Yes, the minimalism trend is big now, and I’ve been embracing many of the ideas of it, too. My son came home from college and asked why the house looked so much less cluttered, so my efforts have been paying off!
After giving away several bags of clothing, both handmade and store bought, for the first time I feel like I really don’t need or want anything. I’ve also purged a lot of fabric and patterns already. As you may know, having too much fabric, patterns, and projects planned can make you feel overwhelmed and anxious , and almost guilty for not making all the things.
Now I doubt I’ll ever have a capsule wardrobe, or only 33 items of clothing like I’ve read about on some minimalist blogs. I love fabric, color, and to sew the occasional completely impractical and frivolous item. While sewing clothes is about making wearable items, it’s also a creative hobby so we can’t give ourselves too strict of rules.
Just because it’s Black Friday doesn’t mean you have to go out out and buy ten more patterns to add to your stash, because they’re on sale. If you never get around to making any of them, that’s just money wasted anyway. No use beating yourself up over it. I should know. I still have my patterns and fabrics from last Black Friday! As sewing blogs have become more and more commercial, the urge to get on that consumer treadmill to buy more unneeded fabric and patterns grows bigger for many of us with all the affiliated links and sale codes urging us to buy, buy, buy.
Where does this urge to constantly sew clothes come from, even when one doesn’t need any new clothes and has a closet full already, but still feels like they need to make new ones? I imagine it comes from the same feelings that make most non sewers feel like shopping. Instead, we sewists feel urged to sew more clothes that we don’t really need because we love to sew. Perhaps we sew at a frantic pace for the attention we get on social media, just for the love of it, or to stay busy and avoid other things in our lives, I don’t know. But sewing can feel like addictive at times, at least for me it has, and after sewing constantly for the past five years, I have to admit I feel tired from so much sewing. no . I’m not quitting because I love making clothes, but…..
….Balance is key. We sewists are carrying on with an important skill and tradition to be proud of. There’s no way we can keep up with all the ideas coming to us in this age of fast fashion, Pinterest, and the instant gratification culture. We don’t need to keep up with every fashion trend or new pattern everyone else is making.
In 1900 US consumers spent 14 per cent of income on clothing, yet may have only purchased a few essential items. A winter coat, a Sunday suit or a special dress. Clothing was much more expensive compared to today and people had very tiny closets, as those of you living in old houses know. Today’s consumer (source) spends 4 percent of their income on clothing yet may have dozens and dozens of new purchases every year. We can’t keep up with that as sewists.
I’ve started sewing less this year, although I’ve still sewn an awful lot compared to most people. I’m no longer rushing through one or even two garments a week like I used to. I’m thinking very carefully about what to make and how it fits into my lifestyle.
Do you ever read blogs and feel almost exhausted just looking at the sheer amount of clothing bloggers make? I often wonder how some bloggers can fit in so much sewing into their lives when they have families, jobs, children, etc., It makes me think of that fairy tale with the shoemaker and the elves. I’ve received comments from some of my own readers in the past, wondering the same thing about me. The truth is, I wasn’t balancing things in my life that well back then when I was sewing all the things. You should have seen my messy house!
However, this is a sewing blog after all, and if I’m not going to sew myself things as often, what will I have to blog about? Well, I’m making a safari jacket for a magazine article due at the end of the month, and I have a few things planned for my son and husband. Actually my husband can really use some new clothes. He’s a bit eccentric about his clothes and won’t buy anything made in overseas factories. He doesn’t get new clothes very often, and has worn the two shirts I’ve made him to death. He can really use some sweatpants and I like these slim cut joggers from Burda 6719.
So how have your attitudes about sewing your wardrobes changed, if they have at all, and how do you plan to manage your sewing projects while keeping balance in your life in 2016?