How It's Made
Making quality clothing takes time. Each garment made in our studio takes anywhere from 4 to 10 hours to complete from start to finish — and that's not including all the designing, drafting, and grading that goes on beforehand! We don't take shortcuts, and we obsess over every little thing, but that's what we like to think makes Margu clothing so special.
It takes a lot of time for me to put together a collection, and a lot of the reason for that is because I obsess over the details. Every piece has to be beautiful, has to be functional, has to be comfortable, has to fit perfectly, has to make sense on its own but also make sense with the collection. I obsess over pockets: where to put them, how many, how big, what kind. I obsess over the length of every garment: it can't be too short, nor too long, and it needs to go with a variety of different heights and shoe types. I obsess over fabric: whether it's soft, how it drapes, how opaque it is. I obsess over linings — and subsequently line just about anything that makes sense to line. I obsess over seam finishes and which ones to use (it's almost always French seams). I obsess over fit. I obsess over details like bias-bound armholes and blind hems. I obsess over buttons — boy oh boy, do I obsess over buttons! By the time you see any garment on our site, you know that every little single tiny detail has been thought of during the design process.
Once I've nailed down the garment I want to make and the fabric I want to make it in, I have to make a pattern for it. Our patternmaking process is done entirely by hand, with pencil and paper and scissors and tape. It's essentially like drafting a blueprint for a garment — each section that will eventually be a piece of fabric that is cut and sewn together starts out as a flat piece of paper, meticulously drafted so that each measurement and curve is just right. There's something so magical to me about creating a 2-dimensional pattern and using it to make a 3-dimensional garment, which is why patternmaking is one of my favorite steps in the design process.
All our patterns start out as base blocks in a size 4 (or Small), which we alter to create our designs (an A-line skirt! French darts! Billowy sleeves!) and then grade from 00-16 (or XS-XL). I make a lot of prototypes and muslins to get the fit perfect before beginning grading, which then requires more fit testing. We make many samples, prototypes, and muslins of each style in every collection before releasing our collections to the world, most of which you'll never get to see. (I promise you that's a good thing, though! I make a lot of mistakes.)
Making quality clothing takes time. Each garment made in our studio takes anywhere from 4 to 10 hours to complete from start to finish. The production process varies garment by garment, but it usually includes:
- Pre-washing, dyeing, and pressing the fabric
- Laying out each paper pattern piece on the fabric
- Cutting out pattern pieces and transferring any markings with chalk
- Sewing, trimming, and pressing seams, hems, collars, plackets, and pockets
- Sewing, trimming, and pressing some more
- Hand-sewing buttons, hooks and eyes, and other small components
- Doing a final pressing of the garment
Much of what makes our clothing so well-constructed is how we perform each step. In an effort to make both clothing that lasts and clothing that is as beautiful on the inside as it is the outside, we do many small things to make our garments special:
- We sew all our seams with sturdy, beautiful seams finishes such as French seams, flat-fell seams, and Hong Kong seams. You will never see any serged edges in the inside of our garments! Taking the extra time to sew high-quality seam finishes makes a garment more durable as well as more attractive.
- We don't take shortcuts with our dress and skirt linings. All our lined garments are full lined, meaning that in the construction process we are basically sewing an extra dress out of lining fabric and attaching it at the end. Lining a garment not only makes it softer and more beautiful in the inside, but it also greatly increases the longevity of the garment by putting less stress on the main fabric.
- Our buttons are sewn by hand, making them super sturdy and (almost) impossible to fall off. (If you do ever happen to lose a button, though, we're happy to send you another one.)