Today I found the perfect button for the denim skirt I’m making.

However, despite valiant efforts on my behalf the skirt isn’t finished.

I’ve only 2 rows of topstitching, 1 buttonhole and said button to attach.

That’s it.

Oh well, it’ll be a flying start to July.

But lets not talk about the trousers I was going to make, shall we?

Actually, yes, lets talk about them.

You see, for a while now I’ve been working at slowing down my sewing. Taking time to do it all properly rather than just getting a garment finished as quickly as possible. This month it’s paid off in spades. I may have only completed 50% of what I’d set out to achieve, but that 50% is far more well made than anything I’ve done before (my wedding dress included). You can judge for yourself when the skirt is finished, but I am delighted with the way it looks so far.

Don’t get me wrong.  I need to add a bit more to the length if I make it again so I can turn a more substantial hem, and my top-stitching wobbles a little here and there, but only the teeniest bit. And, frankly, if you’re close enough to see it then, Mister, you’re too darned close!

Which is why the trousers are still languishing at the 2nd toile stage.  I’ve a very big hunch it’s going to take me another 1 or 2 (or even possibly 3) toiles to get them fitting anything like right, but I know that this is the way forward.

You see I sew for several reasons.

Image by Matt Banks

One…I destest clothes shopping.  With a passion.  I find high street sales assistants to be oftentimes lacking in basic sales skills, simple manners and to be generally disinterested in much more than their staff discount.  I know there are exceptions to this and I’m always delighted to meet them and buy from them.  But they’re outnumbered by the lackadasical sort. (Johnny Looloos is, of course, excepted from this.  I heart JL!)

Two…I’m 5′ 8″ tall.  That’s 2 inches taller than standard womens sizes.  And 2 inches smaller than “tall” sizes.  I am in fashion nomansland.  Tops are often too short.  Trousers too short in the body (they allow for longer legs…not longer torsos).  The list goes on and makes me (and Mr S) miserable as I try on item after item and they look like crap.

Three…I have boobs.  They are certainly more booblicious than the standard B cup!  And it shows.  Popping buttons. Gaping necklines.  Spillage over too low necklines.

I could get away with exuberant cleavage (just) when I was a lot younger.  At 45 (yep…I’ve had a birthday this month too!) its just feels tacky and inappropriate and not the example I want to set for my daughter.

Four…I have champagne taste in clothes on a lemonade (not even beer) budget.  This is a choice I make willingly.  If I went back to work I could spend what I liked on clothes, but at what cost to me and my family?  Oh no, sister, I’m not doing that. No dress is worth it.  Not in my book, anyway.  And having looked at the expensive stuff in the shops, I’m telling you it inspires me to sew.  Some of it is so badly constructed it makes me angry that people are being ripped off.

But lets face it, some of the mid-priced stuff isn’t terribly well made.  Or made from reasonable quality fabric.  I’m not asking for miracles, just something that doesn’t fall apart after one or two washes (yep…I’ve even had that problem with the bastion of the British high street, M&S.)

Which leads me to…

Image by Salvatore Vuono

Five…I am becoming ever more conscious of the fact that whilst you can buy a dress for a fiver from the high street, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you should.  Which is a whole other post on it’s own and I shall leave my soapbox tucked away for tonight.

Now, this post isn’t going anywhere I anticipated when I started writing it, but, strangely, is coming round full circle. Because if I take all those factors into account, it brings me back to slow sewing.

Working the muslin to get the best fit I can.  Learning to fit better with each garment.

Taking the time to cut carefully and accurately, then sewing the same way.

Finishing off all threads and pressing at each step of the way.

Sewing as meditation.

And all of this results in clothes that are of a quality that I can’t afford to buy at a price that I’m willing to pay.  Clothes that fit better than anything I could ever buy.  Clothes that I’ll love to wear.

Surely that’s worth taking the time over?

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