The Savvy Sage of Sewing Stimulation

Why A Pattern Isn’t Always The Answer for a Sewing Project?

I watch (or hear) students go to the sewing store and get a pattern and then wander home and loose the inspiration or just not want to make it up.  They were sorta excited at the store, but not so much now.

The truth is that a pattern and fabric is NOT the best place to start when you are thinking of sewing a project. I know.  Sounds really far-fetched, but go with me here.

cuttingfabriceThe problem is not the pattern or the fabric, it’s what should come first, and the first thing is to figure out what you need.  But if you don’t know what you need or how to go about finding out what you need, you may need to get more basic than that.

So where do you start?

In your closet.  This is THE first place to start. What do you have?  What do you not have? What do you need daily?  What do you need weekly?  What do you need monthly or infrequently, but still need?

These should be some of the questions to ask yourself and let me be brutally honest here – if your closet  1.) is full of a bunch of junk, 2.) contains stuff of memories and 3.) stuff that you might fit into… day – – then you need to stop that right now.  Anything you make or buy is going to be useless, because it’s going to get lost in the jumble of junk that is crowding up your closet.  That’s why you need to keep your closet culled and lean and mean.

Now, here’s the shocker, and you’re going to have to take my word for it, but once you have that closet culled out, it is an absolute joy to open it up every day and pick out what you’re going to wear.  It’s not only a joy it’s soooooo easy.  And here’s the other shocker, not only is it going to be a joy to open up the doors and easier, but it’s going to be so much easier on your purse.

And……once you have this culled out, keeping it clean isn’t that big of a problem.  So that means once you start keeping only very select items in your closet and you become very discriminatory about what goes in your closet, it’s not that hard once a season or even once a year to go through and get the items out that you aren’t/don’t use.

And this brings up still another benefit…..when you start looking at what to make in your closet and those things you keep throwing out, well you can mark them off your “To Do” list.  Those things you wear out, they go on the “To Do” list.

Now if you’re like me, I can’t remember from one room to another what I’m supposed to do, and I have lists all over the place. Actually experts say that the very act of writing something down does a lot toward remembering it.  But just in case, it is written down.  So when I’m thinking of something I need, or working in my closet and see a hole, I write it down.  If I’m not sure, I write it down, and go check it out.


Think of it this way:  When you go to the store to get groceries, you keep an ongoing list of things you need.  That way, you’re not buying the 3rd jar of peanut butter  or forgetting the eggs for the second time.  There’s no reason you shouldn’t do the same for your closet.

This is good training, because the coming fashion trend is going to move away from throw-away fashion.  And this is where you start – with your closet. This is learning how to edit your closet and your wardrobe so that it works for you and not only are you not spending time and stress doing stuff you don’t need, but you’re also working on items that you use over and over.

The final benefit – – when you start wearing the clothes you made over and over and over, you not only have a sense of pride, but there is a wonderful amazed realization that clothes really can last a good long time and particularly when they are your favorite ones!

So in time for the new year – here’s to the lean and mean closet of your dreams – and it’s not that hard to do!

Better Living thru Better Fitting

  1. My wardrobe has been lean for some years now and agree completely that it is joy to open the door, however my summer tops all managed to wear out at the same time.

    I’m trying to work out how to make them look a bit different without changing the silhouette too much.

  2. I have learned that your advice is the only way to pick fabrics and patterns. If I don’t need it or it doesn’t work for my lifestyle than not only won’t I wear it,I won’t sew it. I make a lot fewer things that I don’t wear, though I still have my favorites that I love more than other things in my closet. I am wearing that outfit today.

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