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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Those are lovely points, ladykatza.  I love to follow the weekly challenges, but I haven't been participating because I just can't sew something on a week's notice based on somebody else's prompt--what if it doesn't fit into my wardrobe?  I've just recently made it up to a skill level where the clothes I make are consistently better fitting and better quality than RTW, and I've been systematically replacing my basics with homemade.  Doing the Summer Essentials Sew-Along has made me think about what I wear, what I need, and what will be a fun challenge to sew.  


Oh, and mastering pants has opened up a lot more opportunities to sew casual clothes that I'll actually wear.  Dresses are great, pencil skirts are great, but I'm a Katharine Hepburn girl at heart and I'm much more likely to reach for pants on any given day.


I actually tried to do that Colette Patterns color pattern thing, failed miserably, then sewed a bunch of summer clothes, bought a couple of new shoes, and realized that I was subconsciously working from a palette of navy, cream, black, and olive green.  So I guess I do these things whether I try to or not!  

What I like to do with the sew weekly challenge is : I go ahead and make the stuff I want when I want, but add it to a challenge if it fits in.  I found it stressfull to the challenges at first but you find a way that works for you, but the challenges have given me a dicipline that I get in and make  and finish before I start something new, it's all a learning curve.

I didn't do tha colette pattern thing I found it to consticting, although I love the idea of capsule waldrobes. I intend just to improve on this rather than have a whole project.

There will always be items that I would like to try like a pair of jeans, but for now I don't thonk I'm skilled enough so I will have to stick to my shop bought ones, to me this means my list may have more tops to sew.

We are so indervidual it is about what works for you and your life style, and in truth only ourselves we know this!

Good luck though, I think we can all take part at any level we are prepared to.

I agree, just do whatever works for you and your schedule. I don't do every challenge and I don't follow the theme very well. I too prefer pants, that's just me. I work full-time and pants are just easier for me.

I started to pull inspiration knowing that I wear a lot of gray and black (so they are my core) in the winter and found it eye opening what colors I gravitated to.

In the end I just hope I'm very thoughtful about what I consume and bring logic to my closet!
Well said Ladykatza. I think this is a brilliant idea and a button would be an ideal way to show everyones support.  My essentials would need to be comfortable for mothering and yet smart enough for work. I feel like I am always in pants and top or jeans and top. Would be nice up the anti a little. I am just in winter and I find winter the hardest to dress for. Bring the inspiration and ideas. Perhaps an inspiration board would be good. Thanks for that idea Cathe

I'll work on a button this weekend (I'm trying to hone my Photoshop Skillz).  What should the tagline be?  "Wardrobe Essentials: A Stitcher's Green"?  Or stay with "Wardrobe Essentials:  A Slow Clothes Initiative"?  


I dunno. Suggestions?

I like Wardrobe Essentials:  A Slow Clothes Initiative (that's if you can fit all that on a button!) 
Better basics? English is not my first language but how about a picture? I don't know how to create buttons and how much work it is... Just had this picture in my head last night, so do what you like with it :-)

I like the idea! Actually, I'm already practising the above...but I'm also a very impulsive stitcher, I follow inspiration. Planning doesn't really work for me.Iknow I need more tops and jackets but who can stop me from sewing dresses???


Is there a place to swap around here? I'm new on the Sew weekly and still lost a bit... I think it would be nice to have a place to swap patterns, sewing magazines, books, fabrics and even garments. The same way we do ATC swaps?



It's a good idea, though I already do many of these things I don't necesseraly do this for me... Maybe it's time to change! It's summer in France, and it's really hot!! I was just wondering about changing some of my habits! I was thinking 'more dresses' and nice fancy shirts to go with my pants... Refashioning is what inspires me the most, and doing it for me sounds great!!! :) And I guess I will of course think twice before sewing something I'm willing to wear! Love it! (I prefered the 'green stitching' motto, but...^^)

Had something like that in mind... does it help?


This one I like the best,  great job!


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