The end of winter is always a hard season. The snow seems set to melt away. And then it lingers and lingers. Rivers open up and then refreeze. Spring seems so close. And then very far away. Spring fever hits in many ways. And the temptation to shop is hard to resist. Somehow I need to up my inspiration to NOT shop. And this week I’ve decided that I need to up my upcycling game.

Let me explain.

Once the snow starts to go, spring shopping fever sets in.

The other day I was reading the latest edition of Tiffanie Darke’s newsletter The Rule of Five. I subscribed to the newsletter in January when I pledged to buy only five new pieces of apparel this year. Hopefully, maybe, if I can resist temptation, I’ll be buying only five new things. Reading the newsletter helps me to stay strong in the face of winter wardrobe fatigue, and spring shopping temptation.

But the latest newsletter was about sewing. “Oh gad,” I rolled my eyes at the title. I do hate sewing.

Like all the other girls I attended school with in the late sixties and early seventies, I learned how to sew in Home Economics class in junior high. My least favourite class ever. As a result I know how to thread a sewing machine, what to do with a presser foot and a bobbin and all that stuff. Not well, mind you. But good enough to have made a couple of cotton skirts in my day, and two very, VERY frustrating bed skirts, also known where I come from as dust ruffles. The last dust ruffle was traumatic. That dust ruffle was my sewing Waterloo. Even Hubby was traumatized by that project. I wrote about my history with sewing here, if you’re interested.

So let’s just say that any clothing alterations in this house are strictly made with scissors (as in cutting off jeans) or farmed out to the lovely tailor I have begun to frequent. I have hemmed a couple of pairs of pants, and mended a few pieces which had holes in them, but no more actual sewing from scratch. My nerves can’t handle sewing.

Tiffanie’s article earlier this week was all about how sewing is the new sustainable way to “shop.” Apparently your new-to-you pieces will not count as part of your five new purchases if you use “dead-stock” fabric, aka fabric remnants. But… even better than sewing, one might upcycle something old into something new. And the new something does not count towards your five. Now, the thought of sewing anything leaves me cold. But the idea of upcycling or remaking pieces appeals to me.

Perhaps it’s because upcycling seems more like what I used to do with my Barbie clothes when I was a kid. Making something out of scraps or evisioning what was old into something new seems less stressful to me. The idea of cutting pristine fabric and pinning it to a pattern breaks me out in hives. But cutting up an old jean jacket to make a vest. Or fashioning an oversized shirt into a dress. Well, that seems like fun.

Anyway, in her article, Tiffanie introduces us to Wasted Threads. Wasted Threads is an organization which sells digital sewing patterns for trendy pieces, and advises on how to access sustainable textiles. Like the skirt and top below, fashioned from old damask curtains. On their site they show several different versions of the skirt made from an old shawl, Prince of Wales checked scarves etc. And while I admit that anything that involves patterns is not for me, you might find it interesting.

Skirt and top made from damask curtains shown on Wasted Threads.

Reading about upcycling made me remember an account I stumbled upon on Instagram back in 2021. Meredith, @morningbette, who lives in New Zealand, upcycles charity shop finds into adorable outfits for her fashion-loving daughter. Like this sweet summer dress made from a men’s shirt.

I commented on Meredith’s post where she shows the men’s shirt she made into a dress, and that began a conversation. She explained that her daughter Maddie has autism spectrum disorder and a passion for fashion. Meredith loves to knit and sew. And says that a recent workshop she attended on “pattern drafting” inspired her to look for “op shop items” to refashion for Maddie. This became not only an adventure in sustainable fashion, but also something fun she and Maddie could do together.

This is their first endeavour, below. Another ten buck find. Mum says that Maddie “loves a little animal print.”

Photos of Maddie used with permission.

I love those photos of Maddie. The sustainable journey she and her mum are taking inspires me. Tiffanie Darke’s post inspires me. The cool skirts and tops I saw on the Wasted Threads site inspire me.

Not to sew. Ha. Perish the thought. But maybe to attempt some upcycling of my own. Upcycling that can be done with scissors, and maybe a little hand-sewing. I think it will be fun to peruse thrift shops dreaming of what can be fashioned from what I see on the racks. Just imagine the possibilities.

For example, I’d like to have a denim vest, similar to the one in the Me+Em photo I used in last week’s post. I could wear a denim vest with my dress pants, and with summer dresses, or with white jeans. So I’m going to keep my eye out for a slightly over-sized, nicely faded denim jacket, maybe a men’s jacket, when I’m touring thrift shops or consignment stores. Then I could remove the sleeves. Maybe. Hopefully. And if I mess it up, I can take it to the tailor to do the hemming more professionally.

