I am so excited that I’ve finally finished my very first (wearable in public) blouse! I love it! I will admit that this was not the pattern I originally wanted to make, but when the other pattern I chose turned out to be unreadable by clothes sewing virgins like me, I turned back to the first one I’d tried a few weeks ago. The one with the neckline that didn’t quite lay right. Well, the neckline didn’t quite lie right on this one, either, so I sewed a casing and put a string of elastic through the whole neckline to keep from exposing myself to the world. And I altered the pattern to include a sashing of sorts along the bottom so that the blouse balloons out and then comes back in so that it doesn’t look like maternity wear. And what do you know, it turned out that I can actually sew something that I can wear around town! I’m sure I’ll be making more of these in different fabrics. I’m buying cute knits whenever I see them on sale so it’s not too expensive (this top was probably about $13 worth of fabric) and although it probably took me a few hours (I think I could pare it down to an hour or an hour and a half with practice) I feel good about wearing it.
As I’ve become more aware of the working conditions of sweatshop workers around the world, I feel guilty buying “that cute top” when I think about how old the seamstress was, how she was treated, and what her wages were. I know there are some great fair trade clothing websites out there and I’ve been slowly bookmarking them as I find them, but their clothes aren’t always my style and I’m always afraid that they won’t fit. I’m terrible about returning things. Fair trade clothing is understandably more expensive so it actually saves me money to make my own. One of my goals this year is to buy fewer clothes, but buy clothes that are made responsibly. And now I’ve gotten a good start! You should have seen me jumping up and down as I showed Greg…you’d have thought I was a five year old showing off the painting I did at school or something. Yes, I’m a dork like that. So Mom, are you proud of my improvement from the years of me “sewing” (watching you sew) little summer dresses as a teenager? I’ve come a long way!
For those of you who buy fair trade clothing, what are your favorite sources? Have you tried anyone on etsy that you like? I’m open to suggestions!