wet until they get a hint of mildew, heat set that "zesty" scent in the dryer, and waltz about oblivious to there doing.

    Air drying is a purist's trait. Those who hand wash garments show fortitude and responsibility.

    Dry cleaning is fast becoming an over-looked luxury. Carrying plastic wrapped clothes used to mean "I'm prosperous", now the Greenies have tainted that social display with the truth.

    I do wonder if being the "laundry czar" isn't a sign of harboring latent home sewing tendencies. I've seen a correlation between who washes the clothes and who sews (or who you suspect sews). From either or both camps, it's all fabric-time one way or another, and isn't that what we all enjoy?

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  5. Febreeze is a dirty word in my house because I'm allergic to it and it makes my lungs start to shut down!

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    1. Another good reason not to use it!

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    2. I hate the smell of Febreeze, but I also refuse to use anything that I'm absolutely convinced must leave residue on fabric. Sorry, I work in an historical archive and we wouldn't let the stuff in the door. Odor removal is nice but residue is bad news over the long-term. I'll hang smoky, etc., clothes outside for as long as it takes to air them, but no Febreeze.

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    3. In my mid-20s, I had a room-mate who worked at the Body Shop. After her jacket smelled like smoke (at a bar), she would hang it in the back-room for a few days. It smelled great!

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    4. Febreeze, I've been told, has a chemical in it that can cause seizures. I have also been told that Febreeze is one of the primary causes of seizures in dogs. While we don't have pets, my husband has had a seizure disorder since he was a teenager. We NEVER use Febreeze.

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  6. Regarding lapel creep: Your wide lapel issue is my platform heels issue. Some fashion trends just hit a nerve, don't they. I just know that I'm not going back to Boogie Nights platforms. I'll just lie in wait until everyone else comes back down to earth.

    Part of the fun with sewing, fashion and creative process is pondering all of the questions you've raised in your excellent post.

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  7. While I definitely don't wash after every wear (t-shirts usually get two wearings, skirts and the like don't get washed until they're obviously dirty - but I do get messy often enough that still means pretty regularly), I have ruined a jacket by not getting it dry-cleaned more often. It had a high collar and my hair would hit it. Which was enough to transfer oils to it - which eat fabrics. This wasn't noticeable as it was a black jacket and slightly shiny, but as soon as it did go to the cleaners, the fabric on the collar just died.

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  8. Don't you hate when you've got all your ducks in a row then Miuccia Prada comes along and knocks down all your confidence in your design?

    Those jackets are interesting on a few levels. The body is much looser-fitting than I've seen lately on catwalk menswear, but the sleeve still seems narrow. And the shoulder has a lot of slope to it.

    Laundry is almost certainly overrated. It's not like you'll be wearing your jacket to work out.

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    1. I noticed those differences too- It may be the shoulder slope that keeps the wide lapel from looking like a 70s American stereotype.

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    2. I like Prada´s interpretation of the 70s. The jackets looks casual, but contemporary and stylish. Nice to get the proportions back where they belong.
      I´m sorry to say: I won´t miss narrow lapels ;o)

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  9. Peter, take your sample and crumple it. Then do the same for the non washed sample. Which do you like better? I agree about not cleaning or washing jackets. Unless you wear your food it's just not necessary to wash or dry clean them very often or at all. I certainly have jackets I've never washed or dry cleaned. BTW, I never put clothing I've made in the dryer. I hang pants and smooth them out and they either don't need pressing or just a little. My dh hangs his shirts and rarely presses anymore.

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  10. We air-dry because the dryer broke and we're too cheap/lazy to get a new one. Dad put retractable clotheslines on the back porch so we can air-dry in any weather except blowing rain (yes, you can air-dry in Southeast Texas, although it can take awhile for towels and jeans).

    I almost always sew with cotton, and I always, always, always pre-wash in hot water and (borrow a friend's machine to) machine dry, to shrink as much as possible before I use the fabric.

