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Sewing of sorts……

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Today I finally made it back to my lovely sewing machine…..bliss… not quite.

let me tell you a story….

When I went back to work last month I pretty quickly realized that I was more than a little lacking in the business attire area. Well after 18 years away from an office I guess that had to be expected.

So I took a walk through a couple of department stores in Zürich. The aim was to find two (pretty conservative) business suits and a few shirts that I could wear them with. Not a big deal, you would think.

But then this was Zürich and not London or the US. And in Zürich, well shall we say that everything is somewhat on the expensive side. Actually not somewhat, let’s just be honest here and call a spade a spade. It’s VERY AMAZINGLY EXPENSIVE!

What I pretty quickly realized is that….

  • a) Nothing fits me because I’m a funny shape – waist too small (or bottom too big, but that’s not how I’m looking at it) and
  • b) I am disinclined to pay what a small car would cost for two suits and a few shirts.

Thank God for the internet is all I can say.

So I ordered a suit from Boden (which arrived, fitted perfectly and cost a snip in the sale, but is actually made of jersey, so may not wear brilliantly) and two from TM Lewin (in the sale with a massive 70% off), where I have bought shirts since I first started work many, many moons ago. The Lewin’s suits took a good while getting here…but that’s a story for another day…and are absolutely perfect and lovely apart from the fact that I could store my handbag (large) in the waistband with me, no problem. We are talking oh, maybe 6 inches too wide…

Now sending things back is always a hassle and knowing my luck the next size down will probably be great on the waist but straining over the haunches, so I decided that well, I can sew. How hard can alterations be?

Hmm…..tailored skirts..with the most complicated construction at the waistline I’ve ever seen. I really didn’t know it was possible to make a skirt in such a convoluted way. I think I now know why people train for years and years to become tailors. Boy, what a lot of pieces to unpick and resew and unpick and resew..

But I’m getting there….it’s just taking me a while….

And that dear friends is the sum of my sewing afternoon. Tomorrow at work I shall look seriously the business and with any luck I may make it to something pretty and colourful and patchworky before too long.

Have a great Wednesday,



11 Responses to “Sewing of sorts……”

  1. paige Says:

    Boden is always my go-to skirt and dress place–because their clothing actually fits women with waists that are too small (much prefer that descriptor over hips that are too large). And I admire your bravery for disassembling a skirt! That would scare me to bits!

  2. Lun Says:

    Oh you brave thing, I send back rather than alter clothes, it’s my least favourite sewing! Every woman on both sides of my family has the same waist to hip ratio problem to some extent and I have an aunt in her late eighties who still alters every garment she buys. Haven’t been able to persuade her to do my alterations though. Agree about Boden too, clothes that fit and wash properly.

  3. Kathy E. Says:

    You take alterations with such grace… I run from them like they are the boogie-man!

  4. Susan Says:

    Which is why I have a wardrobe full of skirts that don’t get warn because they don’t fit right as I too am not a standard size. Opposite of you – thick waist and narrower hips. Would rather be hour glass. Just saying!

  5. Angela @ Heart of Charnwood Says:

    Not an exciting way to spend your sewing days, but needs must and all that, hope it works out! : )

  6. Flying Blind Says:

    You could just use my solution – eat more until it fits!!!

  7. Katy Says:

    I buy my work clothes in Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and the M&S outlet. My mother is horrified…

  8. diane stanley Says:

    I am so bad at alterations. The people that can do that really are talented. I’d rather make a whole new outfit. Good luck. ps…I love Boden clothes. They fit me well too

  9. Elisabeth Says:

    When I first came to England I did quite a few alterations for people and was absolutely horrified at how badly some expensive clothes were made. I too was mystified by some of the trousers and skirt constructions. At least if it’s for you it only has to look good on the outside 😉
    I don’t enjoy alterations anymore so try to get out of them if possible. Much more enjoyable to do some patchwork.

  10. Annabella Says:

    Oh to have a waist that was ‘too small’ *sigh*…of course of you live here you can find a little man who would alter it for you!

  11. Leanne Says:

    Stick with the alterations, it is good to wear business clothes that look sharp because they fit well. I know you will manage it. I am catching up on your blog, as I have been away, I love the pattern on your pink socks.