Beautiful and Awesome, Things We Like…

16 02 2012

When it comes to clothing we would think that for most of us there is only one option – off the rack garments. But there is a second, golden and thoroughly rarely considered option that will require you to embrace your dressmaker or tailor.

Whether you bought your best dress, pant, blouse or shirt in your normal size from a top luxury brand or second-hand, chances are the garment needs altering. If the salesperson told you the dress was made for you, think again!. It’s only made for you if it has in fact been made for you. God made all of us equal but gave everyone different bodies. Your awesome clothes should fit you and only you and not all size 0s or 10s in the world.

However, when it comes to dealing with a tailor for the first time we might feel awkward as if we were on our first date. But remember – tailors are our friends, potentially our best friends. What happens in the tailor’s shop stays in the tailor’s shop. Communicate with them, love them, respect them, and honour them for their skill and will to turn a piece of cloth or mass-produced garments into something unique, extraordinarily stylish and super chic.


The inconvenient truth about bargain shoppin

17 02 2014
Here is an interesting book review. Good reading!

Posted on 16/12/2013

I just finished a book that blew my mind. It’s called “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion” by Elizabeth L. Cline, and it explores the deep, dark problems behind the cheap ‘fast fashion’ that dominates today’s clothing industry. The book examines big retailers like Zara, H&M, Forever 21, Old Navy, Target, and Walmart, and how selling what are essentially ‘disposable’ clothes has horrendous consequences for the whole world.

First, there’s the problem with North American consumerism. Because clothes are cheap, everyone shops a lot. Quality doesn’t really matter because, when a new $15 shirt stretches out in the wash or self-destructs after a few wears, it can be easily replaced by something else that’s just as cheap. So people just keep buying, accumulating, and throwing out. There’s no incentive to take care of anything because it cost almost nothing, plus it’s pointless because there’s nothing to take care of! Clothes practically disintegrate from lack of quality.

Second, there’s the problem with outsourced production. The reason these stores can sell such cheap clothes is because they’re produced cheaply overseas. Up until 1997, 50 percent of clothes worn by Americans were still made in the U.S. Now it’s only 2 percent; and yet, unemployment rates are higher than ever. According to Cline, if Americans spent 1 percent of their disposable income on domestically made products, it would create 200,000 new jobs each year. But we’re too hooked on cheap prices to be willing to pay more for domestic production, and smaller, local retailers and designers can’t possibly compete with those prices.

Third, the garment factories are awful places where employees often earn less than minimum wage. They’re essentially slaves to the industry, unable to make enough money to feed their families and pay rent, let alone save anything for the future or for their kids’ education. But companies won’t increase the wages because consumers won’t pay any more for clothes. It’s a vicious cycle.

The book makes me glad to live in a small town where there are few retailers, which makes it easier to avoid the temptation of shopping. It also explains the often frustrating experiences I have with clothes – jeans tearing the first time I put them on, shirts stretching out, fabric getting bally and fuzzy, shoes that sit in my closet permanently because they’re too uncomfortable to wear, etc. I actually feel better after learning it’s a question of quality and doesn’t always have to be that way.

I liked Cline’s proposal for a “slow clothes” movement (similar to “slow food”). People need to wean themselves off the fast fashion diet. The solution is either to start investing in locally designed and made clothes (yes, ‘investing’ – because it will be a major financial outlay, but will likely be far more attractive, better fitting, and last longer), or start sewing, mending, and altering their own clothes. I especially love that last idea, even though I knownothing about sewing. To be able to sew is fabulously liberating and useful, just like knowing how to cook.

I recommend this book, although be prepared to start looking at clothing labels, fabrics, and styles in a disturbing new light.

Etsy et cetera

26 07 2012

And THE moment arrived yesterday at 2:16 pm! I opened my ETSY STORE! Isn’t it exciting?! Well, YES it is… The ONLY thing I have to do now is to sell my awesome creations.

I love to create. I love to rip things apart and then put them together again. Or not …

Now when I decided to become a freelancer, I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work full time creating wonderful things.

When people ask me what I do, I could actually answer the most corny way possible with “The same thing I would do if I didn’t need to work for a living”.

As you can probably imagine, freelancing is a hard work, long hours BUT lot of fun for someone like me. I get to play around with new ideas, testing and trying to make things happen. This is simply an awesome experience for me.

I’ m sure you have heard that for once too many times but I can’t resist:

“You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

I love my clients, I love my soon to be customers!

That is so awesome.  I am so blessed.

Barter with Me

13 06 2012

Every Tuesday until a further notice I would like you to barter with me.

I believe bartering, a fair exchange of energies that is, allows mutual respect to emerge between people.  With mutual respect anything is possible.

If you are ready to roll, know how to honour agreements and show up on time,  I bet we can work well together.

