Look what I got in the post today! All the way from afar…


Sigrid very kindly facilitated the purchase of much needed 206×13 needles for me and I received them today, undamaged and unbent by their journey. Thank you! Who’d have thought that is would be easier, cheaper and quicker to buy German needles from the US than to buy them from Manchester?

So now that actually sewing again is a possibility I have sewing plans bouncing around my head, the most pressing being adding horizontal pleats to Novita at chest level to disguise my bralessness under summer weight fabrics and light cardigan to layer with. The recent hot weather has jolted me out of woolly jumpers, leggings and long skirts and the girls see one hot day of spring as being the sign to wear shorts so we went out to the shed to get The Suitcase.

We don’t have room to keep out of season clothing in the house so twice a year we drag a huge suitcase on wheels out of the shed and swap our winter wear for summer wear or vice versa. This week I realised that I have only one plain summer skirt (the four gore denim one) and all the others are patterned meaning that I really do need to make some plain tops that aren’t t-shirts.

I have been Pinning sewing ideas over the past few months (again, thank you Sigrid for introducing me to that lovely place)

I am intrigued by this Cos top which looks like it has two pleats but is in fact one big slanted box pleat

And this top with a layered peplum

Then there are upcycles, wrap tops from triangles, a summer weight jacket or some cardigans and at least one dress. I get caught up in all these thoughts then the simplicity thing bites me. Do I really need lots of clothes? Do I need new clothes? Do I have space to put them if I sew them or acquire them? This last question is in some way foolish as if I turned all my fabric hoard into clothing the sum change in available space would be nil. The other questions are more about my rejection of the consumer society and a feeling that the world is swirling with stuff that we don’t really want or need. Where does it all go? Right now Ebay UK has 1,872,940 items listed under Women’s Clothing and that doesn’t include handbags accessories or shoes! Are we all crazy?

The difference with Sewists in my humble opinion is that we make things that we really want and we love them so we wear them and wear them. Then maybe we adjust the fit or repair them and wear them some more.

Does this mean that we end up with fewer, better clothes? Does this slow down the turnover of clothes in the wardrobe? Do we cling less tightly to things that don’t fit or look good on us?

Bump! Back to reality – probably the first thing I will do with the new needles is take up a third pair of El Famosisimo’s work trousers.


7 Comments to “Ideas”

  1. Glad it got there alright. One crazy thing about the needles is that they are made in Germany, shipped to the USA, shipped to me and then shipped back across the Atlantic to you. And, I agree, it’s hard not get caught up in consumerism, but what about creationism? There is a certain amount of creativity involved in making and even wearing clothes. Like that box pleat blouse, that seems to be an interesting way to make a sold color top.

    P.S. I like the new look to the blog.

    • Creating is the thing isn’t it? Sewing or painting or writing or arranging things in a way that makes us happy adds to their value; the time and effort we put into something appears in the moments that we wear or appreciate our work. The jeans you have sewn carry a lot of memories of inspiration, struggle and perseverance don’t they?

      I see a lot more dusk than dawn so this theme appealed to me just now. I might change it back to something lighter as the days lengthen even more!

  2. Not all of us are accomplished sewists so those Ebay listings are great for people like me who buy secondhand! I like to think that the success of Ebay (and carboot sales, charity shops and swap shops etc) suggest a reuse-and-recycle mentality still exists, even in our consumerist society. I’ve acquired about a third of my wardrobe for free at the local swapshop, and another third from charity shops. (The down-side is that I now own about 8 cardigans – one for every occasion!)

    You make this sewing thing sound so easy 🙂 and your results always look fab. I really wish I could make something I want and that fits, but it doesn’t really work when my uniform of choice is jeans and t-shirts. Is there a better or cheaper way than simply going and buying them? Even if I made my own tshirts, the material would most likely still have come from some sweatshop.

    • My thought about sewists is that maybe we think about clothes differently to the primary buyer of high street clothing, not necessarily the secondary buyer of thrifted or discarded things.

      What I find so odd is that people have so much stuff that they don’t want. The number of things on ebay is testament to the fact that there are many things that people can live without which begs the question of why they had them in the first place. I too buy things on ebay and am no stranger to the charity shop primarily for economic reasons but I love the fact that the things you and I buy will have one more life at least.

      • Yeah, I think some of us have a strange relationship with STUFF. It’s one of those ‘get annoyed living with it, don’t need it, but can’t live without it’ relationships. Of course we *could* live without it. At least most of it (she says clinging to her possessions with a mad cry of ‘Step away from the STUFF’!)

        I’ve come to realise that I like stuff. STUFF is a temporary and mostly inadequate sticking plaster for the fears of life. I figure until you get rid of people’s fears – or make them face up to them – STUFF will rule.

        I just wish I could store my STUFF somewhere else, beautifully catalogued, preferably in some virtual cupboard where it didn’t take up any space, but was easily accessible at the touch of a button. Wouldn’t that be fab? To have our cake and eat it.

        Am now feeling guilty and off to look at my wardrobe of stuff. Most of it haggard and years-worn and ill-fitting and, well, just STUFF.

  3. BMF Keep the clothes that make you feel good when you wear them and ditch the stuff that you only wear as a last resort but end up pulling op or down all day because it’s uncomfortable. I’ve finally given up on a few things that don’t ‘go’ with anything else despite their loveliness. I feel the need to keep one extra half-liked thing so if every good thing is in the wash I have something to wear!

    I’m visualising three walls of Ikea storage in the Big Yellow at Cowley paid for by a sugar daddy… or some other benefactor. Almost a virtual store but not great when you need something to wear right now.

  4. ok, finally got rid of my 13-year-old nightshirt. Really. It had to go. Gives me a good excuse to make another one (or not!)

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