Monday, 3 February 2014

Bespoke Shopping

One of the pleasures of living here is that you don't have to buy of the shelf you can have things made to exactly suit you.
I have a seamstress in the Souk. (Why are men tailors and not seamsters  but women are not tailors but seamstresses?) Over the years she has done quite a few small jobs for me; fitting new zips , sewing on buttons, adjusting side slits and shortening trousers. For this last she charges 40p a pair to do on the machine. Beloved goes to a male tailor who specialises in trousers and costs 80p by machine. We have paid as much as £1.50 for hand done work by a man. When we first came here 7 years ago there were only men but then my seamstress started and now there are other women's businesses. Anyway, when we were in Shanghai I had some trousers copied in silk. Unfortunately I gave them quite a short pair to copy and then they shrank a bit when I washed them so they are now very fashionably short quasi-capri style which is great with sandals but silly with lace-ups. So when we were home for Xmas I went to Abakan fabrics which sells material by weight. I was unable to get any silk or silk-linen fabric but got cotton-linen. I have some extremely comfortable but utterly ugly (printwise) trousers I use for gardening, and I took my material to the seamstress who copied them and made me two pairs in plain black. For this she asked the princely sum of £4.80. As I'd paid £8 for the fabric I thought I should pay her at least the same; so now I have 2 pairs of bespoke trousers at a total cost of £8 each.

I wanted to have the longstitch canvas I'd made from odds and ends turned into a pouffe for the lounge in Wales. I went to the sandalmaker's opposite Moha's who had made up the Kasbah pouffe. It's turned out better than I expected although ,of course, it isn't stuffed yet. I will have that joy with small polystyrene balls when I return. The plain one we got at the tannery for Madre for Xmas was a nightmare and I wouldn't have got it done but for Sweetheart. It's very light though to move about and Madre says it's a bit squadgy which makes it comfortable to put your feet up, although I'm not sure that's good for sitting on.

Whilst we were in the sandalmaker's   I spotted a pair of sandals. Two years ago a friend gave me a pair of toe ring sandals and I have worn them every day since. I had a pair of similar design in the 70s and I had forgotten how comfy they were.

 The  moroccan version is even more hippy because it incorporates a piece of carpet , and, as there are a lot red carpets, every pair I had seen, like mine, were red; but the sandalmaker had some that were blue! Sadly they were size 41 and I am size 38. No problem! I was tried in various size sandals to make sure I really was a 38. a few days later a further fitting to establish the fitting of the toe loop. A final stretching and low and behold ,perfectly fitting blue sandals.

 Although this took a while as they waited for me to go back the whole process can take less than an after noon. Apparently a popular "excursion" for tourists with one local tour  group is to go to the sandalmaker's and make your own sandals from scratch. He gives you the equipment and instruction. I wonder if any of sweetheart's friends would enjoy that?

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