And if I can’t find one? Well… it’s not the end of the world. I mean it’s not as if I can’t live without a denim vest. Now is it?

P.S. Many thanks to Meredith for letting me use the photos of her beautiful daughter Maddie, and for allowing me to tell a little bit of Maddie’s story. Meredith says that Maddie, who just turned thirty, was diagnosed very early with autism spectrum disorder. Her journey has been difficult, but she now has her own place down the road from the family home and, according to Mum, “is living a pretty awesome life.”


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From the archives


Fessing Up About Slow Fashion

I'm taking wardrobe inventory this week. Looking at what I bought in 2019, and assessing how I'm doing in my efforts to be a more ethical shopper.

A Month in the Balkans: Travel Wardrobe Debrief

We're home from our Balkan trip. So I'm thinking about my travel wardrobe. What pieces did yeoman service? What should I have left at home?

Ongoing Closet Goal: Wearing Old Stuff

My closet goal this fall is to wear what I own.

51 thoughts on “On Upping My Upcycling Game”

  1. J’adorerais savoir coudre … mais je suis incapable de tenir une aiguille.Tout m’échappe ,le tissu glisse,le fil s’emmêle,l’aiguille s’accroche…
    Mon ”truc ” ,c’est la musique … Là,rien ne me résiste.Les touches du piano me parlent ,l’archet du violoncelle est un oiseau qui s’envole…
    Et la cuisine est mon autre passion et MON domaine de création .
    Le temps maussade ne m’incite pas a rêver à la mode du printemps .
    Mais la Provence a connu un hiver particulièrement doux.Je n’ai pas porté de manteau cette année , même les pulls en cachemire étaient parfois trop chauds .
    Les tenues de printemps ne seront guère différentes de celles d’hiver.
    Chère Sue ,je rêve de neige et de froid ,de feu dans la cheminée avec un chat qui ronronnerait sur mes genoux , de chocolat chaud après une marche vivifiante.
    Bonne semaine !!

  2. Beautiful story about Meredith and Maddie,thank you Sue!
    I’ve had Home Economics,even enjoyed it a bit,more cooking and some sawing (not a typo!) but only I can do now, is to sew a button or mend something. I have a great admiration for tailoring and seamstresses,and if I had one that would sew from the scratch ,I will use it often. My seamstress is an artist,but she only does adjusting and repairing now ,and together,we did a lot of creating and designing through the years and ,yes,I’ve bought more than one piece of clothing because of material,and let her do her magic. I love my clothes,so we use it many times to design something new
    Your jeans vest will be great

  3. After leaving school & waiting for the next intake into the civil service , I worked at a small local factory making raincoats for a few months , top name raincoats . So I can sew – but was very relieved to move on . I ran up simple shift dresses out of desperation but never felt great in them . After marrying I made curtains & did some loose upholstery but it was just a means to an end . Later I was happy to pay for ready made . One time I was choosing fabric & asking the shop assistant about ready made prices when she gently informed me that it was very easy to make curtains & would save me money . I rolled my eyes saying ‘ I know but I just hate it ‘ . A woman nearby turned to me & said ‘ I feel exactly the same ‘ . Nowadays I say I’m far too particular to wear anything I can produce ! I’m not skilled enough . I like to think I’m quite creative . I’ll draw , enjoy gardening & experimenting with new recipes but it’s basic sewing repairs only now . So I shall watch your progress with interest – no pressure 😁

    1. Hmm. Top name raincoats…whatever can that company be? I have a couple of ideas in my head. You must be good at sewing…raincoats would be complex to make, I think. I made a pair of curtains once for an apartment I rented. Straight hemming and then bunching them up appropriately on the curtain rod…. that was the extent of my experiment. And I’m with you…I’d never wear anything I made from scratch. Cutting things up seems somehow within reach, though.

      1. Yes , a whole raincoat would be very complex but in a factory you become proficient in small stages & I wasn’t there long enough to do the really tricky stuff . I was there long enough to not be afraid of sewing but I knew I would never enjoy it . Not patient enough & not good at small details . That’s me .

