Saturday, 1 May 2010

Kid's enjoy the fashion for thrift

My natural instinct for not wasting things has become fashionable in the last 18 months as the credit crunch hit across the board – and the fashion for thrift is celebrated in an exhibition which has started its tour of the north at Dufton Village Hall.

I went along to take some photographs of pupils from Warcop Primary School who had come along to meet the artist Mandy Pattullo and discover more about her work in the Thrift & Thread exhibition. The story is now on the Eden Valley Messenger website for you to read.

It was wonderful to see the kids so enthusiastic about these wonderful items made from things others would throw away. This is a new generation growing up with no shame of second hand or old, and a real appreciation of what they have.

I don’t care if you call my jacket from the charity shop second hand or vintage – to me it is a bargain that I love. I believe I have this view because I was the last of the generation whose parents lived and fought through World War II. My mother, who served as a nurse in the WRAF had trained as a tailoress before the war, and was a dab hand at making coats and jackets from blankets. This was particularly useful in the early 1980s when the blanket coat was fashionable and I was the only one in my school with a trendy coat that really was made from an old blanket.

All my clothes, except my underwear and socks, were made by my mum who cut up her old dresses as well as bought remnant pieces of cloth from Leeds market to make me the latest fashions. We would go around the best shops in Leeds looking at the styles each season, and over a cup of tea she would sketch out the designs I liked and then when hope to run them up on her machine. I never appreciated how lucky I was – a full wardrobe of the latest styles.

I though I’ve never sewn my daughter’s clothes as cloth is more expensive than buying the finished articles today, I do cut up my husbands old work shirts to make patchwork quilts for her bed, and the cover cuts from fitting our curtains from the old house to our new home went into a quilt for our bed.

My husband has called me tight fisted in the past, but I think many more people are coming around to my way of thinking, that making do and mend is a much more satisfying than going out and buying something.

And this exhibition shows that you can make some of the most beautiful things from unwanted materials. And it’s a great place to get some ideas for making your own thrifty pieces.

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