Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Point

I was planning to show you new trousers today, but not only did I fail to complete them in the 15 spare minutes available for sewing yesterday, but Mary Nanna has left a fabulously thought provoking comment that I think deserves its own blog post. I will put it up here so as to steal her glory.

"Funnily enough I was thinking about this post (that would be me finally getting around to adjusting 2 year old RTW trousers) several times today. That could be a sign that I should stop reading sewing blogs and get out more, but the thought was, "she's reached THE POINT. There is a point in sewing, where much as you would love to just go out and buy something made by someone else you just can't do it anymore without thinking, "I could make that for cheaper, I could make that fit better."

That's what I call, "THE POINT" - I'm not sure if it's a place of no return, but it's a place that makes shopping trips entirely, well, pointless.

For me I have mixed feeling about reaching it, because the instant gratification of having a new garment right now is gone. There's no quick fix, no quick self re-invention, no chance to enjoy another's skill in design and construction.

I would love to be able to go out and buy things off the rack again, but I may have gone too far over to the home-made side.

This is true. I have reached that point. I have reached it several times in my life, and just stopped not only buying, but even looking for RTW clothes, for myself, for my children, and now, horrifically, seem to be approaching this point for my husband.
Every few years, my non-sewing life becomes overwhelming, I think I do not have enough time to make my clothes, I am no longer at THE POINT, and I try shopping for clothes again. The problem is that I am too picky to buy clothes that I can afford. I don't think I really save any money sewing, but the clothes I make are much better than off the rack in my opinion. I am a clothes snob. I expect clothes to fit, flatter, and be made of fabric I like. I can spend days shopping and not find anything I want to wear.
However, this is not a new experience for me. I have never felt that buying clothes off the rack has given me instant gratification (it didn't seem to surprise anyone that it took me 2 years to get around to altering those pants!), or allowed me to play with clothes for re-invention. I find clothes shopping very dull and frustrating. As I find fabric sources for fabrics that are not available locally, and develop sufficient skills, I make more and more clothing types. Currently,if I have no time to sew, I simply run out of clothes as they wear out. I agree, shopping for clothes is pointless, but I have finally reached the point where I do not care.
Now if only I could get to the bottom of the alteration pile and learn to sew bras, I might never wear RTW again.


Mary Nanna said...

Cripes - you're right - I hadn't thought about it spreading to children and husbands but yesterday when I was buying my son some clothes, I started thinking treacherous thoughts like, "I could make him something like this out of some off-cuts for free.." Oh dear.

Fortunately laziness may be on my side in this case, but clearly not yours.

Little Hunting Creek said...

I've reached that point too - the bought clothes are not as nice as anything I could make and their fabrics aren't as nice. It's the same with food too. I bake our bread and make soup and cook every night because it's a zillion times nicer that way. My mom would say that this is the cost of high standards

BetsyV said...

Uh oh, my twins in another hemisphere. I reached "the point" a while ago and it IS beginning to encroach on my husband's wardrobe, too.

He said to me today, while flipping through some piece of junk mail, "Look Betsy, they sell dresses that are already put together! Who'd have thought it!" He was joking, but it was still a bullseye!

KID, MD said...

Oh, brilliant. I went shopping by myself today (no kids!), and while I looked at clothes, none of them were "good enough". I think I might be there, too. Is there a support group?

RuthieK said...

I have to admit to having lots of fun buying accessories though :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I am at THE POINT with trousers. But I am still willing to buy camisoles, socks, undies, and even tops. The thought of the POINT spreading is terrifying and yet cheering. I recall that reaching THE POINT with trousers and feeling gleeful that I would NEVER buy trousers again. It is spreading to shirts and coats and jackets too. And I can feel the itch to make clothes for others. But when will I find the time? You must help me, speedy sewing queen.

Tina said...

Hope to see you sewing bras sometime soon! And as you said in a post some time ago - this is the one item on which you DO save a lot of money.

Myrna said...

The Point - I recognize that place.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I have been at the point for several years now. Not sure if I'll be there forever (I'd really like to be a mom someday and would be a working mom) but for now it's working for me.

Carol said...

I am definitely at The Point. I need undies and I refuse to buy them. I've cut a pattern off my favourite Bonds Cheeky Cut panties and I have the remains of a too small knit dress I am going to cut up. I need bras and have been trawling the internet to find a pattern for the kind of bra I like. If I could make shoes I would probably would do that do. You already know I sew for Grant and he doesn't want to buy clothes any more because they don't fit. In my case I think I am just a control freak because I am the same with food; I don't buy mince, I carefully choose my meat and mince it myself. I make my own stock each week, I make my own mayonnaise - I could go on but I won't. I agree with KID, is there a support group?

Sharon said...

I've been at the Point for most of my life as I can find very little in RTW that fits me. I really need clothes but can't bring myself to go shopping as the way I want my clothese to fit me just isn't avaialble and like you I can make that cheaper and in better quality fabric LOL.

DH is safe although I have purchased a pattern for him and there are plenty in BWOF, I just need more clothes first.

Uta said...

This makes me wonder - do you really make all of your AND your children's clothes? Oh, and thanks for your nice comment on my welt pocket - you're welcome to the term "Fluchtasche" any time you want! (I may be nearing "the point" slowly but surely.)

Allison said...

What a great post and it really spoke to me. I, too, have reached The Point. A few years ago, I just gave up trying to find clothes that fit me and that I liked and started sewing most of my wardrobe. I buy the odd thing now and then but mostly, I sew. Of course, this has made me an even worse clothes shopper as because now I really realize just how badly most RTW fits me.

I have found sewing to be very therapeutic as well. I have a more than full time job running my own professional office and always seem to be on the tear. But, last year I found time to make 89 garments. Yes, I still find the number quite shocking. That included everything from bras to a Chanel style jacket. I got to sew things I liked, with fabrics I loved, for myself, my mom and my sister.

And, like you, I am a total fussbudget about making my own food from scratch. I don't think I have ever bought a bottle of salad dressing in my life and I eat a lot of salads!

I was beginning to fear that I had tipped over the edge into complete, overweaning eccentricity but I see that if that is where I have gone, you are coming along with me.

PS I very much enjoy following your blog and seeing all your great cretaions. What an inspiration!

winterpeachblog said...

Thanks for the inspiring post! You are great! Arlene