    I know they're out of fashion but I remain devoted to slips, even when wearing lined skirts, to save washing my skirts so much, and I always wear T-shirts under turtlenecks and sweaters (my office is cold), both for warmth and to keep as much body grunge as possible off my outer clothes. I hand-wash good sweaters and best dresses but the rest can be tossed in the machine.

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    1. If have central AC, position you line near (but not directly over) the condenser unit. Most of them create a great airflow that's slightly warmer and drier than the surrounding atmosphere.

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  11. I never dry clean. Yuck, all those chemicals. If something is dry clean only and I really need to wash it, I'll hand wash it in the sink.

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  12. mari.hafenstein@att.netJune 26, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    underpinnings change everyday and get washed on hot...except the really delicate lacy bits. In our hot summers here in TX, everything gets washed after one wearing, winter not so much. Linen washes in cold on the hand wash and is line dried. I do line dry most clothing except for jeans and some pants. It isn't an environmental thing with me, it is shrinkage.

    BTW, if you don't have spots and need to generally dry clean a garment, I have used Dryelor a similar product a lot. I have this one fave dress that I wear at least once a week. I probably have it done professionally once a year but do Dryel every few wearings.

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  13. I don't throw everything in the laundry hamper or dry cleaning basket after one wearing, either -- especially if it's something I only wore for an hour or two (and did not sweat in or wear in proximity of smokers). My husband and sons never, ever hang something up after they've taken it off their bodies. If the kids try something on and then decide not to wear it, they still put it in the dirty clothes hamper. Things that are actually dirty are often on the floor, and my youngest has a bizarre habit of mixing his dirty socks in the LEGO bin. But underwear? I have to do an underwear INSPECTION every morning to make sure my sons put on a clean pair, otherwise wash day comes and I discover that they wore the same pair of underpants ALL WEEK LONG! Hopefully they will grow out of this nasty habit before adolescence!

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  14. Your blog is wonderful. I always wash fabrics to get rid of the insecticides and other chemicals from the factory and container ship. Also it makes it a little easier to spot-clean stains without too visible a water mark.

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  15. I don't wash a lot clothing very frequently - I have wool dresses & sweaters that haven't been cleaned in a couple of years. They don't smell like, well, anything. Wool is awesome!

    I'm all about prolonging your clothes-wearing between washes, but I do side-eye the people who don't let their stuff air out before they store it.

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  16. I wonder sometimes if the decline in fabric quality can not be somehow linked to our harsher and harsher laundry habits. A garment-industry employee once told me that washing is usually the biggest enemy of clothes ! As we become more and more obsessed by cleanliness, we get detergents and washing machines that are more and more efficient, and we use them more often than, say, my grand-mother would have done back in the days. No wonder our clothes get a beating.

    OTOH, I do clean clothing frequently but limit dry-clean to RTW garments that specifically require it and outerwear. I pre-wash all my fabric except coatings : if it can't take it, too bad.
    And no Febreeze, I hate synthetic scents.

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  17. I don't think I've ever dry-cleaned anything. I once left some second-hand coats someone gave me for cleaning and when I went to pick them up, they hadn't done anything because there was a fur collar on one and they weren't sure what to do with it, so those coats never got cleaned. (I wish I still had them! They were really nice wool coats. Darn.) Jackets and coats -- they never get cleaned but seem fine. Other clothes and fabrics -- if they are marked dry clean only I don't buy them. Wash mostly in cold water and dry mostly on delicate or hang to dry, except for sheets and towels. Febreze -- only use occasionally when there is a cat emissions issue, never on clothes. And I hate the smell of most detergents now; they put something in them that is disgusting. I'd almost rather smell sweat. We use unscented.