What I have to offer:

Sewing related:

  • Nick-nack alterations such as fixing a seam, sewing some buttons, replacing a snap, patching a hole etc.
  • More intricate alterations such as changing a zipper, hemming, adjusting a waistband etc.
  • How-to-s: basic pattern drafting/modifying/adjusting, sewing techniques etc.
  • An opportunity to use my industrial sewing/serger machines.

My bank manager probably won’t barter for mortgage payments. We all have cash expenses too. Check out my Love Notes and my awesome Shoppe!

Sewing ‘Green’

11 04 2012

Sewing “green” has been around for ages. Sometimes it is more appreciated and gets more attention than the others… and by “green” I mean, sewing garments using re-purposed and organic environmentally friendly materials…and right now we are really into recycling stuff.

We all have at least one sad old, once cherished garment in our closet that has some dear memories attached to it even though it hasn’t been worn for many moons. Re-styling would be one of the possible options to bring it back to life, or using the material to create something new and unique is another option. By giving your garment a second chance you are not only making yourself happy but you are also taking an environmentally friendly approach. You know, by not contributing to nasty old humongous textile land-fills.

Reusing, re-styling, recycling or perhaps de-constructing an old garment is an idea which has been slow to catch on in the mainstream fashion industry, but it definitely is something that clothiers, sewers and crafters have been quietly practicing for ages. They’ve been making use of these poor rejected souls and transforming them into something beautiful and magnificent.

Humble Thimble would be more than happy to guide you on your transformational journey. Book an appointment, bring in your cleaned garment(s) and we will have a lot of fun together creating a master piece that will leave a world in awe.

Oh yes, did I forget to mention that Humble Thimble is fully stocked with an eco-conscious, handmade collection of funky ViltHatz and whatnotz so if you need to load up, now is a great time!

Hang on Babe

22 02 2012

There are times when simply positive thinking and good intentions will not take you too far. Lets say, for example, the zipper of your skirt gets stuck to the lining or your undies and you’re trying to resolve the matter  by yanking that poor slider up and down, left and right…

Oh, remember the movie “There’s Something About Mary”? The scene where Ben Stiller frantically tries to zip up his pants and …”ouch!”… happened!

Your friends would say be reasonable,
Your friends would say just let go,
But there’s something about that zipper that they don’t know.

If only those zippers could talk…

Anyway, you yanked that slider, broke the zipper…and the agony of the doomed was in your voice “MY LIFE IS #@*&^%$!!!!”

Or so it seems.

It seems that every other fashion show includes a wardrobe malfunctioning episode, done perhaps to get publicity. However, the first step in avoiding that kind of headache is to be wise enough to choose the right fitting garment. Neither too tight nor too loose. Determine whether you are comfortable sitting, standing and bending in your clothes, or not.

The thing is, the zipper of your garment could stop cooperating regardless the proper fit.

I see a few options here how to deal with this frustrating situation.

Choose something else to wear, perhaps something that has elasticized waist band so you do not have to deal with the zippers EVER again!

The use of safety-pins or staple gun would be an option also to shield the unsightly opening. Wouldn’t make a fashion statement, though, but that’s my humble opinion.

Another thing you could do would be to sew it closed. That’s in case you have no fears or phobias of needles or any other sharp objects.

And lastly there is an option, and probably the last resort, which is to ask someone else, with skills and knowledge of fixing clothes, to do it for you.

That is all I have to say about the subject, for now.

PS… couldn’t resist: perhaps a Daily Mantra would help you through tough times: In Tailoring We Trust, In Tailoring We Trust, In Tailoring We Trust….

Set Me Free

16 02 2012

We all have our little demons buried deep inside that might pop up occasionally, without warning. There are times when we might even experience phobias and fears; irrational fears that is.

The fear of getting all that attention when wearing perfectly fitting clothes:  looking good – feeling good is one of the most common phobias. Receiving compliments might be an overwhelming experience.

The sight of a dressmaker may petrify some people. Thus, even if an individual submits themselves to a credible and reputable tailoring/dressmaking service provider such as Humble Thimble, the fear still may not subside.

Though they may sound or look ridiculous to others, these fears cause severe anxiety, extreme stress, and severe disruption of ordinary daily routines and activities of the affected person.

Here are a few helpful tips to guide you on how to overcome your fear of connecting with your local skilled tailor or dressmaker.

  • Take small steps like interacting with people standing in line waiting to have their garments altered.  Small steps will not cause you an abrupt adjustment. Through these small steps, you gradually learn to desensitize yourself against situations that usually cause you anxiety and stress.
  • Get motivated. You can start with listing the positive effects that your life will have if you succeed in turning your wardrobe into something extraordinarily stylish. This list will play a significant role in replacing your negative and depressing thoughts with encouraging ones. Read everything on the list regularly.
  • Think positively. Implement the 3:1 rule. Counter-attack every negative thought with 3 positive thoughts. Positive thinking will change your frame of mind about the amazing advantages of tailoring and renew your joy and passion for style. Imagine waking up each morning, bursting with excitement, energy and joy for your new day! There are no limits. Just go for it.