Thursday, April 09, 2015

Because Clothes

I must have struck a chord when I blogged about Women in Clothes :)
It brought a spark of life to this quiet little corner of the internet - thank you to all of you who commented or linked to the post.

My uniform:  Howies shirt and me-made Peggy skirt
Maybe it was that, or the sunshine, or the daffodils, or the farmer cultivating the fields outside the kitchen window... but it feels like Spring time all of a sudden.
I hauled all my summery clothes out of the storage drawer and gave them a shake.
I was pleased to see some old friends, but recognised others as candidates for compulsory redundancy.
It is really hard to throw away me-mades which I have loved and worn for several years, but there comes a time.
The Way They Were in 2011:  sadly, not all good things last forever

My two Liberty print Sencha blouses are past their best.  I made the first in August 2010, the second in August 2011.  They have served me well.  If I assume they have been worn once a week between April and September for 3 to 4 years, they have been washed at least 80 times each.  No wonder they are looking a bit faded and battered!  I lost a button from the blue rose version late last year, and that sealed its fate - I didn't feel it was fit for work after that.
Should I recreate them, or move on to a different silhouette?

Keira Knightley as Greta in "Begin Again"
I actually did some sewing last Sunday.  I started work on a pair of 1970's cropped trousers / culottes.  I had to stop because I didn't have any grosgrain ribbon for the waistband.  I felt an unfamiliar thrill of excitement as I tried them on for the first time to check the fit.
Ooh!  New clothes!
That was quite a relief - I thought I had lost my groove.

In search of inspiration, I found a new blog which is feeding my new-found appetite for a change of direction:  Into-mind, "personal style, minimalism and the perfect wardrobe".
It is a European blog, by Anuschka who is based in  Berlin.  I love her aesthetic.  There is an ebook to purchase, which is tempting.  I am working my way through the various themes of self-analysis, simplification, organisation... and for once I am not feeling overwhelmed.

Trying harder:  Ginger skirt, Plantain tee and Aestlight shawl:  all me-made
I want to sew-my-own as far as possible.
I remain committed to creating as clean and green a wardrobe as I can.
There will be no schizophrenic Mango purchases*.
One garment at a time... I'll get there...
Just in time for Me-Made-May!
Are you up for the challenge too?

* Edited to add:  in case you missed the story, in a fit of wardrobe frustration back in December, I tried to buy some Mango cropped trousers.  They didn't fit.  I sent them back.  It took them 6 weeks and at least 6 stern emails from me for them to refund my money.  In the meantime, I discovered  the extent of their involvement in unethical production  / supply chain practices.  I learned my lesson.  But this would not have happened if I had stuck to my pledge to make my own clothes.

9 comments:

purlgurl said...

I love Into Mind, too, and am considering the ebook. And I'm going to shoot for a Me Made May, although I'll be lacking in anything other than the handknit socks/sweater dept.

colesworth said...

yay for cropped trousers! I really want to try to make some stretch denim capris this year.

jessica said...

I am loving this evolving style of yours, Roo! Here's to lovely cropped trousers and new silhouettes ... or more Senchas if those are a foolproof way for you to feel put together :-). Your Liberty print ones were gorgeous.

Happy spring, dear!

poppyinstitches said...

great to hear you've found your groove! With you for made by me May

Jen Forsythe said...


Glad to hear you are in the mindset for sewing again, look forward to seeing your new trousers. I treated myself to the into-mind book as a little christmas project. I still haven't worked my way through it, it is very thorough, good, but takes time. There is a less indepth guide on www.un-fancy.com which I like and also the Wardrobe Architect series on the Colette patterns website I found really good, especially as obviously their slant is on sewing. And yes, spring helps too & some sunshine!

Helen // Grosgrain Green said...

I read recently that Mango is one of the retailers who have yet to pay a penny towards compensation for the Rhana Plaza victims. Not trying to make you feel guilty, but thought that might help you hold off, if that is your particular weakness! I'm looking forward to seeing what you make next!

Jennifer Hill said...

Hi again Roo, I've only just commented on your previous post so am on a roll now! The Into Mind blog looks v interesting; I will def' explore further. Thank you so for the link! Thinking again about your new (ish) hairstyle, in mho it's elegant, sophisticated and absolutely beautiful, so no wonder the boring brigade can't cope!! I've always loved all your handmades, and been inspired by them. Yours was one of the first blogs I found, about 18mths ago, tho' I have yet to start my own (this month, woman, off your butt, THIS MONTH). Why not another sencha AND a different sillouette? (I want aaalll of the thiiinngs). Will you be able to reuse the fabric? I'm not sure I could bear to throw it away completely (maybe that's just me...); maybe some patchwork?? I love those trousers and have just bought something similar myself (Burda Young -bah- 7738), tho' as a relatively new and slooow sew-er I've yet to tackle them. So glad you're sewing again! Very best wishes, Jen

Louise Perry said...

I agree it is hard to throw away me mades. I have that with a few RTW blouses that are so old the fabric is disintegrating. But I love them so much it's hard to chuck them. Enjoy sewing new items.

beate grigutsch said...

i can´t imagine a life without my self sewn clothes!
last time i bought an outer garment (not hosery or undies) new was more then 10 years ago.... a mango (!) sweater which went very ugly after the first wash. this was the final cut with high street.
xxxx