Alice-Azania Jarvis: 'Sewing? I hate it! But there's this lovely man at my local dry cleaner'

In The Red

So, another week's gone by and I've yet to return that Topshop skirt. For those of you who missed last week's column, it's not a terribly complicated story: I missed the bus, my skirt ripped, general annoyance ensued. To be honest, it's not that surprising. I have long nurtured a pathological fear of shop assistants. Also, I never get around to doing what I mean to.

What I have done, however, is to have the skirt mended. Not by myself, you understand, but by my local dry cleaner – and for the very reasonable sum of just £3. I've had a host of other adjustments made to clothes, too. A dress bought for 80p in Oxfam got its first outing this week, as did a similarly dirt-cheap blouse. Sure, at a couple of quid each, the alterations cost more than the items did. But still, it's hardly going to break the bank, is it – even if your bank balance is as low as mine.

Yes, of course it would have been even more thrifty to have done the work myself. But I have few cast-iron principles in my life as it is; if I am to retain one, it will be my resolution not to sew. Ever. This is not just because I don't know how (though that, I admit, is something of a problem), but also because I hate sewing. Hate it with a passion.

This is not as irrational as it sounds. When I was at junior school, they forced you to sew (over-eager PTA or something). They forced you to sew, and they forced you to crochet. For an hour a week. A whole hour. Every week.

But the thing that really put me off sewing? It was that only the girls at this school had this cruel and unusual punishment thrust upon them. The boys, unsurprisingly, played sport. Ever since then, sewing and female oppression have been inextricably bound together in my mind. I am emotionally scarred – so sue me.

Pleasingly, my local dry cleaner is a man. He also does all the sewing and mending himself, perfectly, and for hardly any money at all, really – certainly for much less money than just giving in and buying an entire new outfit would cost. I think of it as a compromise, rather like taking the lift to go upstairs and then walking down.

To be honest, I didn't even know that this sort of service still existed. It all sounds so very quaint and old-fashioned. And I suspect that this impression may be shared by quite a few of you. Since I had my make-do-and-mend epiphany, I have run into two colleagues and a neighbour all doing the same thing.

Honestly, give it a go. It's the best thing ever. Unless, of course, you actually like sewing, that is. In which case... well, good for you.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

Suggested Topics
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Financial Analyst - Forecasting - Yorkshire

    £300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...

    Business Architect - Bristol - £500 per day

    £500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...

    Regulatory Reporting-MI-Bank-Cardiff-£300/day

    £200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

    Day In a Page

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

    'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

    Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup