Thursday, April 23, 2015

With the Money I “Saved”…

Like many people, there are times that I rationalize my purchases. It’s a terrible habit and I try not to do it too often, but it does happen on occasion.

One afternoon, the weather was especially nice so I decided to take a walk on my lunch hour…to a clothing store. It wasn’t because I wanted or needed any clothing, it just made for a destination on my walk. After looking around, I considered buying a pair of jeans that were on sale for $40 (original price $120), but I eventually decided against it. They were fine jeans, and the fit was okay, but I could live without them.

Then after work, I stopped by a thrift store and found two navy tops. The first top is from Banana Republic and has a slightly nautical feel. It has cute gold buttons on either side of the boatneck neckline and on the ends of the sleeves; the fabric is lightweight, slightly stretchy viscose. Overall, I like the cut of the top and think it could go well with skirts or pants.

The second top is a sweater from Ann Taylor LOFT. I like the neckline and the pattern of the sweater. It’s fitted and I like the shape of it. It’s cotton and feels pretty comfortable to wear.

Both of these tops were $7 each, which brought my grand total to $14. I’ll admit, I was a bit on the fence about getting the Banana Republic top because $7 seemed a bit steep to me (I tend to be more willing to pay a bit more for sweaters than shirts). But my rationalizing kicked in, and I had saved $40 by not buying those jeans earlier in the day, so I could spend it on these two tops instead. So I ended up “saving” a total of $26. [Pause.] I know this is totally wrong logic. I spent $14. Therefore I didn’t save anything. But still, I was pretty glad I hadn’t bought those jeans earlier in the day—because I preferred these tops to those jeans.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Zipperless Skirt

Every so often while thrift shopping, I’ll find a skirt that has no zipper. The first time I noticed it, I thought it was a mistake or that someone had taken out the zipper, but on closer examination I realized that it was supposed to be that way. This initially perplexed me because I’m so used to seeing zippers used as closures on my garments, and not having one seemed odd.

But of course garments were made without zippers before zippers were invented. [Pause.] Obviously. For centuries people constructed clothing with closures other than zippers. Buttons are an obvious choice (and great if you want a decorative detail), but eyes and hooks work as well (and they’re cheaper).

I’ve made a number of skirts before, but all of them had zippers. Not this one that I made from a pattern from 1980. I decided to try this pattern that just uses eyes and hooks for the closure; the pocket creates enough of an overlap with the skirt that you don’t flash anyone. The skirt is a circle skirt with a bit of gathering, and isn’t much different than skirts I’ve made in the past. The part that was new to me was sewing the pockets to the skirt (and then to the waistband) in the correct way. It wasn’t hard, but it did make me pause to make sure I was doing it right.

Overall I’m happy with this cotton skirt. It’s simple and comfortable (and I always love navy). And I think I’ll get some good use out of it in the warmer months to come.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sewing Supplies

Recently, I went to two thrift shops and picked up a few things. I got more seam binding because I do use it from time to time, so it’s nice to have on hand. I chose four colors (and wasn’t terribly picky about it since it’s used on the inside of garments and therefore isn’t seen). I like the different packaging that reflects the era it was made in.

I also got some more sewing patterns that I don’t need. I’m just drawn to sewing patterns. They’re interesting and useful (if I actually use them). But admittedly, I do like to buy vintage patterns because I like the art on it. I only got two patterns.

First is a dress pattern from 1969. I like the shape of the dress as well as the collar detail. I would love this if it was a coat pattern (and I’m sure if I was more skilled that that would be an easy thing to change).

Second is a dress pattern that didn’t have a date, but I’m guessing it’s from the 1960s. I think it’s a simple and elegant dress.

I also got a navy pleated wool skirt. I like the wool; it’s light and seems like it would work well for spring and fall. The skirt is way too long. It’s a bit higher than my ankles and just feels frumpy. This would be a good skirt to shorten; I think it would be really cute around knee-length.

Finally, I got a fabric cutting board. It’s large foldable cardboard that I can use to cut my fabric on. I’m looking forward to trying it out. Often the surface area I cut on doesn’t feel large enough, and sometimes the excess fabric wants to fall off the edge of the surface—it’s rather cumbersome. I’m hoping I can put this mat on the floor and that will lessen the problems I’ve been having. Overall I feel pretty good about these purchases that came to a grand total of $8.39.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Quote: I Don’t Read Advertisements

Truthfully, I don’t feel the pull of advertisements often. I don’t feel the need of buying mascara that will make my eyelashes 4x longer, or seeing the latest mediocre remake of a film in the movie theater, or trying the newest monstrosity of a burger at a fast food joint. There’s a lot of crap out there; there’s always something that’s newer, faster, shiner and “better,” and advertisers are doing their best to make me want to want…everything.

I feel bombarded by ads every day—billboards, transit ads, web ads (that stalk me), and TV and radio commercials that are all trying to sell me something. I look at most of these ads and feel nothing. [Pause.] Okay, that’s not really true. I may feel annoyed and roll my eyes. I may feel depressed and sigh in disappointment. And I may feel bewildered that anyone would think that that is a good idea.

But despite my general nature to dismiss most advertisements, the quote does bring to mind that it’s hard to want something if you don’t know it exists. [Pause.] I guess that’s why companies pay to advertise.