Saturday, July 06, 2013


This is a summer of almost non-stop travel.  Iowa June 11-25, Boston July 11-23, Sunday school teacher training in Napa Aug. 11-18.  It's a total coincidence all of the departure dates are the 11th.  I actually didn't even notice it until I typed it out just now.

So, what with one thing and another and this and that and the other thing...I fell off the wagon.

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.  I bought cheap clothes.

I have been trying to be more environmentally and ethically conscious when buying clothes.  But, well, we were leaving for Iowa in a couple of days and it gets beastly hot and humid there in the summer (95+ degrees F with 70-90% humidity) and I didn't have any shorts and I had very few t-shirts.  I had looked and looked and tried on shorts to no avail--nothing fit and time was running out.  Sooooo, I went to Kohl's and bought two pairs of Lee* jeans.  Since none of the capris and shorts were of the same cut, I bought the full length jeans and hacked one pair off at the knees for shorts and the other off a little below the knees for capris.  Aaaannd, since I was at Kohl's, I bought 2 t-shirts.  And a purse.

Then, while in Iowa, I went to Eddie Bauer and bought 1 t-shirt, 1 tank top, and 2 rather sheer blouses (looks like maybe made of a cotton voile) to wear over tank tops.  I feel slightly better about this because 1) I am still wearing Eddie Bauer clothes I bought 5 years ago and 2) the clothes were made in China where the factory conditions are much better than, say, Bangladesh (although, it should be said that in many factories the workers are still not paid a fair wage and the factories have no respect for the environment).

Then, today, I bought a pair of Dansko sandals that were regretably made in China.  Have you tried to find shoes that aren't made in China?  I'm having a hard time finding them in stores.  I have found some to order online but I have such a hard time finding comfortable shoes to begin with that I prefer not to order shoes online for fear I will end up in an endless cycle of ordering and returning shoes.

They say that you find out how strong your convictions are when your back is against the wall.  I guess mine are not as strong as I would like them to be regarding where my clothes/shoes are made.  I feel pretty good about trying to buy clothes/shoes that will last, though.  I have hopes of wearing my Dansko sandals for a number of years and having them repaired when necessary.  I am handwashing my lightweight shirts from EB because I think that will make the delicate fabric last longer.

I'm still working on making my own clothes, too.  It's just taking me much longer than I anticipated.  Last night, I finished another Renfrew t-shirt (this time made from a ribbed knit cotton/spandex blend from Joanns).  I have enough fabric for two more t-shirts and I'm hoping to make a simple Renfrew dress by extending the hemline.  And, I want to make another Ginger and a Miette (this would require some pattern grading, unfortunately, but it's so cute I'm willing to give it a try!).  I'd love to make a Cambie, too.  But, I fear it may take me all summer to get through that list (especially with all of the traveling planned).  Fortunately, I think I am set for the summer and the t-shirts and skirts should carry me through most of the fall and on into December (local climate being what it is).  So, I have time to continue to work on my wardrobe.  And, perhaps I need to revise my expectations and realize it's going to take awhile to put together an ethical wardrobe and that there's no point in beating myself up in the meantime.

*Lee classic fit jeans fit me.  I have tried others--all kinds of "curvy" fit jeans at Gap and many, many types of Levis (515, 529, I've tried them all).  They do not fit.  I hope one day I will be able to make my own jeans but until that blessed day, I have decided that I will be buying Lee jeans and not feel guilty about it.  I did try finding a pair 2nd hand, but I could not find any.  :(