The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Wardrobe Essentials - Stitcher's Embracing the Slow Clothes Movement

Thanks to Charlotte and her discussion about the Slow Clothes Movement I started thinking again about something that has always been of interest to me.  Reducing waste and making a statement about unfair labor practices that bring us cheap and disposable clothing.


So, with that in mind I had an idea:  Not a challenge or a competition, but a new approach to how we sew and use materials.   The following are the highlights of my thought process:


1) Take into consideration your lifestyle and your "palette", as it were.  Plan projects based on what will get the most mileage.

2) Use fabric or notions you already have in your stash, maybe even lay out your fabric for inspiration.

3) Refashion old items or shop at thrift stores (charity shops for you UK people) with an eye of someone that knows they can 'make it better'. 

4)Use those patterns!  We all know we horde!  And remember you don't have to do it EXACTLY like the cover says.  Try it with a different sleeve than what is shown.  All the big 4 since 1972 have been standardized.  You can probably use pieces from another pattern with just a little more effort.

5)If inspiration hits and you just need to make something crazy fabulous don't squash the bug.  This is still about creative outlet.  The goal here is to make ourselves more conscious about what we are sewing.  


To Make it an Ongoing effort:

 a) Post here what you think your lifestyle needs in way of Essentials.

b) Lets break it up into Seasons.  Make sure to let us know which Hemisphere you are in!

c) Look to SewWeekly, your support community! I think it would be great if we could even 


I think it would be awesome if we could make a button to put on our profiles or websites.  I could take a stab at it, but it might take me a week or so.  So how about everyone else?  I would love feedback on this idea!

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Great idea - I love all the things you are proposing and would happily go along with it.  Sorry for the brief reply at this stage - just wanted to show my support.

I love this idea!


Some more random ideas; do you give away old clothes you sewed maybe to friends? Parting with things I no longer wear always helps me to get a better picture of what I really wear.

And how about if those of you who have a unreasonable amount of pattern just exchange them instead of buying new ones?
And if you're like me and always want to sew pretty dresses, why not just wear them even if it is not for a fancy party but just for the trip to the supermarked or the playground? Sure there might get dirty or even get a bit of damage but we can sew so we can fix them...
And we can always try to choose fabrics that fit our lifestyle.
So now I'm off considering my lifestyle :-)

so much better that a pretty dress is worn and gets dirty or damaged, than it stays permanently in the wardrobe and never sees the light of day. Pretty dresses should be made to be worn.
Oh... I so agree Jen..  Why...why... do all that work.. to  be soooo careful with the never gets worn.. SAD!!!

I work in an office for the IT department for a large cable company.  The company itself has been around for ages and if you go to the Big Office its all Suites and Ties.  Fortunately my department is 'corporate casual'.  This means I have a lot more range of things I can wear.  

   My guidelines are: No minis, no plunging neckline, no halter tops, and no ripped clothing.  Jeans are ok on Fridays and weekends.  

   However, I've found ways around a lot of this such as wearing leggings under mini dresses,  camis under low cut blouses, and cardigans over halter tops.  


Days off and weekends I tend to schlep around the house in yoga pants and t-shirts.  I want to up my game a bit and make some cute things that are comfy around the house but takes just a tiny bit of effort to spruce up and head out for errands.  And things I can go to the park with my kids in.


I like the idea of having a weeks worth of dresses.  Sometimes I don't want to bother coordinating, just throw on and go.  I have a very carefully thought out selection of belts, shoes, and scarves.  Basics that with just a little thought can mix-match with a lot of my stuff.  

Right now I only have two dresses I can really get away with wearing to work.  Both are now TNT patterns.  Maybe I can make a few more and throw that into my rotation? 

Love your ideas.. Thankyou for sharing.

Well said Ladykatz! Count me in! I really like the idea of making an inspiration board, I know over at Colette they made a board for spring. It seems so smart to be focused and thoughtful in what we make.


I will need to give thought to what I need in the way of essentials. It might be easier for me anyway, to take a deeper dive into my fall wardrobe, not that I want summer to disappear (since it has rained all of June, I can only hope summer will still come). More to come there.


Also, in the spirit of wearing all things handmade, I wore one of my skirts on a dog walk tonight…through the woods! I mentioned to my husband that I should make him a skirt, much more comfortable than shorts and he looked at me like I was crazy…guys just don't know what they are missing!


I love the idea of a button too!

Cathe, tell you husband is a kilt and only manly men wear those! Hee :)
He told me to keep my Scottish roots to myself…imagine that!
 Tooo funny Cathe..  I just know Johns response was NOT  positive..hahhaha

So utterly cool! You know I'm in!!

I will be planning autum to winter soon.

maybe a international swap shop too!

Count me in - I love this idea.  It is one I have been giving quite a lot of thought to over the last few weeks .... as I struggle to get my "sewing mojo" back.


I have loved doing the weekly sewing challenges, but I haven't been giving any real thought to how those garments fit into my wardrobe/lifestyle (except for the things I did as part of the Colette Spring Challenge, which I managed to fit in with Sew Weekly).  Having recently done a cleanout of my wardrobe (closet), I realised I buy/make a lot of things that I don't really wear - which is a huge waste of money and resources. This has also  prompted me to think a lot about my style (or lack of), but that is for another discussion!


Ladykatza's ideas are great - break your planning into seasons and then work your projects to fit with the Sew Weekly challenges (if that is what you want to do), or just do those that work in with your plan.






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