RTW Three Month Fast Done and Dusted!


So I’ve made it to the end of my self-imposed fast. With the exception of a pair of pyjamas, matching dressing gown (which I did have an excuse for: Children In Need day at school) and one reversible sports bra (no excuse for this one, just shouldn’t have looked on that sale rail…), I’ve ย managed to avoid all RTW purchases, including shoes which I was originally going to allow myself. It turns out my will power is a lot stronger than I thought it was. Oh, and I didn’t actually need any ๐Ÿ™‚ It didn’t surprise me that I lasted the first month absolutely fine, but two and eventually three months? Oh, yes, now that did surprise me!

So, did my fast actually make me wear my own makes more?

Without a doubt, yes! Forcing myself to have a massive clear out at the same time as my fast enabled me to really see what I actually had and wore frequently, and also to discover a few forgotten items lurking beneath my poor, overloaded hangers. I forced myself to wave goodbye to a few of my earlier makes whichย saddened me, but it was time to go.

I ย forced myself to wear more of my ‘best’ makes: for work or just casually running errands. Getting rid of so much old stuff made space for better items to become more every day. I’m really pleased I’ve managed to change my mind set on this: a pleasantly surprising outcome to the fast.

So, what else surprised me?

Well, I actually really enjoyed the process. As did my husband who is delighted with the (very small, granted ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) extra space I’ve allowed him in a joint wardrobe in our spare room. It’s also been refreshing not to have to hide certain bags (ahem… Now I can’t be the only one guilty of this) before his arrival home.

Because I’ve been saving a little money it’s been nice to treat the kids to lunch or cake when we’re out and about a bit more. I’ve also enjoyed buying a few well-chosen accessories which I’ve needed for a while.

I’ve finally realised that buying/owning too many clothes is actually ridiculously overwhelming and impractical. I’ve enjoyed experimenting more with putting well-loved items together differently and I really have a clear idea of what my wardrobe is now missing. Namely, really well-fitting, high-waisted jeans (which I have no intention of attempted myself, I know my limits), a couple of ‘coloured’ dresses (far too much black and grey) for work would be nice and I can sew myself, and some self-made, evening tops.

And finally, because I couldn’t buy clothes it’s made me really consider my own makes far more carefully. I’ve been so pleased with the recent makes I’ve created and know that they’ll be worn lots (even that Bristol skirt). This is a huge improvement and has really made me far more practical with my sewing projects. Having a little extra to spend on nicer fabrics has helped with this too.

Did I run to the shops as soon as November was out?

Not really. Timing was on my side and the avalanche of Black Friday/Weekend offers in my inbox totally put me off any shopping last week. However I have found, and ordered, some lovely jeans. Fingers crossed the fit will be right…

And finally, advice for anyone else thinking of giving it a go?

Just go for it! It’s incredibly liberating and if I can do it… Giving myself other wardrobe ‘projects’ to busy myself worked really well. As I mentioned above, a massive clear-out was really therapeutic. I also appreciated unpacking my Winter woolies just as I was getting bored of my newly pared down wardrobe.

Avoiding clothes shops totally really worked for me. As did cancelling a fair few mailing lists I’d got myself on to. Keeping temptation firmly in check kept me focused.

And my monthly, fabric treats (final one featured above, this time from Aberkans in Manchester) really helped to motivate me. Although I now have plenty and need to stay well away as I’m aware I’m just replacing one addiction with another ๐Ÿ˜‰


So I’m going to enjoy a little break from fasting and see how I do. I’m hoping my shopping habits have changed for good, but I’m well aware I’ve timed this badly with the end of year sales looming… I’m going to see how I go, but there’s always January to put myself on another, longer stint…

Anyone else tempted to give it a go? ย Or any advice if you’ve completed a fast yourself?


32 thoughts on “RTW Three Month Fast Done and Dusted!

  1. I’ve been really wanting to do this… maybe at the start of the new year I’ll give it a go! ๐Ÿ™‚ Especially the clearing out part. I’m a little afraid of the ‘replacing addictions’ part, though ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have a tendency to plan too many makes and purchase the fabric ahead of time and then it sits there for too long. Maybe a fast all around is in order ๐Ÿ™‚ Great job, though. Very impressed!!

    • Both at once sounds tough-going! But I guess if your stash is already quite impressive it would make it easier. If you build in a change of season, it definitely helps with the boredom factor… Seriously, if I can do this anyone can ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Well done indeed! You so deserve the fabric treats! But you shouldn’t discount making your own jeans – Ali any myself have already agreed to have a Jeans January to follow on from Jumping into June and really it wouldn’t be the same without you!

  3. Well done you! I’m seriously considering having a fast in the New Year and your review has made me much more excited for it! Obviously, I will have to get the Boxing Day shopping out of the way first! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Well done Teresa, to be applauded, definitely! I’m not a clothes shopper anyway, so I probably don’t appreciate how hard a RTW fast can be, but it makes sense to concentrate on your existing wardrobe and try to fill in any gaps there. If they’re handmade, then all the better!

  5. Congratulations! I’m almost on an imposed RTW fast myself ever since moving to Scarborough where the choice of shops is terrible! Probably why my sewing has taken off really! When I lived in London I was terrible! I pretty much had to walk through a shopping centre to get home and spent so much money on clothes (and hid them in bags!). It’s not an easy thing to do when there’s temptation!

  6. Congratulations – I have been trying to clear out and focus on wardrobe gaps too – it has been slow going though in a busy autumn! I do find as I make more myself I am less tempted to shop


  7. Very impressed at how well you kept to your fast – you’ve demonstrated that it’s actually fairly painless (apart from a couple of essentials, which I’ll happily let you off with) to steer clear of the shops for a few weeks. Clothes shopping is rarely my idea of a good time anyway!

  8. Pingback: Top 5 of 2015 | Life by Ky

  9. I decided to go RTW free for a whole year this January, I have made it to April without buying anything. I have only bought a few bits for the kids that were so cheap I couldn’t make them for less.
    I struggled with too many clothes but nothing to wear but another blogger put me on to marie kondo and her book on the life changing magic of tidying. It’s amazing, my wardrobe is a third of the size and I don’t miss anything and is mainly hand made.
    Unfortunately I don’t save much money as I am now addicted to pattern buying and then searching for fabric to replenish my wardrobe.

    • ๐Ÿ™‚ That last bit made me smile, I think we’re all collectors at heart, that’s why we’re drawn to sewing our own ๐Ÿ™‚ Well done so far! I actually found it easier not to shop at all (ie not even looking) rather than trying to be ‘good’. I’m a bit on the fence at the moment, but trying not to purchase anything I could realistically make, except when the price is so good I couldn’t buy the fabric for the same. I do still have a LOT of clothes though…

      • I love your posts, I subscribe to love sewing magazine too which adds to my stash of patterns. I have made quite a few but you seem to have made a lot more and ones o haven’t so very inspiring…..if only work didn’t get in the way of sewing!

      • Thank you! Yep, I get overwhelmed sometimes too by the sheer amount of choice. I’ve been determined to sew more of what I’ve already got this year. Much though I’m drawn to pretty dresses and anything sparkly (magpie-mind), I’m also determined to sew a LOT more practical, every day stuff this year. So far so good…

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