Hello and welcome to my website
Making my own clothes has been my hobby for long. I've been trying to sew since early years of my life: for toys and for myself. It was also a necessity. Decent clothes were inaccessible for ordinary people here where I come from, partricularly, non-standard petite sizes. And decent footwear is a never-fulfilling dream. My family did not care that much. But I did and tried to make a change by hand-crafting clothes. Ukraine was earlier part of the Soviet Union. Soviet clothing industry (Sovlegprom) was nothing to speak of, and the tradition carries on. In terms of technology, the quality is good and even superior, but styles, textiles, designs are... suitable for grannies to be worn at dachas while setting out cabbage, or onions, or potatoes...
The Soviet establishment (nomenklatura) had Western-made clothes. I believe, it was an issue of influence, too. Cool clothes could have been bought under the counter or from profiteers, but they were scarce and extremely pricey. Soviet modnitsas (fashion-conscious women eager to look cool and trendy) forked out monthly salaries to sport labels and 'firmá'. Well-to-do people from towns and the province - were 'firmá' was even more scarce - often had their clothes made to measure by tailors. To school, we wore dark-brown uniform dresses with black everyday aprons and white holiday aprons. You can see a photo of Soviet school uniform in the article on Sovlegprom I linked above. Outside school, it was ugly department store apparel. Some parents tried to deck out their children - girls in the first pace - to make them look distinctly un-Soviet-like.
When Perestroika started, we got a chance to watch Western TV series such as 'Santa Barbara' and 'Dynasty'. Well-dressed, well-coiffed women wearing perfect make-up were a thing from another world. It was about that time the open-air clothes markets started. Those were sort of shadow markets where people could buy 'tryapki' or 'barahlo' from Turkey, former Yugoslavia, later China. Those garms looked quite different from what we were used to, and cost a lot. Such markets are still around, and ordinary people shop for clothes there. The overall quality is cheap (and cheap-looking) - and overpriced. Actually, now I see plenty of overpriced clothes in stores, too.
High quality brand clothes are sold at steep prices, affordable by those who 'do business' or have an 'oligarch' husband/lover/daddy/uncle/whatever. Normal people do not earn that much or they spend all their earnings on clothes - just like it used to be. On the other hand, I cannot say from what I see that those clothes look very well. There is plenty of fast fashion. The prevailing styles are best described as oblique, urban street-fashion - utilitarian, no frills, no nonsense, a lot of unisex features... Many affluent people prefer very casual clothes, albeit of supreme quality. Quite opposite to the purpose, such garments have become the very status marker - and a most expensive one, inaccessible to those outside the well-to-do circle.
Handmade is a new catchword, although I am not sure it will catch on. All good things here eventually turn into expensive passtimes for affluent, and bored, women who do not have to work to earn their living, always looking for something to fill in their idleness as well as control the process. Business-minded folks are trying to make handmade popular. As a side-effect, textiles are now very costly, while price-tags on knitting yarn are eye-popping. So I go window-shopping from time to time. :) Some market economy! On the other hand, we can see quite a few hamdmaders who overvalue their creations - and set unreasonable price-tags on them. Or maybe I am totally clueless becasue I am not part of this Soviet-inspired market-economy. :)
Of course, it takes a lot of time to make your own clothes. But it is the only alternative from where I stand, if you want to have something nice, and not junk fashion. Our fashion-conscious women often dwell in stock shops and second-hand clothing outlets, turning over heaps of different clothes to find something cool. Rumours have it that before such clothes hit the counters, the personnel goes through them. Busines-owners task their people with sorting away the best pieces, which are taken elsewehere.Most people just do not care that much and buy cheap trash. I do not shop for clothes - can't even remember the last time I did. But at the moment handmade is only a hobby for me - but a one that dresses me from top to toe. The only ready-made items in my closet are winter gloves and summer socks. It is a time-consuming hobby, I sould say. I do not have tailor forms, no spare room for making clothes, not even a serger. I have a very simple camera, so the quality of photos is not what I would like it to be. I code this site and create the content myself.