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  18. I am not sure if this helps in your deciaion making process or not but yrs ago I worked in a dry cleaner and I can tell you first hand that when it comes to "dry cleaning" it really isn't a dry-cleaning. They really do just launder your garments as you would at home and then depending on the type of garment, be it a coat or a skirt, is how it is pressed. For a coat it is hung on a maniquin like thingy and steamed to remove any wrinkles. If need be some light starch is added to give crispness to the garment. You would be best to launder your fabric how ever you prefer to at home and save yourself the money you would pay a dry cleaner. That is totally your choice but just thought I would let you in on that little secret. ;)

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    1. I think I heard this somewhere before too. What's the "dry" part though? Aren't there chemicals involved?

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    2. No chemicals involved other than starch. As far as drying they use regular dryers. The place I worked at would just sort all the similar fabrics and wash and dry accordingly. (Kind of gross if you think about it, having your clothes washed with someone else's.) Then we put them on the property ironing devices and steam pressed or ironed them. That's all there was to it. So for you to do it at home you could control just how your garment is cleaned and taken care of better. So if you want to wash it on a gentle cycle and air dry it to prevent further shrinking you could. Then a little light startch and some ironing and it's as good as dry cleaned without the expense and more carefully taken care of.

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  19. I'm still reeling from the crotch arrows....

    My guess is that Cathy sweats flowers so she can wear your jacket to give it some freshness. Just drape it over her shoulders... and DONE!

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    1. Cathy doesn't sweat, she pants.

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    2. well, THAT'S an image... but she still can take a nothing day and make it all seem worthwhile.

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  20. my coats rarely (if ever) get cleaned. They just don't need it. Unless there's a spill or something that requires immediate attention. But I don't lounge around the house in an over coat, so there's not the same dirty worn thing going on (nor all that pet hair) as, say, a t-shirt. I say wash the linen once, make your coat and call it good.

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  21. I'm with you on all the chemicals -- ick, Febreze. I try to stick to 7th generation cleaning detergent. I love to buy old textiles and tackle many stains with a little baking powder or some fresh lemon juice and some salt. Let it sit in the sun for an hour or more (keep checking) and VOILA! Clothes on the line is my favorite drying method -- when there is time and the weather is cooperative. A good sit in the sun will freshen up most anything.

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  22. "They really do just launder your garments as you would at home"

    Gotta disagree on this one. Dry cleaners use a petroleum-based solvent so that while it may *look* like washing clothes at home, water isn't used so it's not the same thing.

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  23. "Dry cleaners use a petroleum-based solvent so that while it may *look* like washing clothes at home, water isn't used so it's not the same thing."

    That depends. Sometimes they do actually launder whatever it is because it's actually not suited to drycleaning.

    I'm with Peter--garments like blazers and coats I only clean or have cleaned every few years. They really don't need it that often and cleaning them too frequently is hard on the fabric.

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  24. I've been sewing a couple of decades and have worked out a fabric pre-treating routine that works very well.

    Any fabrics that can go through the washer and dryer do before they are sewn up. The washer removes chemicals and sizing (I'm chemically sensitive, possibly from having been in contact with so many textiles and their chemicals), relaxes the fibers from folds and wrinkles, and, the big plus in my rain-prone area, eliminates the chance of water spotting because once washed the fabric is one big water spot! (That's a tip I think I got from Pati Palmer and Susan Pletsch.) The dryer shrinks the fabric before it is sewn into a garment. I generally wash clothes in cold water and don't put my hand-sewns in the dryer, but on occasion I may be in a hurry to dry something to wear, or my husband may do the laundry, and then I don't have to worry my handsewns will shrink in the dryer.

    Substantial fabrics that can't go in the washer get an over thorough steaming which, so far in my experience, has prevented any waterspotting on these fabrics. Delicates and sweater knits get soaked, swished, rolled in a towel or two, and laid flat to dry. If a sweater is thick or taking to long to dry (and risking mildewing), I may set a fan to blow on it.

