1. I made 17 pieces for myself this year. That's more than I needed. (My list will help decrease numbers.) :)
2. The stash is a good place to start. My stash yielded 2 garments (+ 1 for Julia).
3. As always, letting go of the unnecessary is freeing. I released a bunch of fabric + patterns from my stash to others who can use them (via etsy + donations to a craft reuse store).
4. Zero-waste pertains to making clothing too. I was able to make 6 pieces from existing garments + scraps left over from other projects (+ 2 for Julia). No new materials were bought, and something better always resulted. (Yay!)
5. Trial + error are part of the process. 10 of this year's 17 made pieces remain in my current wardrobe (+ 1 remade into something for Julia). I don't feel very good about the 6 pieces that I made and didn't keep...and that's one of the major drawbacks I have with making my wardrobe. It can be difficult to know exactly how a certain fabric will work as pants...or how a certain style will sit on my particular body...until after it is made. Hopefully someone found those donated pieces + is enjoying wearing them...but I still feel like they were wasteful. Bottom line: I don't need pieces in my small wardrobe that don't earn their spots.
6. I wasn't great at sticking to this challenge. I bought some thrifted pieces...a few fair pieces...and one pair of not verifiably fair shoes...without trying to make them first. I couldn't find suitable sweatshirt fabric + matching ribbing...I knew t-shirts would not come out looking great...and I found two pairs of vintage pants that are durable + fit. No promises were made about buying nothing ready-made, so I don't feel too bad about this...although, again, I know that the list will decrease the numbers.
7. It is still difficult to find suitable garment fabric...especially ethical fabric.
8. I could be a pattern minimalist. :) Two patterns yielded 6 of my kept garments.
9. As I've known for quite some time, it is easier to sew for warmer weather rather than colder weather. I've knit sweaters, but just haven't found a keeper. Out of the 11 pieces of clothing that I am currently wearing for winter (+ shoes), only 2 are handmade. My current summer collection includes 6 handmade pieces out of 11 total (+ shoes).
10. Trying to make something just to say that I've made it holds no great appeal for me. My goal is to have clothing that I like to wear...whether it is handmade, thrifted, or supports a maker doing good work. Some pieces (in my opinion) just look better when made with access to tools that I don't have access to + am not willing to invest in...a cover stitch machine or industrial machines. It would be great for local fabric stores to offer access to/sharing opportunities for these (+ I would imagine some do). On the other hand, making some garments by hand can result in a higher quality finish.
11. Sometimes sewing saves money + sometimes it doesn't. The main thing, for me is that it fits my budget + results in a quality piece that I will wear.
12. I'll continue to make, because I like to do it. For a bunch a reasons, however, I don't think that an entirely handmade wardrobe is my preferred version of a fair wardrobe. I still think that thrift is the best source of clothing in terms of "fair". It already exists + the waste that came from making it has already been spent. We can often try on thrift to see if it suits us. There is so much pre-worn clothing out there that we could surely clothe ourselves for our entire lifetimes with it. Trading, repurposing + reinventing what already exists is good for the environment, our wallets, + our creativity.
13. Making clothing requires skill. We all wear clothing...so we all depend on garment workers. Perfectly sewn zippers, button holes, and topstitching require an expertise that I have not perfected in all of my years sewing. Garment workers deserve compensation for their skills that will allow them to shelter, feed, clothe, educate and provide health care for themselves and their families.
made in 2017 (for myself) ::
pants- 5- green, clay tencel, red, block print sarouelles, rayon sarouelles
jackets- 2- denim linen, little patchwork
dress- 1- stripe
shorts- 3- clay tencel, denim tencel, voile
top- 3- white linen, block print, voile
jumpsuit- 1- denim tencel
pj's- 1- black liberty
robe- 1- linen
Most of my 2017 makes + some more of my lessons learned can be found under the "made" tab on the right. :)