Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Winter Ready to Wear?

Or... why "home-made-looking" isn't good enough.

After a week of grumbling about the state of my winter wardrobe, but with no time to sew, I tried to buy some clothes. If you know me at all, you will know that I am not an easily-satisfied customer.

I expect:
Good quality materials
Natural fibres
Value For Money
A touch of originality

And in autumn / winter, I want WARMTH. Is that so much to ask? WARM winter clothes?

The usual high street suspects let me down at the catalogue / website stage. A raft of cotton flimsiness. The words "warm" and "cosy" were conspicuous by their absence.
I did the obvious thing and ordered a couple of utterly plain and practical roll-neck jumpers from Boden. One navy. One black. Yawn! But I know they will do the business.

But where to find trousers? Or skirts? Is wool such a rare commodity? I couldn't bring myself to buy Boden bottom halves - they are too "recognisable".

So I ordered a skirt from Kind Hearts Clothing. And it was fine.
FL described is as "alright".
And then he remarked that he hadn't seen me sewing it - when had I found the time?
And I realised I had picked out a skirt I could have run up on the sewing machine in perhaps a day... except it would have had three frills instead of two and it would have fit me properly at the waist instead of hanging off my hip-bones.
So I sent it back.
Which leaves me back where I started: at the sewing machine.
Rather like another blogging stitcher.
The pictures at the top of this post are all from the Brora catalogue: the first clothing company I have come across which acknowledges that it might be COLD in the winter - amazing! But it is pricey. That checked shirt is £89. The velvet dress is £125. And both of them look like items from a Japanese pattern book. There are plenty more things like them in the catalogue. There are shetland fair-isle cardigans and cashmere fingerless gloves, tweed coats and mohair jumpers: beautiful, high-quality "pieces" to wear for years to come. Things I would and could make myself!
What is going on here? I don't want to sew"home-made-looking" clothes and yet my eye is drawn to ready-to-wear that looks "crafty".
Meantime, practical stitching has gone on hold while I attempt to nail the tartan wedding outfit. The blouse is almost finished and last night I cut out a skirt. The wedding is on Friday. No pressure then...


Minnado said...

Ha - maybe you have ventured so far into the homesewing world that you can no longer look at shop clothes without mentally working out you could make them yourself. I have found that I do this with clothes I see in catalogues, on hangars or even on people walking down the street. I think there is no going back. There is also quite a lot of RTW that is made to look crafty around at the moment - I am thinking of some Boden stuff, Joules, White Stuff. (See they keep sending me catalogues even tho I don't buy) The Brora clothes look lovely but what a price tag!

Penny said...

They do have some lovely clothes (she says sighing over the pictures) but so pricey!