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  25. I have to say that I have never dry cleaned anything and I won't drink decaf coffee. What do the two have in common you say?? Oh, only the fact that the chemical used in dry cleaning (trichloroethylene, or TCE) is also used to take the caffeine out of coffee. I do agree we are all germ freaks. I only wash my jeans if something spill on the that gets sticky or stiff or when I have worn them like a week straight. It's similar to people not reusing their bath towel more than once. Just hang it to dry people! You are absolutely clean when you get out of that shower, your towel isn't dirty!

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    1. Towel talk: You can re-use a towel, but there is a point when the slow drying loops develop that "zesty" smell which if you rub on your absolutely clean body, will give one a hint-o-mildew.

      I'm towel-ticular, and much prefer to indulge myself by living hotel-style, with everyday being "fresh towel day". It's a small luxury.

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  26. I dry clean my dry clean only clothes, but life style changes will probably eliminate those. Linen can be laundered in hot or cold water. It's your choice. At least for natural color linen. I am a toss everything in the hamper after one wearing type. It's rare that I wear something twice. And I use softener religiously. If it's a garment I made, it will likely get laundered no matter what the fabric is made from. Linen is wonderful to wear after 4 or 5 trips through the washer and dryer. It's a real pain doing all that laundry before sewing though.

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  27. The new jackets and pants are atrocious. Even pink leisure suit people from the 70's wouldn't have worn them.

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  28. I don't dry clean my clothes, even though I wear a lot of silk, wool, and linen. I've found you can wash most unlined (and some lined) garments. It's the dryer that ruins delicate fabrics in most cases. I get nearly all of my clothes at thrift stores and pay very little for them--less than the cost of one dry cleaning. So that beautiful silk blouse ($3) and linen skirt ($4) get popped into the washer on delicate, then hung to dry.

    The only time I've had something ruined was when my sweet husband put some just-washed wool skirts into the dryer. He's never touched my laundry again!

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  29. I am so guilty of over-washing my clothes. Since I have started sewing I have been trying to rethink this as I want my handmade creations to outlast me. I do take things to the dry cleaners, especially if I buy them at a thrift store. All coats, jackets, and lined dresses, and anything wool are taken to the cleaners. I just feel better about wearing them, and I like how neatly pressed things are. I did try to wash a vintage coat in my bathtub once and I ruined it, as the wrinkles would not come out and it completely changed the texture of the fabric. I do think that dry cleaning has it's place.

    Now, I will use a bath towel for two weeks before I wash it, mainly because I always just hang it up and forget how long I've been using it, lol. :]

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  30. In the TMI department, I don't wear antiperspirant, just Toms of Maine deodorant, which doesn't always quite work, so I wear a top, t-shirt, blouse whatever once and then into the wash it goes. Cold water wash with scent free detergent, washing soda, no dryer sheets or fabric softener. Line dry if possible, especially towels. I love crunchy towels. They dry you better too.

    Febreze only when a puppy refuses to get toilet training and carpet cleaning doesn't quite get the scent out.

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  31. Firstly, these obsessive laundry routines are American only. I don't use any fancy pants extras either and all is well! AND, recently a gent brought a linen mix blazer into our shop to see if he could dye out a colour flaw caused by drycleaning it. I sent him off with a bottle of liquid RIT, he machine dyed said blazer, and when he next wore i in, it was fantastic! Flaw gone, blazer none the worse for its unscheduled tumble about in the machine.
    So maybe we have been scared into too much dc. If I wash a garment that has structure, I air dry it on a coat hanger. Never any issues. Good on you!

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  32. I rarely dry clean and I tend to avoid the dryer as much as possible. I do wash clothes after wearing something once, and sometimes twice.

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  33. I'm so with you! I rarely use dry cleaning and try not to overlaunder my clothes!

