Handmade Wardrobe: One Year In

    September 7, 2017

    The fall season always feels like the true New Year to me. It’s the time of year when I haul all my sweaters out of storage (a.k.a. the plastic tub under the bed) and go through my clothes, including my older handmade items. I spent the Labour Day weekend doing just that, as well as going through my fabric and patterns.

    One year after starting my handmade wardrobe project, I have tallied up my makes and my remaining store-bought clothes. My current wardrobe consists of 69 items in total. At first glance, I was disappointed that my handmade total was only 55% (it feels like it should be higher), but when I looked back at my Before post and my first update, I saw a big jump.

    True Bias Odgen CamiRifle Paper Co EspadrillesJupe ChardonGinger Flares Grainline ArcherSewaholic Oakridge BlouseSaunio CardiganDove BlouseToaster Sweater 2Bruyere ShirtPauline Alice Quart CoatCascade Duffle CoatCarolyn Pajamas in Rifle Paper Co FabricGinger Jeans 2Luna Pants 6Grainline Linden 1

    Insights so far:

    1. I find it fascinating that my total number of garments continues to dwindle, despite my new makes. Part of this is due to the fact that some of my clothes are finally falling apart faster than I can replace them. But, it has also been interesting to see that I really don’t need that many clothes. My total number includes everything except shoes, socks, and underwear (although I do plan to make some of each of those), so the number of day-clothes is relatively small. I’m not someone who believes in a capsule wardrobe or a uniform, but it seems like I might end up with a capsule collection without meaning to.
    2. I need to sew a season ahead. This one isn’t really fun, but if I don’t, it’s suddenly September and I didn’t manage to make a bathing suit to use during our brief hit of summer. Making 2 winter coats in October last year turned out to be excellent timing.
    3. I need to capitalize on my enthusiasm for a pattern and batch-sew multiple items at one time. You know that saying “If you find something you like, buy it in several colours” Yep. I need to do the same thing for sewing.
    4. I love Named Patterns! In the past, Named would not have been my go-to pattern company, but my Sointu Tee, my Kielo Wrap Dress and my Saunio Cardigan have been some of my most worn, and most loved items.
    5. Everything takes longer than I think it’s going to. Everything.
    6. 99% of the time, I am wearing at least one handmade item each day.
    7. My sewing productivity still goes up and down, depending on my available time and the weather.  I am so happy to have this project to help me re-focus on consistency. I am more excited about my goal than ever. I want to make so many things! Each garment gets me excited for the next and I have a whole stack of different patterns I want to make.

    Here’s the breakdown of the total cost:



    1. I have been procrastinating on the scary stuff: bras, bathing suits, and bags.
    2. I want to make at least one party dress (or tuxedo type suit?) this year (something for Christmas Eve or NY EVE).
    3. I still need to work on knowing where my fabric comes from. I’m glad that some of the fabric stores are taking the opportunity to make the origin more clear in the listing online. I’ve got some Japanese flannels and some more American denim to use as well.
    4. A trip to Art and Sole Academy. I have been drooling over their workshops!
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    I’m calling this my “Corporate Headshot Day Outfit.” It feels very Follow the Money, no? For this make, I used a light weight stretch poplin from my fabric stash for the Sewaholic Oakridge Blouse. It’s…

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