If you read part 1 of this 3 parter you’ll have seen how I pivoted in my life to come to a point of slow living and intentional actions as a daily practice. This wasn’t easy and came with a lot of thought and planning which I wanted to discuss in this post specifically in the area of my sewing habits.
Changing the way I viewed things started with Instagram. Clickable links, hashtags and ads spur us into action automatically, subconsciously buying just because something looks good on someone else. Usually these things don’t fit our lifestyle or body type or the fabric is just incredibly pretty and we’re drawn in. This is a huge thing that got me started intentionally making as I had a constant habit of impulse buying, especially if it was on sale. Space and waste weren’t aspects I cared about if they were on budget so it didn’t matter what I bought if it was nice and affordable. However I’ve realized that just because you can buy something doesn’t mean you should.
Additionally taking inventory of my stash and closet helped tremendously too. I knew what was in my wardrobe so I didn’t buy similar things. I knew fabrics and patterns that did and didn’t work for my body so I would avoid buying them. I became very self aware of myself and my sewing habits.
What about you? What can you do to start sewing intentionally and change your own personal habits that you feel need some help?
3 Ways You Can Start Sewing With Intention
1 | Determine what you want from your clothing
Identify your expectations from your closet. I was already doing this, but if you sew and are looking for some detailed written guidance and a plan like I needed, I highly suggest purchasing the E-Book Dressed by Deer and Doe Patterns as mentioned in the previous post. From my own perspective, determining what you want your clothing to do for you and how it impacts your life gives you more control over impulse buying and the feeling of the need to jump on bandwagon purchases. I am not the kind of person who can have just casual clothing as I work in a business casual setting and have congregation and Bible study twice a week. My clothing needs to be able to work in multiple settings and be comfortable as I sit and stand for long periods of time. And so it goes with your own wardrobe. Determine how you need it to function for you, no matter what that may be.
2 | Choose Fabrics and Patterns Accordingly
Again what are you wanting your clothes to do for you? You have full control over function. Fabrics like cotton and linen can breathe in the spring and summer and be layered in the colder months, so I tend to go more towards those types of textiles and anything else natural in fiber. I avoid polyester because it doesn’t mix with my skin and is not eco friendly. Personally I take an eco conscious approach to choosing fabrics for myself. For patterns, I lean towards Indie patterns that give me multiple choices in wardrobe wear. Choose workhorses for your patterns. Some great examples are Closet Core Patterns and Wiksten. You can also choose patterns that are staples in themselves but are also easy to modify into other clothing item staples like patterns by True Bias and Chalk and Notch.
3 | Mend, alter, and repurpose clothing
One of the biggest turn offs for me is when a garment I make no longer fits right, however, I’ve experienced the joy that comes from altering a garment to make it work for you. Taking the time to learn your body will allow you to fall in love with it and want clothing that flatters all of you, and altering can only enhance that experience as you make clothes confirm to your body type and shape. I’ve also found that in some patterns I can make a certain size so the garment fits me even if I gain or lose weight and that I can sometimes make the seam allowance larger so that my clothing can grow with me and my body with minimal effort from me. Books like Mending Matters are great for those wanting to learn how to make the most of damaged clothing or repurpose items to be made into other wearable pieces, and some things can be dyed or painted to achieved a new design or look creating an almost whole new garment.
Thanks for rocking with me through this blog post series! Tomorrow is the last part, part three, where I’ll let you in on what I’m doing to live slow and become more intentional. Looking forward to sharing with you then!