In August I was a guest on Ann’s Instagram Live broadcast where the topic was how and why I took on the journey to make all my clothing — almost eleven years ago — and stuck with it. Ann has uploaded it on YouTube and you can catch it here. In this post, I’ll attempt to address the same subject, with more nitty gritty of the process coming up in future posts. So, tell me in the comments if you want more details. Or, does the whole thing bore you to tears?
The beginning of my journey was pushed to the forefront in January 2010 because of a huge fabric stash and the need for a new year resolution. I gave myself a year and found that it’s totally do-able forever! If you want to embark on the sewn wardrobe journey too, consider the following issues before you start!
- What is your time worth? Children? Job? Other activities? In other words, how much discretionary time do you have? That is the time which is not dedicated to family and other life matters, and is free for you to do with as you wish. If you have ten minutes of discretionary time each day, you can still sew your entire wardrobe. You will have to adjust your outlook regarding the quantity and quality of your wardrobe.
- What is your level of ready-to-wear shopping mania? For some, shopping for clothes is a sport. Personally, I don’t enjoy it. I dislike shopping in general and abhor shopping for clothes even more. That was an advantage in my court. If you do like buying ready-to-wear, start on this venture slowly, and never feel guilty about falling off the wagon by purchasing that cute Banana Republic blouse. The more you sew clothes in a methodical way, the easier it will get. Once I got into my sew-everything journey, I never really liked the clothing offered out there. I actually, LOVED what I made.
- Make a Plan and Sew Capsules. Wardrobe pundits love to tell you about planning it out — and they’re totally right! When my journey began almost 11 years ago (come January 2021) I started to sew things that seemed the next new and shiny thing; or I would sew a new garment for an upcoming event. Now I’ve seen the light. Planned sewing is my mantra for the past couple of years, encouraged by my friendly local sewing group when Roz of Sew Much Fabric guided us through the process.
- Keep the capsule small. I’ve learned that very recently, too. See my neon2020 capsule below? That is larger than I need – but I wanted that capsule to look like the inspiration page. Hahaha. The red/white/blue capsule started in 2018 and 2019 (continued into 2020) guided by the inspiration images back then.
- Don’t be in a hurry to cull out your existing wardrobe. Replace an item with each sewn garment, while you get your feet wet in the process; it helps to see if you really want to continue with this journey. Once a similar item is replaced, please put it in a give-away pile. Otherwise, your closet will be stuffed too full for comfort – hey, that is my outlook. Some people love to see bursting closets.
- To get into it right away, sew two easy wearables to replace two ready-to-wear items from your RTW group. Sure it takes time to think it out – that is a fun exercise, actually. Mood boards are nice if you have a place on your wall; I prefer a binder where “planned” inspiration can be inserted in plastic sleeves.
- Lastly, I ought to clarify that I sew all my outer clothing. I don’t sew undergarments — well, maybe one day……
- How do I organize all my makes in the closet? It changes each time I look in my closet. That’s fodder for another post!
Are weighing your options regarding a completely sewn closet? Or you are already well-entrenched in the process. Do share your thoughts in the comments section.
Keep sewing, friends!