Sunday, June 25, 2006
I bought this dress from a charity shop in the week for the princely sum of Â£1. It's one of those times when I'm going through the angst of should I / shouldn't I cut it up. There is nothing wrong with it. I don't think it has been factory made because it looks as if it was made from quilting fabric to start off with and it just has an embroidered label - no care or washing instructions, although the seams have been serged. I don't mind so much cutting up shirts, but sometimes in these shops you see lovely smocked dresses - I don't buy them because I would NEVER be able to cut one up when all that handwork has gone into it.
When my daughter was small I used to make lots of clothes for her - dungarees, dresses, all sorts. I even hand-smocked some dresses (and you know how I feel about hand-sewing). I made most of my own clothes too, from when I was 18 until about ten years ago - in case you are wondering, I'm 43. Don't really know why I stopped - time, I suppose, I like to be able to finish a garment all in one day and I just couldn't do that anymore. Plus, it was getting harder and harder to get fabric at the right price. I used to get lots of fabric from a place called the Rag Market in Birmingham where they sold fabric from textile manufacturers, sometimes seconds, sometimes surplus, but as the textile industry in the UK continued to outsource their manufacturing to countries where labour is cheaper, the supplies of fabric also dried up. Here in Leicester, there used to be several shops that sold dress fabric, now there are just two left and a couple of stalls on the market.
Most of the clothes I made for my daughter I later gave to my SIL when she had a little girl - and I have to say that gave me a lot of pleasure - because she really appreciated them and used them. Sometimes you don't know if people are being polite when you give them outgrown clothes that are still useful but she was so pleased with them, and at the time (several years ago now) when we were looking at some photos of my niece, in nearly every one she was wearing a dress or item that I'd given her, so I know they were used.