Shopping Revelation!

My mum was looking after my children earlier this week, so I thought I’d pop into my local branch of TKMaxx on my way home from work. Now usually, even if I’m ‘just looking’ 😉 I find something at a ‘bargain, couldn’t leave it there for that’ price. I haven’t been in for a while, as over the years I’ve become more and more part-time, so I’ve been trying to avoid temptation…

I collected a few items over my arm as I mooched around ready for the changing room, but do you know, even at this point, I wasn’t actually enjoying the experience that much? Something had clearly shifted…

Once in the changing room, I started trying each item on. Slowly, but surely, a pattern started to emerge: the first one was too big around the waist; the second far too tight across the chest; and the third? Just downright unflattering! I left with nothing more than a bottle of shampoo. This was pretty much a first. 

What’s changed? Well, as I was trying things on, I just knew that I could do better myself! And that’s quite a powerful thought, even at my relative ‘beginner’ level. Ok, so there are many things I wouldn’t even contemplate attempting to sew yet: jackets, underwear, complex evening dresses, shirts… It’s a pretty long list. And yes, even the ones I’m just about ready to contemplate: KNITS (yes, I know, but my Coco pattern has now arrived, it just needs to form an orderly queue behind my other awaiting projects) and anything requiring REAL LIVE buttonholes, still seem a long way off. But despite all of this, I somehow just know, and this despite not even classing myself a ‘confident’ beginner, that some day I will be able to do better 🙂 Now that’s quite a revelation! 

Now, I’m seriously not suggesting I’ll never buy anything ‘ready to wear’ again. But do you know, next time I’m tempted to pick up a simple skirt or top, even at a knock-down price, I know I’ll think twice, and only if I know I probably really couldn’t do better myself will I actually allow myself to go and purchase it? Wow! That’s quite some shift in my perspective, but it’s kind of empowering  🙂


15 thoughts on “Shopping Revelation!

  1. What a good feeling! I’ve also had a shopping revelation since I started sewing – I much prefer being able to make things I know I like from scratch instead of hoping I’ll accidentally come across something in a shop. Plus, there really is no comparison on fit, it’s just so much better when you sew for yourself. Looking forward to seeing that Coco! 🙂

  2. I’ve had a bit of a eureka moment myself within the last few months – I am returning to sewing after over 20 years and consider myself very much a beginner. I have started to put things “back on the shelf” thinking I could do it cheaper and occasionally better. Only one problem and that’s finding fabric as attractive as some of the fabrics you find in RTW clothes.

    • 🙂 I’m with you on the fabric, unless you want to pay a fortune. I also think there’s a skill to matching the right fabrics with the right designs, I’m getting there slowly…

    • That is definitely true. The few fabric stores where I am mainly store either very expensive fabric or the one that I am a few decades to young for.

  3. I was just thinking about ordering Coco. I, too, have many patterns in line waiting to be sewn… It really is a good feeling to know you can make clothes that fit better, even if it’s sometimes a bit of a process to get them fitting correctly.

  4. I feel exactly the same way! Clothes shopping has lost most of its attraction for me (fabric shopping is a different matter) and so often when I look at RTW clothes I really think I could do it better, excluding those darn button holes.

  5. Yup. Every time someone asks me where I “find the time” to sew. I remind them that when I sew, at least I have a good idea that I’m investing time in making something that fits and that I will wear when I’m done, as opposed to trying to shop where I could spend hours looking with nothing to show for it.

    • I’m so with you! Made me real realise what a waste of my precious free time shopping is, and often so unrewarding… I’m really no expert at sewing, far from it, but even my level I can see the potential, it’s truly liberating 🙂

  6. sorry, necro-commenting, but I love this post! We are at a similar point in our sewing I think (I also hate buttonholes, and shirts are next up on the to-learn list, but it turns out knits are easy! Go forth and Coco, missus!) and I find myself totally appalled at stuff like wobbly topstitching, backstitching left hanging out of seams, patterns (esp stripes) not matching up on high-street clothes, now.
    Agree with Aileen on the difficulty of finding nice fabric in as wide a variety of prints/weaves, though.

    • Love the go forth and coco advice! I have the pattern, now I just need to get round to getting the twin needle 🙂 And, yes, finding the all important, reasonably priced but attractive fabric…

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