Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I went to Glasgow and I bought...

Do you remember that children's Memory Game where you start off: "I went to the shop and I bought:  a bag of apples" and then your friend says "I went to the shop and I bought:  a bag of apples and a cucumber" and you bat the list backwards and forwards adding items until it becomes impossibly long and someone slips up and forgets an item? 

Well, last Wednesday / Thursday I went to the Glasgow branch of Mandors.  On Wednesday, I spent over an hour wandering the shelves in a daze, occasionally shoving a bolt of fabric under my arm and wandering a bit further, before returning it to its place with a sigh.  I bought nothing at all on Wednesday, but returned to my hotel and wrote a list of everything I had seen and liked.  It was a very long list!

On Thursday I went back and spent another hour picking things up and putting them down again, sighing and getting grumpy with myself. 

I am very bad at decision-making. Faced with an entire shop full of beautiful and ugly fabrics, I tried to find things I had seen or searched for elsewhere on line:  mustard corduroy (no), the right shade of orange cotton drill (no), Liberty Ornithology print tana lawn (no).  So then I went round the shop playing "I spy...", finding fabrics other people had used:  Karen's dinosaur camoflage fabric (yes), Shivani's elephant print viscose (yes), YesIlikethat's ballet dancer print cotton (yes) - but why?  I wasn't going to copy any of them, and I knew it!

So then I looked for things of fabulous quality that I would regret leaving behind.  I pulled out bolt after bolt of Paul Smith shirting in every possible colour of stripe:  turquoise, lime, orange - ooh yes, all of those please!  And some amazing double-faced cotton sateen in duck egg blue / khaki - oh wow!  And some heathery silvery grey stretch cotton twill with astonishingly good "hand" and recovery - ooh!  And some heavy cord-striped cotton for a dress:  cobalt blue and white - sizzle!  And some digitally-printed tie-dye jersey in shades of inky grey green black - edgy!  And some lilac and white check linen / cotton mix - truly lovely and the end of the roll, so unmissable really...

...and what did I actually buy?  In the end, I managed to buy the only thing I knew I really couldn't go home without:  one metre of the perfect colour of indigo and marl grey striped cotton jersey to make another Renfrew.  Sigh.  (Mind you, I ought to get another pair of knickers out of the remnants!)

Topshop jeans for people
 with incredibly thin knees
On Friday I emailed the shop and asked if I could mail order some stretch cotton twill in a chalky royal blue.  I could describe its exact location in the shop!  I didn't buy it at the time because I knew it didn't have enough "recovery"  to survive a day sitting at my desk masquerading as skinny-leg trousers.

After leaving Mandors, I tried on three pairs of ready-to-wear rich blue jeans, only to find they made me look like a Smurf (short with over-sized knees), and an overwhelming obsession to Make It Work was detonated and exploded while I was on the train heading north.  Oh dear.  Please reply to my email, Mandors - I was serious!  Do I really have to ring you up and beg?

And what have I learned from this?  That sometimes it doesn't have to be absolutely perfect to be the right thing... and that it is just as well I don't go shopping very often.

8 comments:

didyoumakethat said...

Ha! Yes, I remember when I was in the Glasgow Mandors seeing several fabrics I recognised from other blogs or other shops - or Walthamstow market! I wonder who their supplier is? So you bought ... JERSEY!

Kestrel said...

I'm glad to hear you came away with SOMETHING after all that time spent in the shop!
If Mandors don't get back to you, let me know what you're looking for and I will pop in and get it and post it to you
K x

Roobeedoo said...

Kestrel - thank you for the offer! But the way my brain workss is this: if they don't get back to me, it was not "meant to be"! LOL

Gail said...

Oh, you had me going! I thought you were going to say you got everything on that list! The jersey looks very nice - hope they respond so you can get the twill as well!

Sandy said...

If shopping is therapy, what is buying? I have had days like that as well, where I totally exhausted myself LOOKING at and for things and coming away with nothing. Perhaps back then I needed the therapy, but once in awhile I like to just go in and BUY something - only the shops have so many choices I am just overwhelmed! Glad you found a color you liked.

Dibs said...

That is what I do most of the time in actual shops. I just go trying stuff and carrying them around, and then when its time to pay, I take them all back to where they came from and walk away empty handed....I make sure none of the fitting room staff see me though.......

Scruffybadger said...

It might surprise you to know that I've also had experiences like that....and It's the afterthoughts, the possibilities that develop after It's too late that frustrate me since I never usually get back in touch after I've walked out the door....but you have! Not only do you have some obviously great quality jersey but the chance of something well thought through. Your wallet Will be grateful for that kind of fabric shopping!

MacDoodle said...

I just found your blog! Always thrilled to find a fellow Brit sewist. Over the moon to find a fellow Scot!

Mandors used to be my big treat, that was, until I found Rejects in Kircaldy! I could move in to that shop, I really could. I love the fact that their fabric department is just dressmaking fabrics and other crafts. The curtain/upholstery fabrics are in a completely different part of the shop. They have a terrific selection of haberdashery and I've never come away from there and needed to go elsewhere for stuff they didn't have.

Jackie