  4. Sue, wonderful to read about Maddie and Meredith. I have long enjoyed consignment store shopping and sewing, so upcycling is a natural hobby for me. I find the “Catherine Sews” YouTube videos to be very instructive and full of basic refashioning ideas. And yes, it can be scary to take a pair of scissors to a nice garment in order to refashion it, but with patience and sometimes a fair amount of trial and error, you may love the result!

  5. I remember 8th grade when I took Home Ec. had to make an apron. Well, I looked at the pattern and could not decipher it. It was like reading Greek! If you have never sewn before, the descriptions and instructions are maddening! So, I did end of finishing it with help from a friend in the class. (The teacher was no help at all – she actually insulted me because I had straight As in all my classes but could not learn to sew! ) Then in the 70s I started to sew again. I did learn to sew and made a few of dresses, slacks, vests, etc. I think I did it just to prove to myself that I could sew! But I must say I DID NOT ENOY IT

  6. Thank you for sharing the story about Maddie and her mother. What a beautiful, loving relationship!
    I learned to sew in 4H. One of our projects was to sew an outfit and model it at the county fair. I made a skirt and vest and to this day it’s hard to believe that I was able to complete this project. Today, I still have a sewing machine set up in a spare room to be used for very simple repairs or alterations. No new projects for me!
    On a completely different note, my cure for this spring today, winter tomorrow cycle is Legos! I just finished a gorgeous spring bouquet and a bird house. I am finding this very therapeutic. I love being open to a new, fun activity. There’s an awesome bansai tree on my radar. Hmmm..

  7. Home Ec was my favorite class of all. I credit that to a great teacher, (Miss K) and my grandma giving me the best gift ever in junior high; a new Kenmore sewing machine. The fabric store was paradise. Over the years I branched out to other types of crafting. Now with a job change & no longer having a uniform to rely on, I’m getting back into sewing blouses. I’ve been frustrated with the retail stores lack of quality and classic items. It was also a shock to see fabric prices per yard. Thankfully I kept my fabric stash. The art of refashioning has also intriged me. However I lack the vision to give something new life without having it look re-made. For years I followed Jillian Owens – the original Refashionista. Sadly she passed away from cancer. However her creations are still all over Pinterest. I’m not sure how I found your blog, but I sure enjoy reading each new post!

    1. Thanks, Linda. I just about choked when I went to buy yarn for a sweater project a couple of years ago. Turns out I didn’t actually need a new sweater, and I bought enough yarn to make a hat instead. Ha.

  8. I love the denim vest idea! In fact, I might try that myself. I used to sew a lot, but my sewing machine has been gathering dust for years and I don’t have any desire to sew something from scratch anymore.

    Thank you for sharing Maddie’s story. Knowing that she has her own place and “is living a pretty awesome life” gives me great hope for our soon to be 10-year-old grandson who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder within the last year.

    1. I just loved Maddie’s story. I taught several kids who were on the autism spectrum, and know lots of others. I was so pleased when Meredith said that she lives on her own with a roommate.

  9. I understand your perspective on sewing. When I was little my parents were young and did not have much money. My mom sewed and knitted all of our garments. She did not enjoy it, however. This was true particularly of the sewing, but even the knitting. When she could afford to stop she did.

    I laugh when I think of the last time she made me a dress. I was in early high school by that point (probably grade 10) and I’d won a provincial math award. There was a ceremony and I wanted a new dress to wear to it. We went to the fabric store, bought the fabric, cut out the dress. And then she sewed it but the skirt was a mess (a bubble skirt, tacked together – it was the 1980s). At one point she said, “I’m just going to leave it like this (all tucked up in the back).” I was mortified. So I learned to sew myself to fix it.

    My mom remained frugal, so whenever I wanted something interesting to wear it had to be hand-me-downs that I adjusted myself. When I started university I loved clothes but could not afford nice ones, so I learned to sew properly. Necessity is the mother of invention as they say! I had learned to do the basics in home ec, too, but what I really wanted was beautiful clothes and so I rolled up my sleeves and learned to sew from Vogue patterns. I would also buy second hand or vintage items and then embellish or change them. Soon I had friends asking me to do things for them: add leather patches to men’s tweed jackets, add pockets, make summer tops, etc.

    I actually stopped sewing for many years, when I too could afford to buy nice clothes without having to go to all of the work (and sometimes disappointment when I finished object wasn’t as I desired). In about 2008 I started up again and now I treat it as a hobby that I take my time with, also working with mostly vintage Vogue patterns, which are so beautifully designed and give me something to think about. It’s work and I often find I’m too tired to get started, but once I do I enjoy the feeling of fabric in my fingers and the feeling of making something tailored to me. I made a coat during the pandemic from an old dead stock piece of plaid I bought from an elderly tailor in Florence. It’s a quirky thing but it has a story and I have great affection for it.

