Pause for Thought…


One of the best insights I gleaned from participating in MeMadeMay earlier this year was that I can (without too many problems) wear Memades every day if I force myself to. So why don’t I? Good question…

I probably actually wear MeMades two or three times a week in reality. Clearly sometimes this is about context: I haven’t ventured into making sportswear, I’m not quite skilled enough to contemplate underwear (although I’m sorely tempted) or outerwear such as waterproofs… It’s also about choice. I actually like buying RTW still and I have no plans to stop entirely. Until my skills catch up, I still plan on buying the things I can’t make (or source suitable fabric for).

But while I was away on holiday and forced into contemplating an enforced capsule wardrobe every morning, it struck me that I was never going to wear more MeMades unless my choices were reduced further. And I actually enjoyed having (a little) less choice. Sometimes that very choice is overwhelming. Simpler is sometimes a relief!

So I’m placing myself on a self-imposed RTW diet for the next three months. Yikes! And I’m adding a clause that if I do succumb I have to post about my shameful fall from grace here. I need some sort of public penance to curb my weaknesses! I rarely spend a lot at a time, but I do love a bargain, so sales are my real downfall. I’m going to allow myself footwear (because a girl’s got to have some fun), although even there I need to consider any purchases carefully and right now I don’t actually need any kind of footwear…

And as a reward? I get to treat myself to a fabric shopping spree (within reason, enough for a couple of projects at a time maybe?) at the end of each month. Surely I can manage this? What do you think? My habit is a pretty bad one, but my wallet (still suffering from the fallout from our Florida trip) will thank me 🙂 Wish me luck!



50 thoughts on “Pause for Thought…

  1. I agree. I have made a coat for myself this year (first time ever) and am now making coats for my two little grand daughters. I am so amazed by the design and how well it goes together. Do have a look at Jalie 2680 Women’s City Coat.

  2. Oooh good luck!! You can do it!! Haha I see you’ll be off your diet in time for the January sales!! And I’m loving that brown fabric at the end of your post – how adorable.

  3. Good luck! It’s not so bad – you’ve done the hardest part in deciding to do it. I did a rtw fast for the whole of 2014, and this year I find it do hard to buy clothes. I ended up making a few pairs of leggings to help out with casual outfits.
    It’s a good idea to treat yourselves, and yes buy shoes….lots of shoes!! 😃

  4. Good luck – I have found that I have hardly bought anything for a while, without particularly planning it – once you have enough basic skirts/tops etc it gets much easier I found!


  5. I have been on a RTW fast since 1st Jan and I hardly missed it. I am still buying shoes, 2 pairs so far, undies (4 bras) and tights (too many to count, it’s like I eat them). It’s actually easier than you think. It just made me wear what I already have a lot more, both me made and older RTW. I realised that I can get my ‘newness’ fix from making the latest fashions in home sewing, rather than in the shops. Good luck!

    • Thanks for the vote of encouragement. I have far too many clothes anyway, so I’m hoping to unearth some long forgotten items. Staying as far away from shops as I can also seems like a good idea 🙂

      • I got rid of a whole heap of stuff at the beginning of the Summer, but with two small children, I definitely need to keep on top of it and not let it become a problem in the first place. Nothing like a new term for new resolutions 🙂

  6. Good luck! I bought very little in 2014 and it wasn’t too hard. If you do slip you can always take it back. Just because you bought it you it doesn’t mean you have to keep it!

  7. Good luck – I’m sure you’ll manage it. I’m with Beth, that brown print is wonderful! Can’t wait to see it all made up. The RTW fast is a goal of mine, but I have to be able to make a simple top in less than three weeks to do it! haha

    • Thank you! Fingers crossed I can stick to it. Should think going back to school tomorrow will keep me out of trouble for a while. Been too nervous to do anything with that brown fabric so far, but will push myself to break into it sooner or later 🙂

  8. Good for you and good luck for the next three months! I’m on no kind of RTW fast but I have found that since sewing I spend a lot less on clothes. Well, ready made clothes anyway. My ‘clothes’ can actually still cost about the same when you cost fabric, notions, patterns, etc!

