Apr 12, 2015

#handmadecloset


At the end of my Spring Break, I realized that my closet had gotten a bit out of control, to the point that I couldn't close the doors anymore.  It was tough, but I sent two big garbage bags of clothes, shoes, and purses to Goodwill, and I even included a few of my handmades that didn't make the cut.  Admitting that something I sewed needed to leave my closet was particularly heart-wrenching--I'm so emotionally attached to those pieces.  I think I have a bit of guilt in admitting that I just don't like to wear a particular handmade garment.  If I spent the time and energy to plan and construct the garment, then I feel like I have an obligation to wear it.  I'm aware that this is not an entirely rational argument.


After the pains of purging came the joys of a clean closet with pretty much every item visible.  The doors can now be closed, which, interestingly, has lead to other changes in my morning routine.  I've never been one to make my bed (just ask my mom!), but having a clean, organized closet makes me want to have everything else in the room neat and tidy.  My husband was really confused at first, but I think he has appreciated that small step in housekeeping.


All of this closet-focused energy is quite timely as Me Made May is just around the corner.  I really enjoyed participating last year, and of course, I want to raise the bar a bit for this year's challenge.  My wardrobe is not 100% handmade, actually not even 50% handmade.   I have never made pants or knitted a sweater, so those items are all store bought.  My percentage of handmades is quite high for skirts and dresses; 71% of my skirts are handmade, along with 63% of my dresses.  I've made quite a few blouses this year, but still, only 31% of my tops (shirts, cardigans, blouses, across seasons) are handmade.  I started to wonder how much of my wardrobe I actually want to be me-made.  As much I might love to have passed every item in my closet through my sewing machine, I don't think that's a realistic goal for me.  I work a full-time job, I'm a mama to my two precious babies, and I want to have time to hang out with my husband and maybe even have a few friends.  While my sewing skills have progressed significantly since I started sewing in earnest five years ago, sometimes I'm still unhappy with the way my garments turn out.  I don't think I should force myself to wear things that I don't love.

Is it hard for other sewists to let go of handmade garments?  How much of your wardrobe is me-made?

7 comments:

  1. All my trouser are rtw, as are most of my tops, and about half my dresses. I would need someone to take the children away for a month or two to get a me made wardrobe! This post makes me feel I need to go and clean my closet!

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    1. Time is definitely a big factor! I think it's the major reason why my wardrobe will never be 100% handmade. That, and Stitch Fix! :-)

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  2. I'm a total hoarder and had a really hard time getting rid of handmade garments but the truth was that I had a ton that I just didn't wear but frankly, I didn't like them. Instead of feeling like I was getting rid of something that I had worked so hard on and I had to think about all the things that that garment taught me - like how certain styles look terrible on me, or how to properly apply bias binding, or how you really need to pay attention to pattern matching. In the end, it was hard to get rid of stuff, but I never miss the stuff I got rid of.
    Also, your closet looks awesome!

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    1. That's a great perspective on letting go of handmades that you don't like or wear anymore. Appreciating the journey is such a big part of learning.

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  3. I cleaned out my closet this weekend using the KonMari method and it worked! I also had a bit of difficulty getting rid of garments I've made but once I committed to keeping things that "spark joy" it became easier. I donated 6 lawn bags to Goodwill, one of gently used clothing to my friend and 2 were garbage. I also discarded shoes and plan to do handbags next. Most of my skirts I've made as well as most of my tops and a few cardigans. I have not made pants or jackets yet ( this is the year!) I need them for work. I realized I only have 5 work dresses and I've made 3 of them. I am currently perfecting the fit on a pair of shorts, then will tackle pants.
    I feel so much lighter! This decluttering has made me realize how much stuff I have and things I don't need/use. I am also going to pay more attention to the items I sew as I want to keep the things I create for a long time.

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    1. Reading that book was a big motivator for my clean-out. It really does make you feel a lot lighter!

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  4. When I had small children, I would often remake one of my garments for one of my children. It helped with costs, and kept me from feeling guilty about the costs of a garment that didn't fit or that I didn't like. Now, I'm heartless and just get rid of them!

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