Posted in Thoughts and Ideas

I have an idea…

My main project of the moment is stressing me out! I’m using a PVC coated cotton, which is difficult to work with and keeps jamming my machine. This is a right pain because, unlike ordinary cottons, any holes pierced in the PVC coating are permanent. It’s taking a lot of self-control to stop myself crying aloud with frustration at the rows of unnecessary needle holes punched into my lovely fabric, after my machine jams for the umpteenth time. Very stressful.

My project and I have decided to spend some time apart. I think this is for the best.

In the meantime, I’ve been considering an idea which my good friend Sadie and I came up with a few days ago. I’m moving house in August, to a much smaller town than the one in which I currently live, and this means that the high street is much, much less extensive than what I’m used to! Visiting my new town a few months ago, and seeing not much more than a New Look, a FatFace and a heap of charity shops, I was pretty disappointed – shows how much I love clothes and shoes, hey? But Sadie and I were talking about the dress refashions I’ve done over the past year, and figured I could use the abundance of charity shops alone to clothe myself – for an entire year. There would be a number of advantages to this:

  1. I’d save a lot of money, as second-hand clothes are far cheaper than their high-street equivalents;
  2. I’d probably also save travel costs, as I wouldn’t need to go to the nearby city to do any shopping;
  3. It would be a really ethical way to dress myself, as I would be reusing others’ discarded clothes instead of buying more cheap, landfill fashions;
  4. I would have a wardrobe full of unique clothes;
  5. They’d fit me properly;
  6. And they’d suit my style;
  7. I’d think twice before buying unnecessary items, because of the time I’ll be investing into each piece;
  8. And I’d be helping out loads of charities!

The main drawback is time. I’m not at home a lot of the time, and I don’t take my machine to uni with me, so I’d be a bit stuffed during term time. Believe it or not, I actually do some degree work occasionally, plus choir, college magazine and now college Spring Ball commitments, so I’d be hard pressed to find the time even if I did take my machine with me. Another factor to be considered is the fact that I’ll be attending at least two, and hopefully three, balls in the upcoming academic year. As a relative novice on my machine, I’d be very apprehensive about trying to create two or three ballgowns or cocktail dresses using second-hand clothes and my limited capabilities. The thought of attending my college Spring Ball (for which I’ve just been appointed as Arts and Decorations officer, yay!) in a hand-crafted dress makes me practically giddy with glee, but I just don’t know whether it would be possible, given that the materials and skills involved are so damn fiendish!

But apart from that just mentioned, I think the idea has definite potential, so I’ve been mulling it over for a few days, and have come up with a draft plan:

  • I would only be allowed to buy clothes from charity or second-hand shops. Or perhaps sale items in other shops.
  • I would be allowed to buy ‘essentials’ new – so things like socks and underwear, vest tops, or other necessary items such as black concert dress (although I already own that. But y’know. Such as).
  • I would also be allowed to buy new items I realistically can’t make or adapt myself – coats, shoes, hats, or ballgowns at a push.
  • The project would last for a year exactly, from the 12th August 2015 (the day I move house) to the 11th August 2016.

So in essence, I’m limiting myself to only buying the clothes that I really need, and making or adapting the clothes that I simply want. And I’d rope Sadie in to act as a moderator, to tell me off for salivating over whichever beautiful dress is in the catalogues that week.

I think this can work. Whether it will or not is another matter entirely.



Hello! I'm Hannah and I'm a Classics undergrad at Cambridge. I spend most of the time which I should be spending on my degree crocheting and sewing instead.

8 thoughts on “I have an idea…

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