Saturday, November 28, 2009

The 14th Degree Don't Lie

I was doing some alterations for a dear friend of mine. They would have to be a dear friend in order for me to do alterations for people. I hate alterations. And since I never charge and folks you know are never satisfied AND they keep coming back with more and more shit... But I digress....

I was doing alterations on a velvet jacket and a blouse. My friend is a baller (though she doesn't admit it). I know she paid $$$$ for these clothes. The jacket, I actually was gonna buy, but it was hella expensive and velvet is one of those fabrics that you shouldn't wear after the holidays pass, so I passed on it. I was with her when she bought the jacket (does that make me a baller?) and I remember how much it cost.

Anywho..... This jacket was torn at the seam almost the entire length. It was also lined with a really cute fabric. But once I got inside, I found that the velvet was not the regular plush velvet, but a really cheap, fake nasty velvet that left nasty little traces on my sewing machine. I had to clean inside and outside of the machine. The lining wasn't any better. It was a thin, smelly, cheap piece of polyester. SMH. Having to take apart the jacket to get at the repair location. I saw that even the stitches were cheesy. This stitches I used were superior to what the garment came with. No reinforcing stitches either.

So the moral of this story is just because a garment is expensive and store bought does not mean that it is better than a 'homemade' garment.

Learn to sew people. It is not that hard and will save money in the long run!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Look for the Union Label

I recently watched a documentary on what has happened to the garment industry. It chronicled the decline of said industry. At one time, the garment industry was the largest employer in NYC. Now less than 5% of clothing worn in this country is made in this country. The reason why this latched on in my mental mind, (1) because I have been on a purchasing fast with regard to clothing and (2) my mother took me shopping for my bornday. She wanted to buy me something pretty.

I buy as much American as I can find. I have owned 5 cars, all of them American. I really wanted a Prius this last time, but I could not bring myself to buy one. And every time I see one pass me I tear up a little. But I think it’s important to support your own. And since I am a resident and citizen of this country, I feel it’s our duty to make supporting your own a priority.

In this society we have moved away from ‘we’ to ‘me’. That’s not cool. Me cannot support a whole country and our nonchalance for what happens to others will eventually slap us in the face. If our choices cause another family to starve, then our taxes will increase to support them on welfare or in prison. And there are more than just one person losing the ability to feed their families. Then it will become too expensive to own property. You got it like that?

You cannot have a society where all three classes are not represented. Low, middle and upper. It is real easy for people to turn their noses up at people who work jobs you think are beneath you. Blue color jobs in this country, support this country. But in the last few decades, it has become shameful in being a blue collar employee. Very few children now a days aspire to jobs like firemen, police officers, teachers, hairdressers, and so on. People usually fall into these jobs because what they were shooting for didn’t work out. But what happens when there is nothing to fall back on? Then what are you supposed to do? And don’t get it twisted, there are some jobs that grown folks just won’t get hired to do. Yeah, you got grown folks delivering papers, but how many grown folks you see flipping burgers. And you wonder why there are so many homeless, jobless folks out there. Being middle class has become shameful.

OK. I have said all of this to say, it is important for all of us to be mindful to support our own. Yes you may feel, and validly so, that big companies won’t miss your money. But for every cheap blouse you buy, you are supporting some Indian or Chinese family while starving your cousin in NY. For every foreign car you purchase, you support a German or Japanese family but causing widespread poverty in Detroit. You free to do what you want, after all this is America. But if we don’t look after our own, who will? You think people abroad are buying Chryslers and Fords? And do the Knowledge, the United States of America does not have a big export market unless you wanna count the military.