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  34. In Australia, most people don't use clothes dryers. The majority of us line dry. I own a dryer, but I only use it when it's been raining for three weeks and I really need clothes. I dry shirts on hangers to minimise wrinkling and I don't hang knits on the line - I drape those over furniture on the verandah so they are fully supported and can't stretch. Nothing worse than a t-shirt with peg marks! Like you, I rarely dry clean coats and jackets. I sponge off marks if I get them and hang coats and jackets outside before putting them back in the cupboard. I agree that dry cleaning has its place but you can achieve a lot with a hand held steamer and a damp cloth! Now I'm really curious about your linen jacket process. I've never thought about linen so much before. I love the colour, too. I think this will turn out to be a garment that sees a lot of wear.

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    1. As a fellow Australian, I have to say that I am so puzzled by all the talk of using dryers. I don't own one, and don't want one. I air dry outside when it's warm enough, and air inside in front of heaters when it's cold. I am also really puzzled by the use of fabric softener - what fabrics are your clothes made of that they need softening?! I have been told that fabric softener is a great conditioner for jute rope for *ahem* intimate uses, but how many of you wear jute every week?

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  35. The trouble with wide lapels coming back is the same trouble wide lapels had in the first place - they're only flattering to the tall and lean.

    On laundering: Every stitch, every time. I likes me some clean, and if the clothes wear out sooner, so be it.

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  36. Shock Announcement. I don't even own a dryer and Fabric Softener in any form is just another source of pollution. In the rare event that it rains for a few days we have a drying rack inside. It is just a second hand display rail from a store.
    On washing linen Yes wash it then interline it with a very thin but crisp cotton. If that makes the jacket too hot then it would be too hot for a jacket anyway.
    I do all washes with a short burst of warm water to dissolve the detergent then switch to cold.
    On dry cleaning - the methods seem to vary from establishment to establishment and generally you get what you pay for. It pays to quizz them first. As Me How I Know ;)

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  37. I am sensitive to detergents, cleaners etc and since I live in an apartment where I can't have my own washer, everything has to be easily hand washed.

    As for the wide lapels UGH!!!!!!!

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  38. Those Prada mens' clothes are so unbelievably FUGLY that I certainly wouldn't worry about the "width of lapels"; who died and made Prada the clothing dick-tater? PUH-leazze!

    Haven't you noticed that the designers are all out of ideas and everyone is running around like headless chickens trying to cover ALL the bases at once? I can NOT believe the garbage that is being fobbed off as 'fashion' these days; it's all one big money grab; all these designers trying to dictate what's "in" when all they are interested in is SELLING PRODUCT; they don't give a SHIT about 'fashion". And WE are FALLING FOR IT.

    Make your blazer with whatever width lapels YOU like, Peter, and don't let some fashion designer-nazi with an agenda (which is to line HIS pockets with as much of OUR money as he can) dictate to you! The "fashion" industry stopped being about "style and taste" LONG AGO and is now about grub-grub-grubbing money,nothing more; haven't you noticed?

    The ONLY clothes I see these days which feature craftsmanship, taste,and figure-flattery are those I see in SEWING magazines!

    I am quite sure that ALL those lah-dee-dah designers with their bloated pretentious attitudes are deliberately snjoying making people look like BIG FOOLS while THEY laugh all the way to the bank!

    F'r godsake, haven't you seen those dumb-looking suits that are popular all over; those ones that look like they got shrunk in the wash? Guys are paying out small fortunes in order to look like an IDIOT. And you are worried your lapels might not be "in"? Come now! Someone with enough testicular brass to wear toile de jouy pants doesn't need to kowtow to PRADA, f'r godsake!

