You want HOW MUCH? I could make it for less!

Almost anyone who’s a professional sewer will be familiar with those who look at their work and say “you want HOW MUCH for that?  Yes, the seamstress will get very tired of hearing this.   While they know that non-sewers have no idea of the skills involved, the number hours and the cost of fabrics it’s still a frustrating response.   And that’s before they’ve paid a small fortune for their machine, overlocker and various other tools.   A professional sewer can’t compete with the mass produced market.  They know that their ideal clients are those who understand that custom made or unique items can’t be made for the same prices as the ones being imported from a third world factory.

I get this.  I may not be a professional sewer, but I do know the cost in time and resources.

And armed with this knowledge, I was looking through the lifestyle section of the weekend paper this morning.   I saw a designer outfit which was really nice.   Not my style, but nonetheless, I really liked the styling of it.   Then Iooked at the price:    Skirt $1,245 and matching blouse $995.  That’s $2240 for a top and a skirt!   You want HOW MUCH for that?   Then add on the $2,720 of accessories the model is wearing and you’ve got an outfit which will set you back a cool $4,960.

designer outfit designer skirt

OK, we can remove the accessories and just look at the blouse and skirt.   As a sewer, for the life of me I cannot justify the cost of this.   Yes, it’s probably gorgeous Italian fabric which will cost a small fortune.  But $2,240?  Really?

The thing which makes this garment so lovely is it’s simplicity.   But it’s that same simplicity which makes me question it’s value.     It’s not much of an alteration on a block pattern.   Yes, for those who don’t have a block pattern, it may need some time consuming tweaking of a commercial pattern….but hey, the original dress would probably need some tweaking for a custom fit on the average figure.

Anyway, this is my rant:  For the life of me, I can’t justify the cost of designer clothing.

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Hawaii – Looking back and Day 10

Wow, it’s now six weeks post Hawaii.   It’s taken me this long to be able to revisit the trip.  My partner got over it all fairly quickly but I found it took a couple of weeks before I could bring myself to talk about it.   Hawaii is a place of beauty and this is what I will ultimately remember – but my sheer exhaustion from dealing with my son’s anxiety induced meltdowns needed more attention short term.   We’ve also gone through a lot of self reflection with considering how we could have done things differently…..but also realising that we were simply doing the best we could.

Again, these photos are of the good parts.   The not so great parts will remain undiscussed.

So here it is: Day 10.  The last day.  I wrote this while waiting for the plane home from Honolulu airport

It’s been drizzly for the last few days but this is OK for our indoor loving girl who wants to go to an art gallery in Honolulu. So Mick, Sam and I decide to hire a car and explore the south half of Oahu.    I’m still so grateful to Mick for doing all the driving here.   I am getting used to being on the other side of the road, but I would a little more time before I’d be confident to actually drive on that side.

As our decision to hire a car was late there are few cars available.   But our concierge finds a Chevy Camaro at the neighboring Sheraton Hotel.   Yep, that will do!     It’s a bit more expensive than the regular hire cars, but it will be fun.      We have done some of this route previously in the bus, but I’m glad to have our own transport so we now have the flexibility to stop and take photos.

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Mick enjoying the Camaro

First stop is snorkelling at Hanauma Bay   Sam has never been able to manage a regular snorkel so we get him a dry mask.   Mick and I hire regular gear.   Unfortunately, Sam is frightened of the whole experience, has a meltdown and needs to leave the water.   He ends up sitting on a towel for a little while while MIck and I do the snorkelling.    I remember snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef a couple of years ago and recall being really disappointed at how little colour and fish were around.    This is the same.   It’s all grey with few fish.      Perhaps we didn’t find the sweet spots of the snorkelling areas?    I don’t know.     But given the amount of money we spent on it, I wouldn’t be listing it as a ‘must do’ experience.

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Hanauma Bay

As we’re driving further, we see a lookout spot.  We’ve seen a few lookouts which are nice, but not necessarily requiring a visit, so we aren’t inclined to stop.   As we go around the corner, Mick and I are gobsmacked at the beauty of the beaches, cliffs and village which would have been seen from up there.   While we’re debating going back to the lookout,  we find a lovely wave beach.  This must be the one which the life savers at Sandy Beach suggested to us.    We didn’t swim, but stopped to grab a few photos of the beach and cliffs beside the road.

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Beach at the south end of Oahu and the towering cliffs across the road

Decide that we really have to turn around and go back to the lookout.   It’s glorious.

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south Oahu

Please forgive the dodgy Photoshopping.  But joining photos was the only option for this scene

We then set out to find the Byodo-In temple.   Sam loves Buddhist temples, and judging by the photos, this one is beautiful.    Real life doesn’t let us down.   It’s a gorgeous building set at the base of soaring volcanic mountains.   Just.Wow.

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From here, we head across the island and back to our rooms.    We find Alice who reports that her art gallery was closed and she then entertained us with stories of bus breakdowns, getting lost and sunburn.   She’s ended up just having a quiet afternoon chilling in the rooms and the resort pool.

A quiet night in sorting and packing is our last evening.   Looking forward to getting Sam home and back into a routine.