Quality of sewing on costumes...


Sr Member
Especially for any professionals in the movie industry, but really for anyone: How good of work do you do sewing costumes?

My own theory has always been that if it looks good while you're wearing it, and it doesn't fall to pieces, that's all that matters. I don't care about finishing seams correctly, adding interfacing, or even if I have to "sew" with a hot glue gun. As long as it looks right, I'm happy.

Is this the attitude most people have? Or are there costumers out there that feel it's important to sew everything as though it were retail-level clothing?
See I started out as a rennie.
My mantra when I learned to sew and work leather was that I needed to finish it as professionally as possible so that it would last.
My reasoning was 3 fold
1- it looks better and I have ocd about stuff like that
2- it will last longer
3- it will usually fit and look better.

Any article that I am making that I plan to get extended use out of, I take my time and baste raw edges, double stitch seams, add interfacing the whole kit and caboodle.
If its something I only plan on wearing once, I try to keep my ocd in check.
But then again I don't really make anything that I plan on wearing only once.

I mean if I am taking the time and spending the money to make something I might as well make it as well as I can and look as smashing as possible in it.
Otherwise Ill just go spend $50 bucks and buy it at a costume store.
I mean if I am taking the time and spending the money to make something I might as well make it as well as I can and look as smashing as possible in it.
Otherwise Ill just go spend $50 bucks and buy it at a costume store.

^this sums it up
I worked on a film and they were fanatics about perfection. I mean everything had to be perfect because the garment is blown up ten times on the screen. So that skipped stitch that no one is going to see on your shoulder may look really obvious on that actors closeup. Also things like all seams need to be even and straight top stitching. Grain line of fabric has to be super straight. I'm a detail fanatic but that was intense making sure everything was perfect.

Secondly my business is working at home making costumes for customers online and I try to compare as much as possible to store bought clothing. There will always be small differences between hand made and machine made mass produced but still. I like everything to be as clean as possible since my clients are paying quite a bit of money. I want the garment to last as much as possible. Also I'm always improving on strength and finesse of my costumes because it's just worth it in the long run. I don't want someone coming to me saying a seam popped after wearing it for the second time. Or that the hem is fraying and coming out because I didn't surge it.

Now for myself....well it depends. If I'm in a rush then yes, as long as it looks good and doesn't fall off I don't care what the inside looks like. But it is a shame to spend $300 on materials on a garment that isn't really finished. It's so much nicer feeling to have a garment that is fully lined and not fraying on the inside. Plus it's good practice. It makes me faster to always finish my garments for when I make them again for someone else. I've been trying more and more to make sure all my garments are finished inside and out whenever I make them. Plus you never know when you may need to sell that costume for some extra cash and it's easier to sell a finished one then a roughly done one.

Don't know if that helps but there's my 2 cents lol!
I usually try to line things, have nice straight seams and hems etc. But if I'm in a rush, and I know it's put together strong enough to last and looks beautiful on the outside, I'll still be happy with it. Ex. My Rapunzel bodice is pretty disastrous on the inside due to no patterns and lots of trial and error but it looks and fits near perfect when it's on and it's built strong and will last with no issues.

I don't regularly serge all hems 'cause sergers are a pain in the butt to thread. And I have no problem using a titch of hot glue here or there for details that are inexpensive or can be replaced once I gain more skill.

I still consider myself a novice so I take everything as a lesson learned but try to do my best along the way. I don't skip out on things I know I can do or make nice out of sheer laziness, but I also don't beat myself up over it if I thought it would look better and isn't as nice in the unseeable spots as it could be. All that matters to me is that in the end, I'm proud of it, I'm happy to wear it and it looks good.
I make both everyday clothes and costumes. My costumes have the same fit and finish as the clothes This means that my costumes can take extensive wear and washing/cleaning and still look good.

Generally with anything I do in life I have a rule, if it's worth doing then it's worth doing properly.

If I take anything on, I always make sure it's to the highest standard I can possibly do.
Good to get your input!! I had never thought about the fact that films magnify everything so much. I was just wondering as I was learning the details of a skirt interfacing in my sewing class this morning. I make sure everything is strong and looks good on the outside, but the insides of things i make usually look terrible. Often that is, as aelynn said, because I have no pattern and am making it up.
I'm glad I'm learning good skills in my class. Even though, as a guy, I have no use for skirts for my own personal use!
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