Wardrobe Update #1

December 30, 2016


It’s time to check on the stats of my wardrobe project.

I’ve made 12 garments in total in the past five months. While I am proud of that (there are some very big projects hidden in that number), it shows me that I need to ramp up my production.

The percentage of handmade items compared to store-bought items has grown from 11% to 23%, but this is also because I have been able to get rid of some additional garments (my total number of garments has actually gone down from 94 to 92). You can see what I started with here.

So far, I have completed:

When I ran the totals, I had a moment of panic at the amount of money I’ve spent so far. I am rarely faced with the collected amount I spend on anything and I was a little surprised. However, if I went shopping and came home with all of those items for just $1000 I’d be high-fiving everybody. If I had charged (myself) for my labour–let’s say at $25.00 per hour ($50,000 per year pre taxes)–that would have moved the cost of those 12 items up by $3,400 for a total of $4,406.19.

There is a lot of fabric from unknown origins in my spreadsheet and I would like to work on changing that going forward. You’ll notice the price difference between the projects where you can trace the fabric and those of unknown origin.

Coming up on the Handmade Wardrobe:

2017 Make Nine Handmade Wardrobe

There’s a lot of spring in that collage and we’ve got at least four months of winter to get through first. Expect sweaters, long sleeve shirts, skirts and maybe a dress or two in the coming months.




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  • Reply Maddie December 30, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    You’re so brave to total up all the time and money you spend on your makes! I’ve toyed with the idea before but I’m not sure I’d like what I find… Gotta work on eliminating impulse buys first. Did you find that keeping track like this made you more intentional about what you purchased?

    • Reply Erica December 30, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      Thank you, Maddie! It definitely did. I didn’t want to swap out shopping for clothes with shopping for fabric. I have been getting rid of clothes for awhile now though and really did need to replenish! And those international shipping charges and Canadian duty fees certainly help deter me from impulse purchases!

  • Reply Lia December 31, 2016 at 1:10 am

    Oh my gosh. I love the idea of spreadsheeting sewing projects like that. When I track my time it leads to greater appreciation for the garment – this could only add value! I think I found a new year resolution!

    Also, what pattern is that to the left of the Melilot shirt? I’m intrigued!

    • Reply Erica December 31, 2016 at 2:36 am

      Oh yes! It’s helped me to be neater. Because they are precious items, I’m much better at putting my clothes away rather than keeping them in a heap on the floor. The image on the left is the pant expansion pack for the Chi Town Chinos.

  • Reply Dolors January 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Great work! And beautiful makes!:) And your “make nine” are almost my “make nine”. I’d change the Mélilot shirt for the Bruyère but you have already made that one 😉

    • Reply Erica January 12, 2017 at 4:39 pm

      That’s so fun! I can’t wait to see your Make 9 projects! We’ll have to compare notes at the end of the year. Have you ever made swimwear before?

      • Reply Dolors January 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm

        No, no swimwear (or pants, jeans, jackets or button-down shirts for that matter ?). l’m quite new to sewing and I’m learning by myself but I’d like to try sewing some clothes. Let’s see how it goes! I’m sure yours will be beautiful. I may return to ask you for some help ;p

        • Reply Erica January 13, 2017 at 12:40 pm

          Of course! I got the Jeans Making EBook from Closet Case Files and it was so helpful!

  • Reply Nova Scotian skipping factory fashion to make her whole wardrobe from scratch - News For Canada February 22, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    […] last time Penton calculated her overall costs, she found she had spent slightly more than $1,000 on 11 handmade items, including two winter […]

  • Reply Amanda March 1, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    It’s interesting to see how you’ve gotten so much quicker at making the Gingers. Although, I guess the printed didn’t have back pockets, so that was a slight time savings. Do you include the cost of the pattern in the cost of each project? Or just the first time you use it? Just thinking at this point that Ginger pattern is really paying for itself. Great blog, I’ve had fun going through all your posts today. I’m glad I stumbled on it.

    • Reply Erica March 2, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      That is a very insightful question! I went back and forth about counting the cost of the pattern each time before I began the project. My thinking is that I want to show the cost of the item as a stand alone garment. But, as you said, the pattern eventually pays for itself, which is a great benefit of sewing! Maybe I will start to take the cost of re-used patterns out regular wardrobe updates. Thank you for bringing it up. I’m so glad you are enjoying to project!

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