Since Friday’s post I have been thinking quite a bit about my sewing and have come to a few realisations.

  1. I have more than enough clothes to wear.
    As in we are half way through summer and I haven’t even taken down the box of summer clothes to add to the transition clothes I already have in my wardrobe.
  2. I love almost all my clothes (and usually the lack of love is that they don’t fit me as well as I like)
    We have limited closet space in this house and I need to start rationalising what was partially hidden when I had the luxury of my clothes spread across two countries. I did do a serious cull when our shipment first arrived but I need to get harsher.
  3. I need to apply the lens of my life now
    I work in the office two, occasionally three days a week. I don’t always stick to not working on Friday but everyone knows its my non work day so don’t expect me to be wearing office clothes. What this translates to in 2-3 head to toe office professional outfits and being mindful of my top layer. With an additional mindfulness that 75-80% of that is New Zealand autumn, winter, spring temperatures.
  4. It is not that long until I retire…
    Health and the latest government policy impacts on my contracts aside I probably only have 3-6 years of office dressing ahead of me max, and given that I investment buy my work wear so it lasts I probably only need a refresh of a couple pairs of pants and skirts to get me through.
  5. But I am not retired yet and last but not least
  6. I no longer live in a tropical climate.
  7. And as an extra – home sewn clothes also end up in the vast piles of clothing waste so replacing cheap fast fashion with quantities of home sewn isn’t a win.

So with all those things considered – what does my sewing stash (patterns and fabrics) look like. One thing in my favour is that probably 80% of my stash has a project attached with about 70% to the point of having a pattern. Currently I have three projects cut out and ready to sew (actually four but one was cut a few sizes ago)

  1. The “toile” for my Friday Pattern Company Patina shirt. This is in a Miss Maude remanent to check the fit etc before I cut into the fabric I fell in love with and bought a couple of weeks ago.
  2. Pink corduroy relaxed pull on pants (Seamwork Max) which were planned for winter home wear in 2021.
  3. A lovely digital viscose print which I think may have been my first fabric purchase in KL at a fabric store (I bought a couple of pre-cut lengths before it) cut into a sundress that I would have worn a lot if I had finished it in Malaysia…
Woman in mirror wearing long cap sleeve summer dress in black floral lawn.

The queued up fabrics and patterns – I have 3 shirt/blouse patterns and fabric which will all be usable as work wear, and then the rest … although I love a good dress for work, only two to three of ten would be totally work appropriate. There is also a heavy lean on high summer/ tropics in my fabrics and colour choices – not quite so much patterns.

There is a fabric a brac in Greytown on 20 January I think I should seriously consider!

In thinking about all of this including planning this post to map it out, I think my intentionality is to consciously slow myself down in attacking the stash. Somewhat ironically the toile blouse I am starting to day is more work appropriate than the fabric I am practising for. At the moment my list for the beginning of the year looks like:

  1. Finish the Patina blouse
  2. Make up the Max pants so they are done for when it gets cooler
  3. Make up the sundress and see how much wear it gets.
  4. In no particular order:
    • make up the two potentially work suitable shirts
    • make up the pink cashmere that I bought in 2020 for a Chanel style jacket
    • make up the Hove jacket (which requires a fabric purchase)

Depending on how the shirts/blouses come out maybe repurposing one of the lighter weight dress lengths to a blouse, and if I am so inspired making up an autumn dress.

Just reducing the list to this is making me feel quite stressed but realistically the dresses will get far more wear if I make them over the next 2-3 years than all at once.

I went and had a look for the New Zealand clothing ration cards from World War 2 this morning (they are different to the UK and US) And so far I have discovered a reference to 26 coupons per adult, per six months, along with some old advertisements for coats being 12 coupons and dresses being 6-8. Stockings were 2 coupons and I hadn’t considered shoes were also included. I need to a bit more research but I am curious if it helps with the discipline of being mindful with our fashion consumerism.

One thought on “Musings on sewing for 2024”

  1. Gosh! Sonja. You have me really considering my clothes purchasing practice.
    I’m fully retiring in a couple of years and currently work about 10 hours per week. I still need work outfits and need to give some thought to what else is needed. I tend to buy for an occasion, but also feel I don’t get the wear/$ spent.

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