Monday, August 22, 2016

Handmade In One Year

A while back, I posted a photo on Instagram of a chambray dress that I sewed right before our beach trip. It was super comfortable and super easy and, coincidentally, it was also super inspiring.

 As a mom, the wear and tear on my clothes is higher than it used to be. Am I the only one? It seems like no sooner than I come home from the thrift store with a pile of new-to-me clothes, things start to deteriorate (although, maybe the problem lies therein, with second hand shopping?). With two pairs of little toddler hands always grabbing and pulling, my shirts quickly get pulled out of shape and end up making me feel slouchy when I'd rather look at least a little bit put together. Let's not even mention all the stains that somehow end up on my clothes that I have no idea where they came from. Or the clothes that I thought met my standards for modesty but somehow are starting to gape in all the wrong places or else they require too much effort to make them modest.

 Out of frustration and also a desire to challenge myself and improve my sewing skills, I decided to start a project. The goal: slowly converting my closet to handmade clothes in one year (more on that in a moment). Along with that, I want to simplify it drastically as well as bring cohesiveness to it.

 One of the things that is frustrating for me when shopping second hand is looking for patterns (stripes, solids, etc.) that I like and finding clothes that match what I already have in my closet. By making my own clothes, I will have control over the color and design of the material and I can choose what suits my tastes as well as what will work well with pieces already in my closet. I am hoping to follow a basic color scheme to give me more pieces that coordinate and that can be versatile with different outfits.

 The idea is to have a mostly handmade wardrobe in a year and with all the pieces that I have in mind to make, that figures out to roughly 1.5 pieces to sew a month. Totally doable, I think. By now you may be thinking, what about the clothes you already have? Well, honestly, there are a lot of clothes in my closet that I simply do not wear. Either they don't fit right or I plain just don't like them or I only have one or two pieces that they actually go with (see above). I am a firm believer that if you don't wear something in 6 months to a year, than you can live without it and there are a number of items of that nature in my closet. Only the clothes that I love and wear regularly will stay.

 You're probably also thinking, how do you have time to do this? That, my friends, is the beauty of having your toddlers go down for a nap at the same time in the afternoon, but most importantly, I am choosing patterns that are simple. I simply do not have time for complicated patterns that will take a month for me to make. So, I have purposely chosen a handful of patterns that are easy to put together and I would like to occasionally feature those patterns here along with some tips and tricks that I discover along the way.

 I don't want to make anyone feel like they have to suddenly develop an interest in sewing and start whipping out their own handmade clothes. Rather, I hope to show you simple patterns that debunk the idea that handmade clothes are difficult to make and also to learn new things and improve my/our sewing skills.

 Every so often I will post an update for you, featuring the pattern(s) and fabric I've used and hopefully you'll be inspired as well.

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