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Sunday, 22 July 2018

What three years of saying no to new clothes looks like

Colour combo love. My half-thrifted, half-handmade PJs
I got quite a shock when I went back through my posts to see when I basically stopped buying new clothes... It was January 2015 – three and a half years ago! No wonder things are starting to get dire in places. I haven't gone back to the audit document a lot, but it would be interesting to see whether it's decreased much in size. I am aiming to fit all my clothes into the wardrobe together without having to swap winter out for summer etc, but I'm still a way off that.

I haven't gone all minimalist and whittled my wardrobe down to a handful of items. While it might be a great online fad, I don't see how it's very sustainable – throwing out perfectly good clothes to keep only the ones you wear a lot. It just means you'd end up replacing them faster when you could have put clothes that aren't on high rotation into the mix to extend their life.

Nor have I gone on a making spree. Again, I think it's more important to look after my already considerable wardrobe and only replace when necessary using this approach.

There are few categories of clothing that I'm never going to buy secondhand, nor likely ever make, and that's the shoes and underwear. The first things to go have been the shoes, as they were fairly old to start. I replaced a pair of summer sandals last season and a pair of winter shoes this season, but other than that there's been nothing new*.

Falling apart at the seams

A few weeks ago, there came a perfect storm of clothing disintegration. First there was the pair jeans that had already been mended once – they're now back on the mending pile for another go. I was out to lunch with friends and took a giant step back onto the balcony, after having been for a bit of a wander, when there was an almighty rip. Thankfully we were about to go home anyway...
One woman's personal challenge to see how long she can go without buying new clothes by mending, making and thrifting.
Then I noticed the wear on this pink vest. I don't think I've ever worn out a knitted item before – except socks. I'll try some darning on this and see how it goes. It's a firm winter favourite so it would be great to extend its life.
One woman's personal challenge to see how long she can go without buying new clothes by mending, making and thrifting.
Then there were two pairs of pyjamas that completely wore through – in the same week. They're so threadbare now that they'll be added to the rag pile with better bits salvaged for upcycling in quilts.
One woman's personal challenge to see how long she can go without buying new clothes by mending, making and thrifting.
I'm clearly spending WAY too much time sitting around in my PJs these days. To solve this problem, I bought a flannel shirt from the op shop and some flannel fabric to make myself a new pair of PJ bottoms by cutting a pattern from one of the pairs that died.
One woman's personal challenge to see how long she can go without buying new clothes by mending, making and thrifting.

Better than shop-bought

It's the longest time since I've sewn a garment, but it only took an afternoon. I have to admit I got into them the minute I got home yesterday – they're so comfortable, and making them myself meant I actually got a pair of pants long enough for me.

I can see these ones will be in danger of wearing through too!
One woman's personal challenge to see how long she can go without buying new clothes by mending, making and thrifting.
There are so many great indie pattern makers out there these days and lots of online inspiration. Have you been getting back into making your own clothes?

*Except for the gym emergency back here.

2 comments:

  1. Well they don't look all that much like PJs. Perhaps you could wear them day and night. Or was that the idea?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't tempt me! I already spend too much time in them.

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