(N.B. I’m afraid you’ll probably only get my witty post title if you were in the UK and vaguely politically aware during the election campaign of 1997. Anyways...)
I GOT A JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! To be more precise, I got another job. As you may already know, my first job after moving back to UK was in a patisserie. When it became obvious that it was terrible and I wouldn’t be sticking round for long, I did a cursory internet search and found advertised the job of my dreams happily based just 20mins walk from my flat. I was involved in the interview process when I wrote my Ladies in Waiting post, not knowing if the potential job would pan out or if I would be shortly rejoining the ranks of my waitressing sisters. Well, at the end of the process, 15 candidates became one employee, and thank the God of fabric, that was me! I have been there for two whole weeks tomorrow and feel safe enough now to divulge....
Ok, I haven’t mentioned the best bit, it’s a sewing job!!!!!!!! An ethical sewing job! Yes, really. I now work for the charity TRAID which run a chain of charity shops around London. The shops sell second hand clothing donated by the public collected in donation banks across the. The garments which can’t be sold for whatever reason, and also donated lengths of fabric and seconds stuff donated from the retail clothing industry, get sent down to a workshop (where I work) to be sorted and then recreated and refashioned into new garments which are on sale in the flagship Camden branch under the label TraidRemade. Some special pieces are also available on this site. Everything that isn’t appropriate to be refashioned, plus all scraps generated from the creation process, then get sold on as rag to be reused in other forms or pulped and made into products like fleece and sofa fillings etc.
I work with a lovely creative lady and a small dog called Piglet to produce garments which will hopefully get sold therefore giving unwanted garments a new life and generating funds to help combat poverty. Did I mention I get to sew? All day? With creative imput too? SO exciting.
‘So where’s the danger, Zo?’, I hear you ask. Umm, are you mental?! I spend all day with easy access to refashionable garments and lengths of donated fabric, a lot of which could be mine for a small donation to the ‘Karma tin’ which goes to the charity. Plus the refashioning ideas that are being batted about and put into covetable effect have already resulted in ‘Oh, I’ll just cut one for me too....’, which is how this top came to pass. I have already gained two big bags full of clothing and fabric that is now mine, and this is only Week Two.
You may be all, ‘Ah! So that’s why Zoe is back on the refashioning tip!’ I can’t deny that my new employment has brought the value in refashioning and its endless possibilities firmly back to the forefront of my mind. I’m so excited to learn new sewing methods and construction tips. But I’m going to have to enact some serious self discipline to avoid a tidal wave of new garments and fabric pieces drowning us in our tiny flat.
Back to the top seen here. The pattern was based on one I drafted for myself yonks ago from a well-fitting T-shirt and the gathered sleeve head pattern piece from the Sew U: Home Stretch book. For my own version, I used a men’s sweatshirt instead of the T-shirts used for the ones I made for the range to keep me warmer. The collar is the same however, and used to be men’s shirts. The two buttons I bought in San Francisco a few years ago and I think they bring a touch more femininity to what is basically a sweatshirt.
I don’t think I am allowed to show you what I create at work for the range, but any useful tips and tricks I glean and variations I create for myself will definitely be shared. Happy refashioning people.