  9. Good luck ~ you **can** do it! Like several others, I’ve been fasting without meaning to for over a year… but that doesn’t include fabric or patterns. 😉 At some point you might feel like having a good clear out of your closet. But you might consider boxing those things that are still wearable & you like. Hide them away & make a note to yourself to bring them out again next season. Works wonders for me, with our 4 seasons & my lack of closet space. 😍

  10. Good idea! I barely buy RTW at all, but good thinking about why we don’t wear me mades. I find it much easier in summer, so I need to make more winter clothes

  11. Your post really speaks to me right now (I am in Florida right now and I might have overdone it slightly on the consumerism, so feel abit soulless. So I think I am going tojoin you in Your three month pledge. There, I am committed now, no going back :-),

  12. There’s something addicting about shopping, the thrill you get from a NEW thing (it’s a lot like eating sweets, I find). But once you go through a bit of a mental adjustment, it’s surprisingly easy to do without it. I very rarely buy any new clothes now, just a couple of things a year. I think it changes how you view clothing–you have higher standards, so when you do buy something, it’s something that really works and is of real use to you, not one of those weird things you buy because it’s on sale and then never wear.

    • I’ve been doing this to an extent for the last six months or so, but definitely need to give myself an extra push! I also need to have a good sort out of what I do have, should keep me busy 🙂

  13. Yes, interesting how reducing our choices can make this happier/easier sometimes. Good luck with you plan to be held accountable. That’s one of the things I love about blogging it not only makes us think more about what we do, but makes us more accountable too – okay that’s two things :-).

    • 🙂 Having so much ‘stuff’ is definitely a very first world problem and one that I do feel guilty about. Time for a bit more of a concerted effort, rather than the slow drip effect which seems to be getting me nowhere fast…

      • I think we’re mostly all the same, having good intentions that get buried under our day to day life. I’m sure a good refocus will get you back on track 🙂

  14. Now this does sound like an exciting challenge! Thinking about it, I seem to wear more me made items than ever before and now I even pick things out in preference to my RTW clothes. Sewing my own wardrobe also means that I don’t have to go shopping – I don’t seem to have the patience of trying things on like I used to! Love that bunny fabric btw and good luck!

    • Thank you! I think from what I’ve seen on your blog lately, you definitely seem to have cemented your own sense of stay lately, which probably really helps 🙂 I’m really hoping blogging about my fast will help me stick to it…

    • Hobbs and Banana Republic are my downfall, but luckily have none too near by which helps a little. I have no plans to totally give up RTW but just need to change my habits a bit. It works for ‘dry January’ every year for me, so fingers crossed 🙂

  15. It amused me when I read your post, as I’d already been mulling over my mini pledge for a day or two – felt like more back to school/end of summer teacher parallels! I bet you will accomplish your mission with flying colours, and I like how it is timed to take you through autumn but to allow time to purchase Christmas and warmer fabrics for real winter makes. Can’t wait to read about your progress!

    • Must be something in the air 🙂 I just need to stay well away from any clothes shops. I should think the first month will be ok, but after that it might get a whole lot tougher! We’ll see…

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  17. I wish you luck! Although, I am sure you will do fine. I am doing the RTW fast this year, and probably next too. I found I had so many clothes in my closet I was drowning in them. Now I only get new what I need to fill in the holes and replace what needs replacing – and those garments I must sew for myself! No buying! It has caused me to organize my sewing plans properly. Of course I have yet to make shoes (hahaha), undergarments (someday!), and I don’t knit, so no socks! You can do this! (Nice reward at the end too, good idea!)

    • Thanks for the support, a while ago I couldn’t imagine why anyone would do this but like you I’m drowning and need to give myself a good kick up the proverbial! So far, so good but it’s only been four days… 😉

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  19. Ouch, I have a confession to make. I bought some RTW today… But, but but, Miss, honestly, I do have an excuse: I really did need a navy 100% cashmere cardie at two thirds off + 10 euros extra! And how the second one in camel hopped onto the counter and into my shopping bag I cannot account for.
    Do I get a pardon?

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