Thursday 12 April 2012

Norwich is Pants!

No I am not joining in Harry Hill and any other comedian's cheap jibes at our marvelous city but trying to come up with a witty title to my blog. For a number of years I have been interested in the manufacture of clothing in Britain. So how happy was I to see both a programme about making pants and also a workshop to make them in Magdalen Street both in the same month?

Mary Portas has a new programme called Bottom Line in which she attempts to re-energize the British manufacturing industry by creating her own line of British Knickers. I have not seen all the episodes but I followed a link to the House of Fraser where they appeared to be sold out of said garments, although Liberty London still have some. So things must be going well. I am assuming this is because of peoples desire to buy British rather than their advertising slogan which implies you might buy your pants for the milkman (I wonder if milkandmore who we get our milk delivered from had the same idea, I always thought that 'more' meant a couple of strawberry yoghurts but now I am starting to wonder)

Back to the workshop. My excitement mounted as I entered Makeplace and saw the women gathered at the tables. We were then shown to our sewing machines that had been loaded ready with the correct colour cotton. We opened up our pants kits with ready cut material and soon we were making our own pants. The teacher explained how she had become disillusioned with the manufacture of clothing in China, mainly with the working conditions and now she runs courses to upcyle t-shirts into pants. 'What is upcycling?' one young sewer asks? In my head my hand has shot up to answer: Oh God, I know this, pick me! Pick me!'

I remain calm while the instructor describes how it differs from re-cyling and how it sounds better to say upcyling pants than recycling pants.

After a couple of hours we each have a pair of pants and pose for a group photograph.

You may notice that I got the best deal in that we all paid the same price and I got the most material!

I think I will ask her to do a workshop at the Magdalen Street Celebration......

1 comment:

  1. Helen, I am coming to that workshop in Magdalen Street.

    I want pants!

    Preferably male, although in these downsized days a women's pair will do as long as they're not too girly. You know, more the grey type in your picture rather than the pink and purple!