I bought myself the Colette Sewing Book for Christmas ('cos lets face it, nobody in my household understood my need for that book!). And while I am having real trouble slowing down enough to read it properly, there is a definite up-front message about stopping to consider WHY I sew, before diving into the projects one after the other in a flurry of feathers (headless chicken analogy, in case you are confused!)
What is it about this dress?
|with aubergine t shirt|
This is a very big factor. It is a fairly heavy cotton plaid, slightly brushed for softness and warmth. The colours glow and go so well with my three long-sleeved t-shirts (deep orange, aubergine and forest green)
As well as working with my existing under-layers, it looks great with a long cardigan on top. Hilariously enough, the cardigan is longer than the dress! I would love to find a vintage man's aran cardigan to wear with it. (Vintage cardigan not vintage man!)
The oversized bow. It is totally nuts. But it takes this dress from Backwoods Farmgirl to Hoxton Hipster in one easy move. (Be gentle with me, dear readers!)
I can point to the person who made this. Here she is! Not only do I know that Vanessa made this dress for me, but I know that she priced it in a way which acknowledged her own work and she chose to make a donation out of her profit to Love146.org (to fight and prevent human trafficking in the U.S.).
What can I learn from this?
Well, apart from the fact that I am in the wrong job...!
It's not just about the look of my clothing, it is increasingly about the ethics of my purchasing choices. It matters to me what materials my clothes are made of and the conditions in which they were stitched. This is my main objection to the High Street right now. I feel uncomfortable that I may be supporting a sweatshop of exploited children. (Those 3 long-sleeved t-shirts? Poor ethical choice, Roo!) I don't like wearing artificial fibres. I would prefer my cotton to be organically grown, dyed in a way that did not poison rivers, and my wool not to have come from mutilated sheep.
And that all adds up to a scary set of selection criteria for Roo-approved clothing!
I am still struggling to find a good source of ethical fabrics. The look does still matter, as long as I have a 9 to 5 job (that'll be for the next 20 years then...) so for now I am opting for "natural" as my baseline. I will not be weaving my homegrown nettles just yet .
Which takes me back to the style question...
And... you know what? I am giving up the High Street. Right now.
The Roobeedoo Manifesto:
I hereby undertake to make all my own clothing
or purchase it from ethically-minded independent designers.
For now. For always.