    Upcycling is a great alternative and can be lots of fun if you add some basic sewing, such as sew leather scraps on arms or pockets, etc., or even embroidery! You can have lots of fun with it. And of course ask for help from your tailor if you want something more complex. Enjoy!

    1. I love Vogue vintage patterns. To look at… not to make anything from, of course. I have a few knitting patterns from the forties and fifties that my mum still had when we cleaned out the old farmhouse a few years ago. I love the look of the sweaters, but the yarn I’d have to use would be so fine, and the instructions are so hard to follow…I’d never attempt them.

  10. This is a great post, Sue! Lots of inspiration here and such a heart-warming story about Maddie and Meredith, both of them obviously talented and stylish and now added to my roster. . . However, despite having sewed many garments once upon a time (for myself, for my kids, even wool cross-country “knickers” for my husband back in the day) it’s been decades since I’ve done much more than use the machine for repairs and hems and “upcycling” worn linen sheets into very useful tea towels.. .
    And I can’t imagine investing the time and energy now without a guaranteed end result (for which I’m pretty sure I have neither the skills nor the patience).

    But your denim vest project sounds do-able and thrift shops generally have an abundance of denim jackets to being with — Have fun and good luck! I expect you’ll be modelling your new vest here soon (without having to break into your Five New Things allowance — Brava You!)

    1. Those knickers must have been a while ago. Ha. I remember still seeing people wearing something similar when I started skiing back in the eighties. Stu wore his ski socks up to his knees over his pants back then. Gave one images of Jackrabbit Johannsen. 🙂

  11. I detested Home Ec class but I did learn to sew and cook/bake. I’ll never forget making lemon meringue pie. How many times did I remake the meringue? Ugh! In my younger days, I sewed and knit but stop when life got too busy and have never gone back. Like you, I have a good seamstress. I’ve never thought of remaking something into something else very different. Hmm Food for thought as I join you on this No Buy adventure.

    1. We learned to make potato puff in Home Ec in grade eight. My sisters and brother no longer lived at home then so it was just Mum and me, and I made supper during the week. I must have made potato puff every night for weeks, until Mum said she didn’t like it. Ha.

  12. I LOVE TO SEW! I just love fabrics and working with them. My Home Ec teach in the 70s had us make over a garment we no long wore into something new to us. I loved the idea and so that remaking idea has been with me for decades. And I love that the idea is being promoted again. There are many different vloggers doing it similar to Maddie and Meredith. Maddie seems to have a real talent for it.

    More power to you Sue on this quest. I can appreciate your aversion to sewing as I am the same way with cooking. I can do the basics but bring in a full cut of meat and I am out of there.

    I enjoy your blog very much. Jean

  13. Brought to mind my great Aunt unravelling an unused sweater and re knitting into something useful like mitts or a scarf. When I attended the Royal Agricultural College (no longer in Kemptville and now part of Guelph University) there was a Home Ec program taught. One of the courses was learning how to make a child’s coat out of a no longer used adult coat. There were some pretty stunning pieces turned out. Alas and alack I was educated by nuns who did not see the need for Home Ec education at the secondary school level. They pushed music/art/typing I guess they figured if we became ‘unclaimed treasures’ we could get a job teaching or secretarial work…or take the veil:) When I transferred to a public school in Gr 11 I really wanted to go to the Home Ec class but taking it in Gr 9-10 was pre requisite so I turned to the sciences for solace. Thank goodness I had a mother who could sew in her sleep, without patterns!! She, fully convent educated, had grown up in a time when education for women mostly trained them for getting that most sought after level …the coveted Mrs! So the nuns taught full on home Ec…sewing, budgeting, cooking, ‘running the household’. As if they were entering into the life of ship’s Captain’s on the marriage boat! ! Not a bad thing for all secondary school kids to learn these days how to run the ship..even if it’s just their own little dinghy.
    My mother had lived during challenging times but although there was no lack of money after marriage she was not above reworking one of her dresses into a dress, skirt or blouse for me. Or making that Sunday roast reappear I throughout the week in a myriad of disguises. A good ship’s captain she was!!
    Very waste not want not..mind you it led to a later in life ‘bordering on hoarding’ situation…but that is another tale.

