Where my clothes come from – No. 4

Gill Phillips

“My ring came from a weekly market in the old auction house in Sudbury. I bought a couple of different rings at the same time. They were both only 50p each and they’re fun. They went with outfits I had. I’m always on the look-out for unusual things.”

Gill Phillips' ring
Photographer: Sue Phillips

“I inherited the leather bracelet from my mother. She liked quirky jewellery and craft objects. She would have been attracted to it because she did a lot of craftwork herself, but this would have been too complicated for her to make.”

Mum's bracelet
Photographer: Sue Phillips

“My mother taught me to sew. When I was at art school I had a friend in the dress design department who used to cut patterns for me. I got ideas for designing dresses by looking through magazines. I always used to buy Vogue magazine, and it was also in the art school library.

For most of my life I rarely bought clothes; I made most of my clothes. I bought a maternity dress, but I couldn’t really afford to buy clothes after my children were born. I used to make clothes for them as well, not that they’d always wear them once they got old enough to want to look like their friends.

I make fewer clothes these days as I find such good clothes in charity shops and I’ve acquired a large wardrobe over the years. Even if I were super rich I’d still shop in charity shops; it’s so much fun and the money goes to a good cause. You never know what you’re going to find, and there’s a always a creative possibility of turning something into something else.

Last week I found two pairs of pretty grey and white patterned cotton curtains in a charity shop, which I bought and made into a summer dress. I’ve had the pattern for some time but I hadn’t found the right material to make it with before. It needed a lot of material so it would have been expensive to buy the fabric. It was easy to make and only took a couple of days. This way the dress only cost me about £7.00 in total including what used to be called ‘notions’; things like cotton thread and buttons.

This week I found a remnant of navy and white flowered material, and I’m going to make a night dress with it.”

Mum's dress pattern
Photographer: Sue Phillips

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Sue Written by:

I'm a finance professional who's interested in whether we're accounting for the right things in the right ways.

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