Shopping: too good?

There really aren’t many things in life that I’d say I’m too good at! In fact there’s probably only one: shopping! Armed with just a spare 20 minutes between appointments in our local, town centre I thought I was actually avoiding trouble by nipping into a charity shop rather than a regular shop. There’s always something interesting to look at, and the odd, second hand paperback isn’t going to break the bank. But twenty minutes and two jackets later…

In my defence one (below right) looked brand new (from Mint Velvet, and spot-on size wise) and a perfect replacement for a well-used, school one. The other one tugged at my heart strings a little (above left). It’s clearly vintage and the more I looked at it; the more it looked homemade… It has absolutely no shop or care labels and there’s just something about the fabric and that all-round, pearl trim that seemed to be telling me some lovely, lady (well they’d have to be lovely if they sewed, right?) at some point, had spent precious time making it. I tried it on, it fitted great but was possibly a little ‘boxy’ and a little too ‘classic’ on me. I put it back, but the more I thought about someone putting the effort into making it, the more I just couldn’t walk away from it, leaving it there unworn and unloved. Anyway, let’s just say I lost the emotional tug of war and it came home with me (via the dry cleaner’s).

Anyone have any idea how to tell if something’s been homemade beyond the more obvious lack of labels? Did clothes of this era often not have labels though? It really reminds me of jackets my gran used to make for herself, so I’m guessing it’s from the 60s/70s? Maybe even older?

And then just last week I read about a Uniqlo and Liberty range on a certain person’s blog… I’m holding you responsible for these purchases Thimberlina 😉 And of course I can justify these too: daughter’s birthday at weekend so t-shirts for her. And even though I have far too many dresses, a useful gilet for messing around with the kids or heading to the gym is always useful…. Honest! Right, seriously no more for some time now!

Anyone else simply too good at shopping?


#yorkshirespoolettes Meet Up


Sewing can be a bit of a solo hobby at times. Sometimes this suits me just perfectly (life is pretty hectic and frankly the silence is bliss), but at other times I do worry it’s a bit anti-social, hiding away in my sewing den when I could be playing with my children or meeting up with friends… So one of my sewing goals for this year was to get more social with this sewing lark 🙂 I’ve already completed one post over on The Monthly Stitch and joined Instagram (which wasn’t half as complex as I’d thought). But yesterday’s sewing meet-up at Dewsbury, organised by the lovely (and very sociable) Ali from Thimberlina has easily topped both of these 🙂

I don’t think I was feeling as nervous as some of the other attendees, as there were at least five names on the list who I’ve been regularly ‘chatting’ with for well over a year now, all of whom it was so great to finally meet with in person. But as I parked up and attempted to locate the cafe where we were meeting, I did have a moment of ‘what on Earth am I doing?’ I needn’t have worried for even that minute though as everyone was so warm and friendly, and I have no idea how the day passed so quickly 🙂 Just like Camilla noted, over at sewingandmarking, I headed home with a big smile on my face. Sadly as you get older, I think it gets harder to meet new ‘friends’, especially a whole bunch of them together. So this was the perfect antidote 🙂

And the fabric? Well, if I’d listened to the little talking I’d given myself heading over the Penines (lovely that the meet-up was so inclusive, and there were a fair few non-Yorkshirites present too), I would have been some sort of saint with all the temptation that Dewsbury offers! It would have been such a shame to stop at the first, little pile pictured (Fab Works), so I added a few more to the pile (top right). The The staff everywhere we went were so friendly and helpful, but maybe especially at Lucky’s where we were greeted with a hot drink and snacks-a-plenty. Some of us even got to leave with snacks for the journey home but I’m mentioning no names! I’m feeling a bit guilty at how much I spent, but I did buy with a plan…

My favourite fabric in the pile was this lovely green, woolly knit destined I think for a Colette Oslo cardigan. These two, lighter-weight knits are going to be a couple of Tilly’s Agnes-es.

I’ve wanted to have a go at Tilly’s Margot pyjamas for a while and I think these two checks will make great ones. This lovely, textured knit I’m hoping will make a good Seamworks Wembly cardigan (or a Papercut Coppelia or another Oslo).


And finally I couldn’t resist this rabbit-cuteness for my daughter. I’m hoping one of these Oliver + S patterns will work.

But where to start? Decisions, decisions…

Thank you for such a lovely day ladies! Looking forward to the next one already 😃😃

The RTW Debate

I’ve been enjoying a little RTW indulgence since completing my three month fast at the end of the year. I justified this by buying things I couldn’t actually make for myself: namely a couple of pairs of Winter boots, one or two (ok so maybe three of four, Chris of handmadebychris I’m invoking the ‘cashmere rule’) cashmere cardigans from the Boden sale and a couple of pairs of high-waisted jeans (the only type of jeans I’m buying from now on). So far, so good! These are all investment pieces that will last me for many years and they’re totally plugging the gaps I’d identified during my fast.

In theory, although I’m not (yet) placing myself on another RTW fast, I shouldn’t need to buy anything else for the next couple of months and then I’ll reassess what gaps there are in my Spring/Summer wardrobe and take it from there. Although living in Northern England doesn’t require a great deal of warm weather clothing sadly…

But then whilst browsing the end of the sales rail in my local M & S, I came across this. And I was annoyed because this is exactly the kind of dress I’m make for myself. It’s blue 😉 (and black and silver), a knit fabric, super comfy (kind of stretchy sweat-shirting) and really easy to wear (with black jacket for work or cardigans for casual). I could totally make this, but for the lovely price of £9.99? Probably not. And could I actually find this fabric? Possibly something similar if I had the time to look around for long enough, but in the short term probably not. So I bought it, and it’s been worn and admired already (it’s incredibly warm too). But I’ve broken my rules and feel like it’s a really ‘naughty’ purchase.

So I’m interested to hear your views on this readers 🙂 Do you apply similar rules to yourself, banning any purchases you could easily make for yourself? Do you find this ‘price and time’ problem too? And should I be so annoyed with myself for buying such items?