    1. We still had Home Ec when I was in high school… not just a single class but a program like Industrial or Academic. I wonder how long it lasted. When Stu was still teaching, he taught social sciences and phys.ed. They often asked him to take on “orphan” courses and he was always game. One was “Economics and the Family.” Not even remotely related to his specialty (senior history), but so much of teaching is learning it the night before you teach it to kids anyway, that he had a great time… teaching kids all about mortgages, how to make a household budget, how to grocery shop on their budget, you name it. He even brought them to our house on a field trip to teach them about vegetable gardens. The good thing about teaching what we called singletons, is you don’t have to worry about coordinating with other classes of the same course as long as you meet the ministry expectations. And these were so vague as to be utterly useless.

  14. I dearly love to sew…but I have a huge problem of settling down to sew if I have other things on my mind. I used to love to make my daughters Shakespeare costumes when they preformed in school. Halloween costumes were nothing but fun. I haven’t made anything since a new quilt for my now 2 year old youngest granddaughter. Upcycling sounds like a good way to get back in the game…without too big of a commitment. Good luck to us all.

  15. Like you Sue, I had Home Ec classes in grades 7 and 8 – taught me the basics. (I still have my textbook.) We always had a sewing machine at home, so I did make some clothes during high school and university. I remember buying a Vogue pattern and lovely fabric for a two piece outfit (perhaps 45 years ago) and I did a really good job – but they didn’t fit me properly. I could sew, but couldn’t alter the pattern. Alas, I sold them to a friend. I still have a sewing machine – I enjoy mending clothes to prolong their life. But please don’t ask me to hem anything!

  16. Great story about Maddie and Meredith. Upcycling can take real skill.

    I never had Home Ec at school so all those skills bypassed me, as well as my mother. We were both happier reading, though as a child, I do remember a little Chinese lady coming to stay for a few days to make our new season’s wardrobes for us.

    Arrival in NZ was a shock as stock in shops was very limited due to currency regulations so most women baked, bottled, knitted and sewed. A mystery to both my mother and myself.

    For my 21st birthday my husband gave me a sewing machine and I hadn’t a clue how to use it. To make matters worse we moved to Western Australia so I had no help from his mother or sister, both experts in the field.

    I did join a night school class with a friend but they could have given the instructions in Urdu for all I understood. Everything changed when we had our first child. I was prepared to experiment as I wasn’t wasting much fabric if things went wrong and she wasn’t going to complain about the fit, style or standard! Progress at last.

    I made all the curtains for the first house we built and then went on to making entire wardrobes for all three children plus trousers and even a blazer for my husband. Of course the time then arrived when they didn’t want home made clothes as they weren’t cool. The machine, a newer upgraded model, was used mainly for mending and the odd costume for school plays etc.

    I did make a few things for grandchildren as they came along but the handknitted things were preferred over any sewing I did so the machine sits quietly waiting in the study. Perhaps I need to follow your ideas of upcycling and make better use of my trusty before it becomes rusty!

  17. You made me laugh describing your aversion to sewing – I too had to take the dreaded Home Ec class in the 7th grade – I immediately cut on a wrong line and halved what was supposed to be the Front of a blouse🤦‍♀️. My teacher was a sweet little thing and helped me devise a placket thing that fixed the mistake but I was burned and hated every minute of that class. I did go on to make a couple of things that I never wore but never attempted sewing again. However, the cutting things up and restyling is interesting. I haven’t purchased anything this year since reading Tiffany’s challenge. In a way it’s strangely freeing although I do still look at a couple weeks fashion blogs. Maybe baby steps. Love your blog and love your hair and sense of style!

  18. I have always thought that sewing was the coolest thing around. Being able to make up an outfit just struck me as the best thing in the world. I loved home Ec and 4H and though like most young sewers, not everything was fab, I continued to sew for myself and for my young family after I married. in the 1980’s sewing for children still saved a lot of money. As others have mentioned, starting with sewing for children can give some “quick win projects” as kids and babies are much more 2-dementional and less curvy than adults. I still will make some quick projects after some intense ones to keep going with quick wins. May I suggest that if you do tackle any denim remakes you make sure to have a denim needle of the right thickness for your machine or a thimble for your finger. I have always felt that a lot of people hated sewing because some sewing machines were so poorly made and so impossible to operate–even within the same model, some machines were real “lemons”. Also, not having the right needle for the weight of the fabric will be frustrating. One more thing to remember in the upcycling is that you need a much bigger garment to start with. Even if you carefully pick apart seams etc, there is not nearly as much fabric to work with than the original width of fabric. If you are just cutting off sleeves to make a denim vest from a jacket, leave 2 to 3 inches of the sleeve attached to use as a facing. You may not need that much, but best to have it if needed.

