While we were out on our date this week, we were walking around downtown and came cross this great little store called "Fancy Tiger". It's a really cute craft store, so it naturally caught my attention and I needed to browse! :) It turns out the crafts they focus on are sewing and needle crafting (crochet, knitting, cross stitch). I heard a class going on downstairs so I asked them what they offer. I came out with a whole brochure full of awesome classes. Some of them teach the basics of sewing and the fun little extras you can do. They also teach you how to do alterations--what a cool trade to know, super handy! Then, some of the really fun ones include classes where you make your own A-line skirt (cute, cute!), a school house tunic, and a market tote--you pretty much can make your own little hip, personalized and one of a kind outfit! Then they also have some crochet/knitting ones that are great too like making a beanie or beret, a headband, a shawl, sweaters, socks and lace! Don't those sound like a lot of fun? Maybe I'm the only one that thinks it sounds great to learn how to make my own clothes and clothes for my family. It's another one of those lost skills that few of us in our generation know how to do well any more. My mother in law is a fantastic seamstress and has made great clothes for my kids. My mom also knows how to sew, but hasn't spent as much time on it as my MIL. I know the basics of sewing, from taking home ec in high school. But trust me, I have no confidence what so ever to actually make myself a skirt and it not look crocked, uneven, twisted and all around just not cute. I'd much rather spend $5 on a skirt on clearance then to risk making that big of a disaster and have to claim it! ;) Although, I'm always up for learning and this seems like a good opportunity. Maybe this will be a fun and useful way to let out my creative side and make things that we'll enjoy wearing! ;) So...if I'm wearing a crocked, messed up skirt next time you see me, you'll know I took the class and failed miserably--please don't laugh! But hopefully I'll be sporting a great outfit that I can proudly exclaim, "I made this!" and be pleased to show it off.
*Background info: Sewing our own clothes was a conversation my husband and I had after hearing about the effects of our dependance on foreign and/or corrupt companies that were mistreating and abusing their labors and employees. The list included sweat shops and other forms of child labor and abuse. It totally breaks my heart to hear these things happen to people and I'd love to make a difference for them, it's hard to know the best way. I've been curious about finding lists of these companies that use these methods and just do every thing we can to ban them and make them hear that we will NOT allow for such cruelty. The flip side of all of this is that those people who are working in awful conditions, need those jobs and that is their livelihood. So if you stop using their supplies, you're also taking away their income, so it needs to be a loud enough movement that shines the light on these corrupt people so brightly that they are appalled at what they have done and ashamed of their behavior enough to make the changes they need to within their company. Anyway, that awful truth is what got us thinking about ways to avoid "needing" to support things we didn't believe in. So, finding these classes may be my opportunity to learn something new and exciting and also make a small difference in standing against this mistreatment of people around the world by choosing fabrics and supplies that are natural and woven by honest companies.
I decided to do a quick search to find these companies that use sweat shops and I'm SOOO disappointed. The list contains stores/brands that I shop frequently and I just don't even know where to start! :( Here is what I found: Sweat shop companies (just to name a few), on the positive side, these are companies that give the sweat shop free guarantee. The downside to this list, I haven't even heard of a single one of them! :( Need to do something about all this. I found this website with a list of "to do"s to help change these awful conditions. I know I'll be writing some serious letters this week, please join me!