Before I started sewing seriously for myself and kids on a regular basis, I enjoyed shopping with my friends, by myself, and with my kids.
Well, take back that part about shopping with kids....
That's not so fun.
In fact, now that I look back, I treated it as a kind of sport.
Finding great deals at outlet malls and discount shops like Marshall's, TJ Maxx, and Nordstrom Rack gave me a rush.
The thrill of the hunt I guess.
Over the last few years my shopping habit has dwindled more and more. When I go shopping with my daughters, I often hear myself telling them things like,
"I can make that in a few hours. Let me take a photo of that outfit so I can try to copy it at home."
"Look, at the cheap quality of that fabric!"
"How can they afford to sell that garment at that price? It was probably made by indentured servants so we can buy it, and watch it end up on your bedroom floor."
In short, I have become a real pain and bore to go shopping with, what with my complaining about the low quality of fabrics and the underpaid labor in third world countries and the surreptitious dressing room use of my i- phone to take pictures of outfits that inspire me.
So when I started packing to go and visit my friend and her daughters in North Carolina, I realized how sparse my girls wardrobes were.
If it wasn't handmade, it was from the thrift shop. Their bathing suits were on the shabby side too.
We were going to be going to a luxury beach resort in Charleston for the weekend and things there are more dressy than laid beck So Cal.
I was being thrifty and resourceful but maybe I had gone a little overboard?
It was time for me to go shopping for some new clothes for everybody, myself included.
After buying several outfits, I found myself feeling grouchy and guilty on the ride home.
Not because of the money spent, that wasn't the issue. The shopping trip was within our budget and I bought everything on sale.
The girls were really excited but I was not being very nice about things at all. I felt like I had failed my handmade goals by buying a bunch of clothes which I would have preferred to make!
I was guilty of being prideful.
That night I started thinking to myself and after much thought I decided I needed to lighten up.
Just because you can do something like make clothes or grow your own food doesn't mean you have to do it all on your own. For instance, we grow our own vegetables and buy our meat from a local rancher but I still shop at the grocery store and I don't feel guilty about that.
I was putting too much pressure on myself!
If I wasn't careful I was going to make my kids neurotic. After all, shopping when you need some new outfits isn't a terrible thing.
I had swung too far in the opposite direction of my former ways.
So readers. How about you?
If you sew or make something else that you could buy instead, do you beat yourself up or feel like a failure when you decide to buy what you could have made?
Are you taking all of the fun out shopping too?