    1. Ha ha! – I did learn the hard way, and totally agree with your comment about the amount of fabric available for reuse in an existing garment!

    2. I won’t be operating our old sewing machine. It’s a very old model from the late forties that belonged to Hubby’s mum. I keep it now for sentimental reasons. But I take your point about having the right needle to use with denim. I knew about buying something larger if I want to make it into something else…but the idea of cutting off the sleeves leaving two or three inches is great advice. Thanks for that.

  19. I hope you are ready for a challenge! – I’ve just finished up cycling a linen duster jacket a friend donated to me, using the fabric for a sleeveless linen dress. I based it on a fairly simple dress pattern I’d already made up – it was nowhere near as simple as I anticipated, but I did it! Everything was covered in unpicked threads and frayed linen bits. The dress is a success and I’ve already worn it.
    Despite the challenge, I too may be looking for a denim jacket to upcycle ♻️.

  20. I’ve heard the trick with up cycling clothing is to buy a garment in a large size. Since my imagination is more limited I stick to items just needing some tailoring.

  21. I too hated sewing class. I remember with loathing the ugly, orange shift dress with Peter Pan collar that I made, and never wore. Unlike you, the horror of it all meant I instantly forgot everything I learned about using a sewing machine and I’ve never touched one since. But I can alter hems, replace elastic waistbands, make buttonholes and mend holes by hand, and I love to do these things.
    Maddie’s story is delightful and what a great bonding activity for mother and daughter.
    I’m feeling a bit of late summer clothing fatigue, and I fancy a new dress or something. Then I sit with the feeling for a while, ask myself if I own something already that is similar, and question the desire to see what might lurk beneath it. This approach has saved me from making 3 new purchases lately and I don’t regret not buying any of them 😂

  22. My challenge this year is to use up the product graveyard….eyeshadow, lipstick, brow gel, shampoo and on and on. I am trying not to buy until truly out of a type of product. Wish me luck. My playground has always been the cosmetic counter. Yikes

  23. What a great story about Meredith and Maddie and their sewing projects. That’s such a nice thing to do together. Thanks for sharing.
    I do not like sewing clothes. Sewing class in middle school was not a favored class. I’m fine with sewing a straight line with the machine (well, almost straight), but I avoid patterns and clothes. I’m also fine with hand sewing. I sewed a red tartan plaid lining into the underside of a denim jacket’s cuffs and collar last fall. It was a slow, but satisfying project.
    Once I bought a thick cashmere robe on clearance. It was so inexpensive and the yarn was a beautiful camel color. I unraveled it and knitted lots of scarves for family. That was a fun project.
    Another upcycling project that I did (with the help of a tailor) was purchasing a men’s cashmere camel coat and having a tailor switch the buttons and button holes to the opposite side. While one doesn’t have to switch buttons to the “women’s side” of the coat, at the time I wanted it. Today I might embrace wearing it as it was designed.
    The denim jacket transformation to vest sounds like a great project. I might keep an eye out for an old denim jacket too. Good luck finding one and have fun with the project.

  24. Thanks for these thoughtful posts about buying less, and the associated strategies. For me, this topic seems to have really grabbed my attention this year. I have always needed to be pretty selective about what I buy, and its price, because I am very petite and usually need to pay for alterations on top of the purchase price.
    I wouldn’t say I am a super sewer (and don’t have a machine any more), but I sewed a good percentage of my work clothes when I was younger. My biggest triumph was a 100% red wool jacket, made from a designer Vogue pattern with 20+ steps.I wish I had it now.
    The main reason I quit sewing was that the price of textiles increased so much.
    The main reason I try to avoid buying clothing now is because the quality of the textiles and workmanship is poor. What do younger women do, who must look professional and can’t add on a lot of shopping to the life of a family, and work, etc.?
    I am also irritated by the whole mail order process. Retailers must make a pretty good churn on items not returned, people buying multiple sizes to get the right one, etc.
    So looking at vintage, remaking, etc., seems like the smart way to go.
    Your insights give me hope that I might end up looking better and more stylish in the end.

    1. I cannot imagine how many products are returned after people have bought multiple sizes. I did that once, bought two sizes online, and returned one to the store. But I wonder how many people don’t bother to return an item that is just okay… and then not wear it.

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