"Me Made Wardrobe" - The benefits of a handmade wardrobe
Handmade Wardrobe Challenge
Have you thought about where your clothes come from? As a maker, and also someone who owned and operated a handmade children's clothing brand, I have thought about it often. I have taken on the personal challenge of making the majority of my clothing, and I want to encourage others who are inclined to do so too!
Here are the benefits I see to creating your own wardrobe:
This is of course assuming you already have a sewing machine, serger, scissors, basic supplies, etc. The upfront cost/investment is going to be high if you do not. And you aren't going to be competing with fast fashion prices. Can I make a t-shirt for $7 like the one I can pick up at target? No. Even if I source cheap material, I will likely spend more than that without even counting my time and labor. But think about that? If I can't beat that price, how are they affording to sell it at that price. Someone is being taken advantage of, and it isn't the consumer or the retailer. It my opinion, it is the maker.
When we start looking at more expensive pieces however, the affordability comes into play. I can purchase high quality fabric and make myself high end, well constructed pieces, for a fraction of the cost that I will spend at boutique brands.
Sustainability.I won't go into a long explanation on fast fashion vs slow fashion in this post (although that would make for a great post on its own!). It is without a doubt more sustainable to make your own clothes. I source my fabrics from sustainable brands or small shops when I can afford it. The waste of the fast fashion world, the corruption, and the inhumane treatment of workers is a worldwide problem that I don't know how to fix. But, I can participate in it less.
I can either draft patterns myself, or purchase from small shops - which is what I often choose to do. Even when purchasing a pattern, I can tailor it to my measurements exactly. Tailoring really elevates a garment. My grandmother always told me that one of the reasons the rich and famous always looked well dressed had less to do with the clothes and more to do with the fit. When a garment fits your measurements rather than the broad range of average measurements you get off the rack, it automatically looks more put together and expensive.
If you happen to have a body that is a mix of standard sizes, like mine, it can be a nightmare finding clothes that you feel good in! Making my own clothes solves this problem quickly!
I take great care in the construction of these garments, because they are for me. I care more about their longevity than someone else would. The result is a better constructed piece of clothing that will last me a long time.
This won't be true for everyone, but I like to keep things simple when it comes to my wardrobe. Sure I try new patterns from time to time, but I have a rotation of patterns that I will make again and again. I have my favorite blouse that fits like a t-shirt but is dressier thanks to a cuffed sleeve. I've made that shirt several times at this point, and it is my go to.
I love sweaters, and have two favorite patterns that I go back to. A cozy drop sleeve oversized sweater, and a fitted turtleneck sweater.
I've made the same two skirt patterns several times. I enjoy a simple A line and a tiered design. Again, I have made several of these.
Each of these garments fit in the "outfit formulas" that I like to wear, and keep my wardrobe simple and easy to wear. As a busy mom, I love that I can just grab and be on my way but still look put together.
A new blog series.
I will be posting reviews of my favorite tested patterns here on the blog. I'm excited to share my sewing journey with you all, and hope you are inspired to try your hand at making some of your own pieces. Whether you are a complete novice, or an experienced seamstress - this is a great challenge for you! Oh and don't forget knitwear! Some of my favorite pieces are hand knit ones!
Until next time, Cris.