Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fabric Market Fun

Please note...the next installment may be called Fabric Market Folly. See, I decided I would be a "risk-taker" this weekend. I went out on a limb and brought the leather shop a sweater, asking them to copy it as a leather jacket. Only time (approximately two weeks) will tell if this turned out to be a good idea or a collosal waste of money.

One of my favorite things about Shanghai (right after JoAnn and our new PE teacher, whom I'll call Iron Man (he is not only smart but bears a vague resemblance to David Tennant AND has an ass you could bounce a quarter off of), is the fabric market. JoAnn and I finally got into it last spring, and for the last month of school we were going every Saturday. It. Was. Wonderful. Except when it wasn't. Let me explain. There's this building, three stories tall, jam-packed with little booths filled with fabric of all kinds and tailors to go along with it. And I do mean little...this is one of JoAnn and the Sarahs' favorite tailors - it can get claustrophobic at times, and some people (ahem, myself) may wander off to check out other things.

So, as you can see, there are samples hanging up all over, and in theory, you can walk in, pick out a garment you like (some of them copies of famous designers), select fabric, and a week or so later you'll have brand new clothes. I say "in theory" because sometimes this turns out to be a catastrophe. I've done this and had clothes come out that just will not work. They fit, but they look terrible. They look fine but the fit is uncomfortable. Whatever. You try your new clothes on, and the tailors do their best to fix them, when something is wrong, buuuuuuut...sometimes there's no fixing it. And sometimes you have to kind of compromise. Of the clothes I've ordered from examples, only one dress has been right the first time. The much safer route is to bring in something you already own and telling them to copy it. EVERYTHING I've brought in to copy has worked the first time, and this is one of the reasons I did SO much shopping this summer.

Which brings us to my sweater. I got it at Lord & Taylor while I was shopping clearance racks with the Evil One this summer, and it turned out to be really flattering. Sometime since then I've convinced myself that it would be a REALLY cool leather jacket, and JoAnn had success with one of the leather shops last spring, so I decided to take a chance. They had some concerns, but we agreed on a price and leather and they took my sweater and my measurements.

However, that wasn't all I ordered this weekend. I was going to punish myself for backsliding/encourage myself to lose weight by making myself wait until I'd taken off ten pounds. Then I spent Friday morning trying to figure out what I was going to wear to school on my dress up day (ie, the day I only teach one hour of art), and I realized how GOOD new and interesting clothes made me feel. I've been struggling to find a balance between accepting my body as it is and not giving up on trying to improve it. Well, wearing nice new clothes makes me feel a lot better about the shape I'm in (as does having the doctor tell me that my blood sugar and fat are totally normal, but that's a story for another day), and when I feel good, it's easier for me to make good choices, so roll on, South Bund Soft-Spinning Market! In the end I ordered five shirts, my leather jacket, a cushion-sized fitted sheet to go on the couch-cushion in my window seat (that's the sheet/quilt store above), and a Chinese-style floor pillow made with four different patterns of silk brocade (that one was a whim, but one that I'm really excited about!)