Thursday, July 10, 2014

What's the difference: Seamstress vs. Fashion Designer?

Hello Loves!
  I hope you are well. I did not accomplish as much as I hoped in the studio yesterday :-( I had a horrible headache that literally stayed with me all day. So I ended up retiring to the couch. Is there a difference between a seamstress and a fashion designer is a question that I have wanted to write about for a while. 
Yes there is a difference.  A seamstress is a woman who is paid to sew clothing. Typically a seamstress uses commercial patterns and adjusts them to fit a client. A fashion designer is not simply a sketch artist. In fact that is not even the most important part of being a designer as some think.  A fashion designer has to wear so many more hats, especially one that is independent or freelancing.  They must have an understanding of textile construction and textile science, garment construction, pattern design/drafting/grading/draping, and business. Only those who have made it (own design houses) are excused from the hands on construction part of fashion design. Fashion designers create the idea they innovate and problem solve (the largest part of designing) whether it is through construction, fabrication, or aesthetics. Whereas a seamstress recreates, duplicates, and replicates. Understand the difference?
So, which am I do you ask? I am a Fashion Designer!

  Here is how I feel about the topic...I'm sensitive about my craft so don't judge me. Since I started blogging I've received messages on social media and directly to my email of requests to make things or I am asked if I will sell any of my work.  The selling part doesn't strike a nerve but from time to time the questions regarding replicating commercial/retail pieces does. I am a designer who sews her own designs and questions of replicating clothing  can be offensive and hurtful at times. Or even when people come to me with their design ideas and tell me "You should design something like this and sell it". No, you should design and make it and sell it after all you are the one coming to me with the idea. Duh!  I know people don't understand the difference and they don't mean to be offensive. But it's hard when you are struggling to make your dream of becoming a fashion designer come true and people are trying to make you a seamstress. Just because I know how to sew does not mean I want to sew the garment in the image you found in a Google search. I'm a designer, people!
Some sewers get defensive or rude when asked to make something for others; but I don't. Yes, I said sewers they are not even designers they are just glorified seamstress and they still get an attitude about sewing for others just because they feel they have a "unique" skill set. I, on the other hand, consider the request and let the person  know the cost to have something custom made and they generally do not want to move forward (blog post about this coming soon). I've set specific prices for these request, otherwise I will not be making steps towards my dream  as all of my time will be going to making replicas of garments and I would never have time to design anything new. So doing this has to be worth it, right? Then I would become a seamstress and not a designer :-( Don't get me wrong, seamstresses can make a living. What I'm saying has nothing to do with that this has to do with a passion for doing something that is me and my own. Being a seamstress is just not what I want to be nor is it who I am. While I have obliged some in the past I've made up my mind a few months ago that I do not want to sell or sew anything but my own designs. But I have a hard time telling people no to anyone about anything. So, I'll keep you posted on my progress.
What struggles as a seamstress or fashion designer do you have? Were you aware that there is a difference between a seamstress and a fashion designer? Talk to me guys, let me know how you feel!

Thanks for Reading!
~xoxo Rhianna's Studio


Bonita Nance said...

I hear where you're coming from. I am a seamstress but what would infuriate me was when people would shop with me in mind to do their mending, adjusting etc. Without asking me first. Assuming I wanted to do that for them in the first place

Kely Sews said...

I desire to be a seamstress I guess. My desire is to learn how to make couture clothing for myself, learning different sewing techniques where I can dress in styles I like but can never be able to afford. In the process I must learn about fabric construction, textiles, finishing..But I don't aspire to be a fashion designer..if that makes sense...