Whilst sipping gin with a friend last week, she asked me the question I get frequently.
Do you want to blog for a career?
I replied that I honestly didn’t know. That I was still finding my message and so, I held back from giving this site my full devotion. That something about fashion blogging turned me off. You send me this, I wear it, people buy it. I get paid. Hurrah!
It is purely about consumerism and being a life-long impoverished student, something just didn’t align. I’m aware that fashion is consumerism – trust me, I have partaken with vigour. But when all is said and done, dressing each day has always been about empowerment for me. Sending the message to keep on working those long hours so you can keep on buying all of the ‘it’ bags doesn’t feel like my communiqué. There is no power in that. It is a fast-moving treadmill to the land of zero-balance bank accounts.
I want dressing to be about expression – not money and status.
Back at my drink date, I told my friend that I was thinking of learning to sew properly, rather than using my sewing machine to engineer Halloween costumes. That way, some of the pieces I see overseas, but can’t get my hands on, I could make myself. That maybe I could even start to design my own bits and bobs.
A few days went by and I forgot about my brave new claim. I woke early last Saturday morning – unusual. It was beautiful and sunny and I decided to get in the car and find somewhere in the city to go for a run. I randomly ended up in Herne Bay, as I have never explored the area. As I jogged past the extraordinarily wealthy houses, I noticed a sign for a garage sale. I’m usually not a garage sale attendee, but this being a good area, I thought I might come upon a treasure trove. I envisioned sequined designer dresses strewn, unwanted, across antique chaise lounges. As I wandered down the driveway, a young woman and an older Scottish lady sat in chairs and welcomed me.
There didn’t seem to be much for me at the sale. No sequins. No antique couches. But then I noticed a box, full to the brim with patterns for making clothes.
I started to dig through the little paper pouches. The styles weren’t modern, but I found one pattern – a nightwear housecoat that could definitely be used to make kimono sleeve jackets. I asked how much they wanted for it.
“You can just have it!”
I refused to give them nothing – so I walked off in search of some stray ashtray coins.
Whilst back at the car looking for cash, my inner-chat tried to talk me out of going back.
What is the point. This will just be another thing to sit in the draw and not get used. You will start and never commit to it. It’s so old school! Nobody sews anymore…just buy buy buy!
I shook off my own critic and went back to the garage sale with a some money. Now, there was another woman in the driveway – the patterns belonged to her, so we started chatting. I told her how I wanted to learn to sew, but finish and details of clothing were important to me and I didn’t have the right skills. I always disappointed myself with my final product.
And then something just so lovely happened…
She tells me that she currently teaches at AUT and is a designer and seamstress for a well-known kiwi designer. She then tells me to call her at work when I want to start lessons as she will teach me. She takes the pattern from my hand.
“We should probably start with a skirt – but we can definitely make this jacket if you want…”
I learned something this week. Amongst this world’s many turmoils, there are still moments of magic occurring every day – so small you may not notice them. We just have to open our eyes, silence our inner critic and feel our way to them.
Much love XX