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    1. The only place I've ever seen those shrunk-in-the-dryer Thom Browne suits are...in my neighborhood! LOL

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  39. I love your blog, and even though I've never commented before ( kind of shy, and scared of yet another potential restraining order) I am really serious about what I am going to say next, Why not make one lapel wide, and one tiny.....even say make one lapel double the width of a prada suit, and the other side lapel a quarter of the width.....it could work, as a sort of fashionista reposte in sartorial homarge?.
    You've only yourself to blame for the above idea anyway, if your blog were a little less inspiring I would not now be eyeing my dusty sewing machine again and having those Bad , Bad, thoughts, the ones I spent four years in Therapy trying to get rid of.
    ( They made me burn all the patterns, don't keep even one they screamed in my face, its the only way you will ever be free... I lied, I said I had, but I hid one, just the one, do you see what you have done now, do you.)
    "Festival Pixie Dress" circa 1980 you've never been off my mind, or out of my attic, until now.

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    1. I take full responsibility! LOL I'm going to have to think about that lapel idea -- perhaps too avant-garde for my conformist taste. ;)

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  40. Interesting. I don't own a dryer and haven't used one in 20 years. I have never missed it and I don't like them. I also don't wash clothing after one wear. I don't own anything that needs to be drycleaned either. As for lapels, I don't follow fashion, I just wear what I like and feel comfortable with.

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  41. Hurrah to you, Peter, for eschewing dry-cleaning! You'd have even more incentive if you lived in the UK where it's unaffordable at about 3 x the price. I only tolerate one dryer sheet: Mrs Meyer's lavender scented (made in Minneapolis) which do not appear to contain anything more sinister than lavender and orange essential oils, though I wonder what the 'vegetable-derived softening agent' could be.

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  42. I hardly even wash or dry clean coats to be honest and I don't really notice that they smell or anything (others may tell me different!) I always pre-wash my fabric before using it in the method I will wash it after I have made my garment. To me, this should prevent any serious shrinkage and condition it too.

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  43. Thank you for not using dry cleaning!!! it is one of the most toxic things in our environment and really does not clean the material at all. I used to have a linen blouse I loved and dry cleaned it to preserve it as long as possible, but soon it started to smell like someone else's sweat. I washed it immediately. As I have studied the ingredients in detergents, I have found that they do not really clean the dirt out just spread it around the garment and they add perfumes to cover up the stink left in. Use a natural detergent, Bi-O-Kleen is excellent.

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  44. Here's a little costumer's secret for you: instead of using Febreeze, get some super cheap vodka and mix it 50/50 with water in a spray bottle. Spray down your clothes that stink, let them air dry, and boom! smell be gone! The alcohol kills the stinky bacteria and it evaporates without leaving behind that nasty Febreeze smell.

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  45. Hey Peter, instead of complaining about wide lapels, make some clothes just like what Randall and Klugman wore in the television series. Of course you and Michael will have to debate who will be the neat freak and who will be the slob.

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  46. There is no confusion to be had in fabric pre-treatment as long as you stick to one guiding principle: always pre-treat your fabrich much more brutally as you'd ever consider doing for the finished product. Have you ever traveled with a carefully picked small bagful, and had a crucial piece wilt or shrink as it was subjected to exotic (European!) laundry process? Trust me, it's not pretty. You also can't guarantee that some well-meaning guest (or even bf) won't decide to do a favor one day and do your laundry. As to the 5-years-without-laundry thing, I won't comment except to point out that you may well get a glass of something spilled on the precious jacket at one of those wild NY parties. Or the dogs could have an accident. You know, life happens..

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  47. I didn't even notice the lapels... I was too taken aback by the odd styling, the sort of 'athletic' looking pants with the inner or outer white stripe and the shoes... I just don't get any of it!

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  48. This discussion about laundry is really interesting, I live in Brazil, but I lived in the US for a few years, and I have to say, things are different in Brazil. Most of us don't have driers, because the weather is hot anyway, so air drying is very common. We don't have those drier sheets as well.Also, hot water is a luxury, so we do all of our laundry with cold water. Febreeze is a novelty here and very expensive, and I don't know anyone that buy that stuff. Dry cleaning? Ha! Only for your wedding dress, or something very fancy... So, in conclusion, I really think that Americans are obsessed with laundry...

    Tatiana from Brazil

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