Year of Sewing

From October 1st, 2015 to September 30th, 2016 I challenged myself to sew (almost) all of my own clothing!  Here's a summary of the goal:


Well, for a few reasons.

I buy way too many 'fast fashion' items.  Tops and skirts that I'll wear a couple times, and then will sit in my closet until I get around to donating them.  Not only is this so incredibly wasteful, it can put a real dent in my bank account!  Sometimes, I'll end up buying something that I think I might look good in, and by the time I've worn it a few times I realize that it really doesn't work for my style and once again the item disappears to the back of my closet.

Has anyone else noticed that a lot of the clothing - even from mid to higher end stores - is kind of crappy?  Its a real bummer when you spend $50 on a top and it gets worn out after just one season!  I want to make clothes out of quality fabrics so that they will wash well and last!  I have a couple dresses that I've sewn, and wear on a weekly basis... they're still in great shape!

I need some more motivation to improve my skills!  I've been stuck in a bit of a rut with sewing the same kind of dresses over, and over, and over again.  Sewing pants and tops with buttons sounds a bit scary... but I want to give it a try!  With this project I'll be pushed out of my comfort zone to sew things I need, but haven't attempted yet.

As a part of this endeavour, I'll be tracking how much I spend on fabric and supplies on a monthly basis, and compare it to what I spent last year on clothing.  It will be interesting to see where I come out at the end... fabric can be pricey, but if I'm choosy about what I'm sewing and don't over do it on the pieces I add to my wardrobe, I'm anticipating that I'll save money!


Well... uh... with my sewing machine?  

I'll be using a handful of patterns, mostly sourced from online, that fit my style and needs.  I work in an office and wear mostly skirts and dresses.  I have a great 1980's Singer sewing machine and a brand new Singer serger that needs some breaking in.

I live in Canada, and it can sometimes be tricky to find the right fabric for certain outfits.  I've been searching the internet high and low to find online Canadian fabric stores (buying from the 'States is expensive!  Thanks low loonie!) and haven't come out with much.  Fabricland can be really hit and miss, so I'll be stopping in at the shop more frequently to see what comes in.  I might just have to be a bit more creative with what I can find!

I made up a list of all the tools I started with at the beginning of the year, along with my old apartment sewing corner.  You can check out that page here!

Wait... Everything?

Well no, almost everything.  I'll be hanging on to a few items from my store-bought wardrobe (such as sweaters, jeans and some tops), and I'm allowing myself to buy bras, underwear, tights/ nylons, and other small staples that would be way too ridiculous to attempt sewing.  At some point I'll hopefully attempt a bra and some underwear, but some things are better left to the pros.

Why on earth are you starting in October?

Living in Ottawa comes with seasons!  All of them!  The weather typically shifts to fall in late September/ early October, so I figured it would be a good place to start, wardrobe-wise.  Starting in January would put me mid-winter, and I'll have missed part of the season by then!  By starting at the beginning of a season rather than the beginning of a calendar year, it makes it easy to sew a fresh wardrobe from scratch.