Yesterday afternoon my lovely pal, the Curious Cat (check out her musings here), came to visit. We hit the Bicycle shop for afternoon coffee (a large glass of Pinot) and cake. Right opposite the cafe is a gorgeous vintage boutique called Prim, and with the Curious Cat visiting all the way from London, I thought it would be rude not to show her the joys Norwich has to offer.
I really do not have the cash to spend on a late 1960’s post-box red cape, but as we stepped into Prim, from the overspilling iron rail, it cried out to me,
‘I am so very warm (and pretty)’. And so I thought – as a compromise – I should probably try it on. Egged on by it’s oh so beautifully detailed buttons and frankly immaculate lining, I made my way to the changing room. When my friend, other friend and the two shop assistants gasped like I’d just pulled the curtain back and stepped out in the wedding dress, I knew the coat and I were going to have a VERY painful goodbye.
So I bought it. Partly because I manage to haggle with the kind owner, but mainly because I am just IN LOVE with it.
A bag for my dear friend, which is a CLUTCH bag, not a wash bag people! (honestly I wasn’t miffed when Jo rocked up for a night out and everybody thought she was carrying toiletries. Honestly)
A green sock monster for Jack
When Saz and I were attempting to live the boho dream in a warehouse (tin shed) with no curtains – an eye mask was essential. I made several. We still didn’t sleep*
(*this was definitely the light issue and not because we were out partying)
My mushroom pin cushion. The best pin cushion in the world! (I love it so much I took a photo)
I’m very good at making plans… just not so good at doing all the plans. But, I finally made the domino dress!
Obviously the path of true love (sewing) does not always run so smooth. In my haste to make the dress in an afternoon I made it too small on the hips (upsetting! Fatter than I thought and a terrible seamstress, my confidence was shattered). But thankfully with a bit of unpicking, a lot of measuring (and deciding that sometimes a girl needs to tack), it now it fits beautifully! You could almost think it’s lycra…
(except it’s cotton, so no more cake for me)
At my worst I was getting through 2 or 3 bottles a week.
I tried it for the first time last March, and was instantly hooked. I yelled about it’s gloriousness from the rooftops. I persuaded ALL of my friends to give it a go. ‘This is smashing!’, I chuffed.
I stopped washing.
All I needed was myself and my DRY SHAMPOO.
I could not get enough.
This miracle product meant I no longer had to bother with a hairdresser. It made the dark roots on my blonde hair vanish! It gave an amazing amount of volume, an extra 20 minutes of kip each morning AND it meant that in a going-straight-out emergency, I no longer had to resort to the fringe wash. It was magic.
But, every story of addiction has a sorry tale. There I was, so busy admiring my voluptious barnet, I neglected to notice the ever increasing pimples spawn across my forehead. I was clueless to my receding hairline (that’s right, Receding) and I failed to realise that a bottle at £2.89 ever couple of days was costing me more than a monthly outing to Toni & Guy. What a fool.
I fell privy to it’s charms because I was lazy. But on that fateful morning (last week), when I realised the error of my ways (mum said “do you ever wash that stuff out?! No wonder you have spots!”) I cleaned up my act. And since I’ve been on the straight and narrow my skin has cleared up, my hair has started growing again and (dare I say it) looks almost GLOSSY!
I take back the acclaim! Dry shampoo is EVIL.
(I realise this post has absolutely nothing to do with sewing, but it has something to do with pretty and I feel it should serve as a warning to fellow ladies reaching for the bottle of Batitse. Don’t Do It Gals!)
Tonight, after spending too long on facebook (Why do I bother? It HOOVERS up the minutes and Bam! Half an hour vanished before my eyes), I took salvage in one of my favourite on-line mags, Amelia’s Magazine. I was promptly reminded of the Trash Fashion exhibition I’d stumbled across at the Science Museum on New Year’s Eve (an interesting and unexpected treat), and the resolution I made after 5 terrifying minutes learning how much waste and pollution the fashion world causes.
Things I’d never considered before – water contamination from fabric dye; apparently 20% of our water pollution comes from this.
ALL the wastage from off-cuts, which end up in landfills, tragically untouched. The pile I keep from making clothes occupies most of a suitcase and a drawer – I can’t imagine the whole world’s!
But, what that really shocked me was learning that we, as a nation, spend a 3rd MORE on clothes now than we did a mere 10 years ago (I’m blaming YOU, Primark! Kitting myself out for the summer there is cheaper than my weekly food bill). But then I think of my wardrobe (okay, my 2 wardrobes) and I understand – of course this is true. I am guilty. And I remember deciding as I walked away from the exhibition, that if I make one resolution for 2011 – it will be to make sure that every time I break the Oath, I chose quality clothes over quantity. After all, an ethically well-made shirt (or homemade!*) will last over a decade.
*as long as it’s not homemade by my sister. Sewing is not her forte.
And….. one of my new crushes is on a label called Liv. I love them because I have their Pershore Top, which is so damn snug! And also, because Liv only use organic materials and they are completely fair trade (plus they share their lovely name with one of my besties who is getting married in 17 DAYS! Completely off point but I’m excited. You can read all about her here!)
(Sheepishly) I bought clothes. Loads of clothes.
I could start banging on about the broken spine, hospital trips, the terror of the last 4 months, how it all started with an accidental purchase and from there I slipped, tumbled, hurled myself greedily down the greasy slope… I purchased a snazzy little jacket and it was so much fun, I bought a few (A LOT) more. You see, after 9 months upholding the oath, breathing in it’s rules, avoiding Sunday markets and the fat, clammy hands of Sir Philip, I royally fell from the wagon and got smashed.
What have I learned? I’m weak, I buy too much. I do not need lace dresses and Vivienne Westwood shoes.