|Mustard shirt £28.80 made|
on minimum wage
I copied the pattern from an old white linen shirt I wore to death and Giya wore too until it was ragged and unmendable. First I took it apart, then I traced each component part onto pattern paper. It took about a day to cut out and put together - a little longer than the next one will because I'd never made it before. The front facing, around the neck, took most time - pinning and ironing.
So what is the monetary value of this shirt? £7 for fabric, an element for thread and electricity and then my time. Let's cut that day by half, assuming the next one will be quicker and write off research and development time. What is my time worth? Minimum wage - £8.72 an hour for me? Do I allow for age and experience? A certain level of skill (although I'm not a trained tailor)? Is the fact it's handmade (some might say bespoke) of value? That elements of it are recycled (the pattern, for example). That I'll re-use much of the old shirt probably as face wipes since it's well-worn, soft linen. The minimum wage would bring it to £21.80 for 2.5 hours work, adding in the cost of fabric, it rises to £28.80 and what do we add in for energy and thread. What is it worth? And where does it sit next to a dress costing less than £1? It's the how I'm interested in first because of all the implications. Which brings me to a selection of garments recently made, mended or amended.....
|Dress from fabric|
Hilary bought in
from East I took in and
|My favourite autumn/winter cardigan, mohair|
bought secondhand in Portsmouth in 1978 or 9,
seams restitched endlessly. I'm looking
for new buttons.