Note: I actually wrote this post ages ago when it was still cold in the South. That explains any odd references to tights–which no self-respecting southern gal would be wearing in May!
How do you decide what to sew?
I know a lot of sewists out there like to sew whatever they feel. And I know there are many who have been caught up in this wave of wardrobe sewing. Those of you who are attempting to sew according to a plan, do you ever find it difficult to plan wisely?
I still struggle sometimes trying to determine the difference between a garment I know I’m going to wear and a garment that I ought to want to wear because it’s something that everyone else is wearing. I was thinking about this the other day. How can I make consistently great wardrobe-sewing choices?
And then I realized–the best time to decide what I need to sew is when I’m getting dressed in the morning and I don’t know what to wear. I’m more likely to be inspired by what everyone else is wearing when I’m sitting down with pen and paper and a hundred blogs to read. I’m inspired by what I actually want to wear when I really want to wear something that doesn’t exist in my closet.
I imagine it’s something like the difference between basic training and the battlefield (super dramatic metaphor, yes, but just go with it). Spending hours falling into the deep, dark abyss of Pinterest or trolling countless sewing/fashion blogs is like your basic training. You learn what’s out there. You get an idea of what you can make. You discover what you like to look at. But, when it comes time to actually put on some clothes and rush out the door–that’s the battlefield. That’s when things get real. That’s when things don’t always go according to plan. Sure, maybe I pinned and made a yellow pencil skirt that I thought I absolutely couldn’t live without, but if I never want to actually put it on in the morning, what’s the point?
Sometimes, I’m standing, staring into my open closet trying to figure out what clothes best reflect the girl I am that day. It’s too cold for my Moss; I just wore my Lady Skater yesterday; and all my Archers need to be washed (true story). First of all, that tells me that the Lady Skaters and the Archers are really excellent wardrobe choices. Also, I need tights to wear with my Moss (get some gray tights, Jen! Honestly. . . ). When this happens, I always have a thought along the lines of, “If I just had a ________ then I could wear ________” or “I’d really like to wear _______ but I haven’t made one yet.”
These are the makes that need to happen. These are the garments that if I made them, I would actually wear them. How do I know that I’m not a vintage-lovin’ gal? I have never, not once when I’m getting ready thought, “I’d really like to wear a 60s style wiggle dress today.” How do I know that I love a knit skater dress? Because I wear mine every chance I get! Because there are some days when I think, “I really want to wear my navy Lady Skater, but people will think I’m weird if I wear it three days in a row.”
Here’s the catch: thoughts occurred and thoughts remembered are two different things. Thinking, “I need more knit dresses,” at 6:30 in the morning may not mean that I remember that I need those knit dresses a month later when it’s time to make another plan. (Oh, who am I kidding?? My love of knit dresses is well-documented. But you get my point!)
The solution? So simple, I probably don’t even need to mention it.
But, I totally will.
Post-it Notes! All I do is take a moment to ask myself, “If I could wear anything today, what would it be?” When the answer comes to me, I either find its equivalent in my closet, or I jot the idea on a note and stick it to the inside of my closet door. When planning time comes round again, all I have to do is match my wardrobe wish list with existing patterns. To help me in my wardrobing endeavors, I’ve been curating a Pinterest board of potential patterns. Like virtual sticky notes!
Thanks to a simple office supply, some day I will stand in front of my open closet doors and rather than feeling like my closet is full of nothing, I’ll be greeted with more options than I can choose between.
Idealistic? Unrealistic? Maybe. But I believe!
Do you have any great tips for sewing what you’ll love to wear?