How do you get the perfect fit?
We have different methods of fitting different garments.
For our couture dresses and suits, we get a great fit in the most old school way possible…. with a bit of aid from modern technology.
The best way of getting a perfect fit is to make what is called “a muslin”. You can read extensively about this process here. In short, the muslin is a “rough draft” of the dress or suit that we sew from cotton based on your measurements.
We then mail this to you for feedback and a few digital pictures and completely customize the look of the pattern to fit your body and also your taste. In general, this guarantees a better fit than you could get with any store bought garment. By examining the wrinkles and places where a muslin garment pulls, we can fine tune the pattern and photos are a great aid to this process.
We offer this service with our custom pants and jeans, and some of our custom coats and jackets as well. This makes for a garment that is completely tailored in which every detail is handpicked to be just want you desire.
For local customers, we can also fit the muslins in person.
For our less expensive sportswear, we are also willing to handcraft an individual pattern just for you. In this case, we rely on the measurements that you send us. We keep a large stash of measuring tapes on hand to send to customers free of charge.
These pieces are also guaranteed to fit at least as well as a garment found in the shops. The difference is simply one of customization.
Do you offer any guarantees?
Every piece is guaranteed to fit properly. Pieces under $60 made from stock fabrics can be shipped back to us for a full refund at any time within the first two weeks.
For pieces over $60, especially those that are in custom fabrics and are tailored to your body and your tastes, we cannot offer refunds. What we offer instead is a commitment to alter the garments without charge until you are completely satisfied with the look and fit.
In exceptional cases, the more expensive pieces can be remade from scratch, until we get it right.
How much time should I allow for making my custom item?
For our Vigilante Labs tees and tanks and some of our sportswear skirts, we ask for two weeks to work your piece into our schedule. You can see a selection of many of these pieces in our Etsy store: www.vigilantelabs.com
For more complex pieces which require a custom pattern (for example, our wool coats), we ask for four weeks. And for our muslin fitted garments, we ask for 6 to 8 weeks, partly because we need to ship you the muslins, wait for your comments, and alter the original pattern, a process which takes some time.
For wedding dresses or wedding suits, about three months are required. We aim to have the pieces in your hand within two months, and the extra month allows for any potential difficulties that arise including delays in mail service, and the potential that you will still desire more work on the fit or style after you receive the final garment.
If you have more questions about whether we can schedule in a project that you are considering, please contact us right away so that we can consider the project and timing in a detailed fashion.
How does the quality of your work compare to that of boutique or department store clothing clothing?
For the most part, our clothing is much higher quality than you would find in the stores. We use a tighter stitch length and better fabrics.
But quality can mean many different things to many different customers. For example, we can make our satin skirts in from silk or from a synthetic satin. The silk version costs more and is harder to sew. But the synthetic version is washable and more durable all around. Even with dry cleaning, the silk version is unlikely to last as long as the synthetic version. But which piece is higher quality?
The same is true of our suits. Some of the lowest price wool suitings are ultra dense worsted gabardines. These fabrics are workhorse fabrics that have exceptionally twisted fabrics and a twill denim-like weave. We often recommend these fabrics for work and travel. On the other side of things, we can get fabrics that have a wool/silk content and a superfine weave with a very high thread count. These fabrics are incredibly thin and move beautifully and look stunning when the light hits them. They are both more than twice as expensive as a gabardine and will need all sorts of special care to last nearly as long.
Another thing to think about is, for example, the hem of a garment. Many pieces can be rolled and top-stitched or blind-hemmed. A blind-hem will only last a fraction as long as a top-stitched hem, and a blind-hem takes much longer to sew and is often done by hand adding to the cost of the garment. But with a blind-hem you can’t see the stitches on the outside of the garment and this is often preferable with certain looks.
When we talk about “quality” we don’t just mean how long a garment will last or how expensive and beautiful the fibers are, we mean every quality that a garment has from durability to sheen, from how well it breathes to how well it drapes. Let us know where and how often you want to be able to wear it, how you would like to clean it, what kind of weather you will wear the piece in, and the overall look that you love and we will craft a piece that is not only quality, but has all of the qualities that you love.
Who makes your clothing?
We do. Each dress, skirt, top, gown, suit, and coat is handcrafted right here in Denver, Colorado. We make every pattern and handle every aspect of production.
The founders of the shop, Lianna K. and A.J. Machete, work on every garment. They are currently aided in the production by two excellent dressmakers in their own rights, Michelle Zwolinski and Rachel Horner. You can see one of Michelle’s designs in the wedding section of this site.
Are there any public reviews of your shops?