A bit of a change of pace today lads (if there are lads? make yourselves known!) and lasses – I’m not sharing a make this week! Not that I don’t have makes to share (believe me, the backlog is real), but I wanted to take this chance to reflect a little bit on clothing and fashion, and what the year holds in store for me 🙂
I talked a little about discovering my personal style last week, and how mind-blowing (and fun!) that proved to be for me. It also changed the way I shopped and considered clothes a lot. I’ll freely confess that I was something of a fast-fashion addict prior to stumbling across the majestic wonder that is Dior’s New Look. I was constantly buying new clothes, everything from t-shirts to party dresses to shoes, taking home with me any pretty thing that caught my eye. I tried out a lot of different shapes, colours and styles during that time, which certainly wasn’t a bad thing. But after a few wears, I’d tire of them, or decide I didn’t like how they looked on me, and to the back of the cupboard they would go. I also wanted clothes as cheap as I could get them, so many didn’t survive the scant wears they got terribly well either. Sometimes, they didn’t even get worn – I sold a dress at a second-hand market a couple of weeks ago that still had the tags on.
But everything changed once I actually knew what I liked to wear. I could now be more discerning in my choices while shopping, knowing that no matter how pretty a dress is, I won’t like wearing it if it doesn’t have a nicely defined waist. And almost automatically, I was buying better quality – more classic retro and vintage looks tend not to appear as often in the cheapest shops. Between the better quality and my genuine love of them, my new clothes got more wear and I was buying less. Then I started sewing, and that changed everything again! I hardly ever buy clothes anymore, generally only doing so if I have a voucher to spend or it’s something I can’t or would prefer not to make – for example, I still buy most of my knitwear, because I’m not quite up to producing it myself yet (though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time…). Sewing is obviously more time-consuming than shopping, and it’s generally a more involved and thoughtful process, so my consumption dropped again and my appreciation for my clothes grew even further, knowing exactly the work that went into them 🙂
This isn’t me making some big statement about consumerism, calling big clothing retailers evil (though you have to admit, they are a little morally dubious), or criticising anyone who buys inexpensive clothing (I live the student life – believe me, I feel the budget constraints). But it is a little reflection of how I have come to appreciate my clothes more, and where they have come from, whilst enjoying them more and feeling better wearing them than I did before. I don’t know that I’ll ever be a capsule wardrobe person – I am way too much of a frosting sewer (and proud of it!), and I see nothing wrong with having a top that only goes with one skirt, so long as it’s one damn fabulous top that you love and wear with that skirt all the time 😉
That being said – I am moving towards my wardrobe having a greater proportion of, if not entirely, me-made clothing, so a bit more cake will be required (although I am sort of looking forward to that, given I’ll be acquiring an overlocker this year!). To help me keep on track with that, I thought it might help if I posted my sewing goals for the year; that might help me commit to them a bit, instead of tossing them to the side every time I see a shiny new dress pattern 😛 So here goes!
In 2016, I want to sew:
- At least three new shirts. I’m definitely going to need them, as I’m at the hospital almost every day, and I already have the fabric and patterns for them, so really no excuse! I’ll be sewing Butterick 6133 and a pattern from Boundless Style 🙂
- Netties! I want to have a go at both the dress and bodysuit versions, just waiting on that overlocker 😀
- I’ve already sewn one pencil skirt from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing (post coming next week!), and I’d love to make another. Just as soon as I can justify splashing out on some more nice wool…
- A super-cool woollen pinafore-type dress, like the variation in the Gertie book; will be sewn once budgetary restraints allow the purchase of above-mentioned nice wool.
- Another shirtdress! I love my red Simplicity 1880, so I can’t wait to sew it up again – I’ve even found the perfect green rayon for it too! 😀
- COATS. 2016 is going to be the year of coats I’ve decided. I already own B5824, I have bought some *gorgeous* silk twill destined to become the most hectic Robson ever, and I have my eye on some amazing houndstooth for a Clare. This isn’t going to be a cheap undertaking though – I am reaaaaally hoping I get some fabric money for my birthday this year 😛
That’s some heavy-duty sewing right? Especially all those coats. So please meet my new toy: a gorgeous vintage Singer 201P!
I snapped this lovely up on eBay for the outrageously good price of $50. Its vintage is approximately 1956-62, and it’s in excellent working condition, with all its original feet and accessories 🙂 It’s a solid little thing too, and I can’t wait to see it properly in action on some of the bigger projects I have planned. The woman I bought it from was absolutely lovely, and seemed pleased it was going to a good home and destined for lots of use. I’m sure you’ll be seeing lots of it in the year to come! The only thing that has required maintenance so far is the power cord/foot control wiring – the electrical parts hadn’t faired quite so well as the mechanical. But Dad helped me fix it up so it’s all good to go now 🙂 I’m still sewing on my little Janome too, of course – I couldn’t live without my automatic buttonhole function, and it’s much better for sewing lingerie. But just you guys wait till I have my serger too – then I will be truly unstoppable 😉
Of course, I’m allowing myself plenty of frosting sewing, too – I’m planning dresses for both my birthday party, and my university ball again, and I’m really looking forward to sewing up some gorgeous tropical print cotton I bought whilst on holiday in Rarotonga. And I’m sure I don’t even need to say it, but there will be *plenty* of lingerie makes featuring this year too. Finally, I’m excited to say that this year I’ll be participating in the Vintage Pattern Pledge! I have a few repro and true vintage patterns I’d like to sew up this year, as well as more vintage fabric to use – pair that with my new-old machine, and I think I’ve got some #vintagepledge triple threats on the way 😛 I’ll be aiming to sew up at least three of my vintage/repro patterns, so let’s see how I go!
So, a big year ahead! What have you guys got planned for 2016? I’d love to know!
Until next time,
Miss Maddy xx