I did! I've made some of them, anyway, and I definitely have plans to make more!!
It's Fashion Revolution Day. Two years ago today, over 1100 people were killed when a factory complex collapsed in Bangladesh -- many of those people were working at making clothing in less than ideal conditions.
I've recently written a little bit about fashion and how I am paying more attention to fashion and my own style. One of the best things I learned from Mom is that Quality matters. She made (or had made) many matching outfit sets for the twins and I, guaranteeing plenty of hand-me-downs for Annie (though Ann wasn't even on the radar then).
Even as a single mother of five in the early '70s, driving a 1962 Plymouth, going to school to get her nursing degree, and buying groceries with food stamps, she still managed to buy good quality clothing for herself and for us -- perhaps not as often nor as much as she once had (and possibly not so much for my brother when he was growing a size every 3 months) -- but I knew from an early age that quality = longevity.
Something passed by my eyes the other day suggesting that instead of spending $X on an inexpensive and cheaply made garment, save three times that amount and buy what is almost certainly going to be a better garment -- better materials, workmanship, and maybe better overall process.
Those items were usually worth mending, too. I was never a big fan of mending, viewing it as a tedious chore, but Mom loved did it all the time -- holes in socks, reattaching buttons, sewing up rips & tears, applying patches -- she even mended underwear! My tune changed when I damaged the Alabama Chanin-style Circle Shirt that I made a year ago; it caught on a chair and there was a small hole in the right hip area... which I mended with a little visible mending, albeit a rather subtle and completely apropos circle patch:
I will soon be mending a favorite tunic that I love and wear all the time; it caught on a table at Knit Night last week leaving a nasty tear at the hem in front. I'm not quite sure how I'll do it, but it promises to be much more visible by virtue of location! I love that tunic so much that I've plans to use it as a pattern to make more this summer.
I've plans for lots of sewing this summer -- some of it by hand, some by machine -- and I was getting a little stressed about how and where I was going to layout, cut, and pin all these projects. Then I saw the most amazing ping-pong-table-turned-worktable in someone's basement while helping my house-hunting friend Ann. I couldn't get it off my mind! Even though we have an unused ping pong table, it's WAY too big for my space and needs, but I found building plans for a worktable and made some notes about desired dimensions, and asked Rusty how feasible it would be.
Turns out, it was very feasible! Almost all of the lumber was repurposed from Maddy's old dorm loft that's been in the garage rafters for a couple of years. He bought only one piece of wood, plus the laminate top (which didn't need to be laminate, but it was the same price so why not?).
I considered various materials for padding, including carpet padding, but ended up with some 2-foot-square interlocking foam flooring -- two packages covered my 4x6-foot table, with two squares left over for the floor! I covered that with 3 layers of cotton quilt batting, and then we stretched and stapled a piece of cotton duck over all.
I can iron on it, pin into it, and lay stuff out all over it -- it'll be fantastic for blocking knits! I've already cut and sewn up a pair of Made by Rae Big Butt Baby Pants for Junebug. I haven't inserted the elastic yet, as Ali's going to try them on him first. I made the largest size, but that kid is pretty large... I may be making adjustments to accommodate a big belly!
Have a fantastic weekend!
Your little brother looks like baby J! How adorable are those pictures... cherish them. Thanks for sharing! (And I want your new table.)
Posted by: Ann K. | 24 April 2015 at 01:15 PM
We all want your new table!
Your mother had a wonderful eye for classic, beautifully styled clothes of the day.
My mother made most of our clothes and, even with four girls, we often had matching dresses for Easter or Christmas, at least until someone (me) rebelled.
Posted by: margene | 24 April 2015 at 01:29 PM
That table is amazing! May you create many beautiful projects on it! :)
Posted by: Ruinwen | 24 April 2015 at 04:16 PM
(Okay. I NEED that table.) I love this post so much, Vicki! I love the "slow fashion" concept and I'm trying to incorporate it into my own life as well. Can't wait to see all the things you turn out . . .
(And I know I've already told you this, but I knew "Made by Rae" when she was a little girl! Her parents are friends of ours. It's so fun to see her designs out in the world!)
Posted by: Kym | 24 April 2015 at 07:20 PM
what beautiful sewing! and I LOVE that worktable...can't wait to see it blocking a lace shawl!
Posted by: Mary | 26 April 2015 at 06:16 AM
Wow. I so wish I had space for that table! I'm stuck with a dining room table life. (Not complaining!) This is a great post...your Mom was pretty special!
Posted by: Patty | 27 April 2015 at 11:16 AM