Kabbaz shirtmaking articles

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Alexander Kabbaz, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Hampton & New York


  2. Steve B.

    Steve B. Go Spurs Go

    Messages:
    10,283
    Likes Received:
    125
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Alex:

    Welcome back.
     


  3. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

    Messages:
    9,760
    Likes Received:
    122
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2004
    Location:
    Tokyo
    Very cool stuff, and very well-written I might add. Thanks for the info.
     


  4. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

    Messages:
    2,523
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Location:
    Bay Area
    that is awesome. LOL [​IMG] although i would recommend doing a muslin mockup first.
     


  5. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

    Messages:
    2,141
    Likes Received:
    63
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    glad that you posted that link again...hope you're here to stay.
     


  6. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Hampton & New York
    Faustian - normally I would, but the staples are more easily removable than stitches. hence, adjustment is easy.
     


  7. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

    Messages:
    2,523
    Likes Received:
    2
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Location:
    Bay Area
    i suppose you could baste with some double-stick tape...
     


  8. MCA

    MCA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2004
    Dear Mr. Kabbaz,

    Thank you for posting the links to your articles. It is always a pleasure to read or hear from a craftsperson passionate about his or her work.

    I found surprising that you're a believer of the machine-sewn buttonhole. I actually had thought that, in the face of the earth, only my shirtmaker and myself supported the idea.
    Most bespoke enthusiasts and makers are strongly opinionated against the machine-sewn buttonhole on a bespoke garment in the true sense of the word. And I agree with them. That is, if the buttonhole is made using the conventional machine-assisted (or even mass production) methods and equipment used on 99.999% of the garments made today. But in my opinion no hand-sewn buttonhole can hold a candle to the best machine-sewn, custom-made examples. The latter are not easy to make and quite rare, however. They require very special machines from an era bygone, probably fine-tuned and modified by the craftsperson over the years until that perfect signature is obtained, and skilled hands and feet. I am sure that your shirts belong to this rare breed, and hope to see a sample of your work some day.

    That being said, to all its own: some people like machine-sewn, some like hand-sewn, and that is perfectly fine. Otherwise, one of our favorite art forms would be quite monotonous, don't you think?

    Best regards.
     


  9. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

    Messages:
    1,272
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Hampton & New York
    Dear MCA, Yup, what you say is true ... and quite well put. I'm 54. I feel quite young next to my buttonhole machine which is easily 85. Back in the 1970's, the last living Singer mechanic who worked on the design of the machine trained me to take care of it. Mr. Oppenheim was 95 at the time and warned me, "Kabbaz - you'd damn well better sit down with me here - now - before I die - and learn this stuff because after I'm gone there ain't nobody else." And you're doubly correct - there are a few craftsman's innovations - and NOBODY touches her but me. [​IMG]
     


  10. Alias

    Alias Senior member

    Messages:
    1,536
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington DC
    I wish we had a good shirtmaker here in Seoul. [​IMG]
     


  11. kitonbrioni

    kitonbrioni Senior member

    Messages:
    5,496
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    There is a certain unique look to the hand-sewn button-holes on Kiton shirts that give them a attractive character.

    I was just comparing two of my Kiton shirts--one with hand-made button-holes and one with machine made. The differences are most subtle.
     


  12. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    1,802
    Likes Received:
    46
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    And the look of the stitching on hand-attached sleeves is also attractive. I wonder if anybody has done something of a controlled experiment on handsewing on shirts. Alex says that handsewing on a shirt leads to weak seams and an inability to attach the sleeve consistently due to an absence of three hands. This makes sense to me. Proponents of handsewing argue that hand-attached sleeves and shoulder yokes and collars mold to the shape of your body and don't bind like machine-sewn seams do. Sounds a little bit hand-wavy to me, but I like the way that my Borrelli shirts look and fit. So what I would like to see is this: two shirts cut from the same pattern in identical fabric and with identical styling options. Both would be made by the same person; but one would have the hand-attached collar, sleeves, and yoke while the other would have everything done by a (Kabbaz-quality) sewing machine. Then we could really do an evaluation of the relative merits of each school of thought.
     


  13. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

    Messages:
    725
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Fairly recently I saw a custom shirt that was 100% sewn by hand. When I say 100% sewn by hand, I mean that literally every single stitch, from both rows of stitching on each side seam, to the bottom hem, to the buttonholes, to the collar topstitching was sewn by a man with a needle and thread. The stitching was so fine and so "regular" that I had to look twice before I realized that it was in fact done by hand. In no part of the operation was a sewing machine involved. It also took 3 days to sew this shirt, which is cost-prohibitive both for the maker and most potential clients, so he also offers less expensive custom shirts which he uses sewing machines to assemble. This shirt cost quite a bit more than Kiton shirts cost. The work was beautiful. The quality of the hand-stitching made Kiton, Borrelli et al look positively crude. The button-down collar had a roll that no Brooks Brothers button-down collar has probably ever had. I was able to appreciate this shirt from an artisanal standpoint. Nonetheless with the exception of button attachment(issue of accuracy) and the possible exception of buttonholes I prefer machine stitches. [​IMG] If the maker has a very good buttonhole machine then I see no problem with machine-sewn buttonholes. Some of the older Troy Shirt Makers Guild shirts have beautiful (machine-made) buttonholes.
     


  14. Sartorial Quest

    Sartorial Quest New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    Mr. Kabbaz:
    Your articles are very interesting. Do you have others? I am new here and particularly interested in custom shirts.
     


  15. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    4,582
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Alright, I have to know. Who is the artisan?
     


Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by