It’s a new year and I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by!
I started the year with a strong desire to start sewing. In the summer my husband bought me a sewing machine and we lugged it all the way to Ecuador in my carry-on suitcase. I started sewing and immediately fell in love with it! Then, three months ago, I decided to start blogging to log my journey and stay inspired, not knowing if it was something that I would continue doing. (I’ve started other blogs before, and lost interest.) But as it turns out, when you are truly passionate about something, it’s not difficult to talk about.
Now, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about why I started sewing in the first place and my ultimate goal with this hobby.
There are many reasons why I started sewing. One reason is that I was searching for a creative outlet. I have always been a creative person. I grew up drawing, and as a teenager I would turn on my music and get lost in a project. I always took art classes when I was in school and I considered myself an artist. But as I got older and life got busy, I soon found my desire to draw fading away.
I eventually took up learning photography. I enjoyed that, and still do to some degree, but eventually that also faded away. I found that I would get caught up in the editing process and wind up spending hours on the computer, and that was something that I didn’t really like. However, learning the basics of photography has definitely been beneficial for me, especially when it comes to photographing for this blog.
But despite all that, for a long time now I have felt like something was missing, like I needed to do something creative.
But that is just one part of the story. Another thing is that I have been simplifying my possessions, including my wardrobe, for the past 3 years now. I have learned that I have basically all my life gone about shopping and creating my wardrobe all the wrong way. I have gone shopping as therapy. I have bought things that I thought were cute, but weren’t really me. I was too easily influenced by what looked good on others or what was currently trending at the time. I bought things simply because they were on sale. (That was a big one!) I would shop thinking that it would somehow make me happier and it never did. (Does any of this sound familiar to any of you?)
Then I came to realize, that I had a large wardrobe full of stuff I didn’t really like, full of cheap clothing that wasn’t really me. Every so often, I would get rid of a bunch of these clothes, but somehow the same thing would always end up happening.
But, these past few years I have learned a lot about myself and how I want to live my life. I can now see the value in having a smaller wardrobe, with higher quality clothes that are just perfectly suited for me. I have downsized my wardrobe dramatically and in doing so I realized that number one, I didn’t have very many clothes that I actually loved, and number two that I really don’t need a lot of clothes to have a nice versatile wardrobe that I love.
Now please understand, my wardrobe is not exactly where I want it to be and it is going to evolve more over the next few years, but I definitely have significantly less clothing now and it is very freeing. It is much easier to get ready in the morning seeing less articles of clothing but more things I love.
And this is how I want to keep my wardrobe from now on. I never ever again want to accumulate a lot of cheap clothing that I only sort-a like.
Now, on our path to simplify, my husband and I moved to Ecuador, to live temporarily, and it definitely has taught us a lot about how to live a more simple life. One thing that I found was amazing is, when I am here I don’t shop. I don’t even have a desire to shop. Most of the clothes are overpriced and cheap quality. So shopping and updating my wardrobe is something I have saved for when we visit back in the States, but this doesn’t work very well with my new way of approaching shopping and updating my wardrobe. A quick visit to the States is just not enough time to be picky and carefully find the clothes I want and at the price I can afford.
This got me thinking. What if I got a machine and finally learned to sew! I always liked the idea of learning to sew and now I have the time to devote to it. Why not learn to sew so that I could custom make my own wardrobe. So I don’t have to depend on what is currently trending in the stores that’s in the price range I can afford. And plus it would be a great creative outlet, which I had been searching for!
I thought about how freeing it would feel to not have to go shopping anymore and be overwhelmed by all the different trends and amazing bargains, only to come home with a bunch of stuff that I only partially liked and then feeling depressed.
Sewing takes a lot of time and energy and it isn’t exactly cheaper than ready-to-wear clothing. So because of this, it is going to take more careful consideration into each article of clothing I make, to make sure it is something that I will love and wear a lot. With shopping it is way to easy to get caught up in that trendy, bargain, over-consuming mind set. So, I believe that this hobby could really help me in staying focused on having a smaller, capsule wardrobe.
Now, I realize that during this learning process I will be creating a lot of things that I won’t get much use out of and that’s ok. That is part of the learning process. But if I can get good at sewing, then hopefully that will be a thing of the past. Then I can finally create custom made garments that are just my style, and finally have a simple, capsule wardrobe. Never again do I want to have an overstuffed wardrobe, full of cheap clothing that I only partially like, and say “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!”
I guess my ultimate goal with this hobby, if I can get good at it, is to have a mostly handmade, capsule wardrobe.
I tried to think about some very specific goals for this year when it comes to sewing and blogging, and I don’t know what it is about me and committing to something, but I just couldn’t do it. I think it has to do with the fact that all of this is so new to me and there is so much out there that interests me right now that I just can’t get focused. I’m interested in so many things like, learning new sewing techniques, refashioning older clothes, creating patterns from existing clothing I own, learning how to draft my own patterns, taking courses, learning more about blogging, coming up with my own tutorials, making more advanced clothes like bathing suits, learning how to adjust patterns to fit me better, teaching others how to sew, taking better photographs for my blog, balancing my time better. You see the list goes on and on and it’s almost overwhelming.
However, I guess I could say, my three main goals are:
1. To improve my sewing skills.
2. To improve my blog.
3. Stick to a schedule for sewing and blogging.
I know that those are super general, but I think the best thing for me to do this year is take time to really develop my style and direction with all of this and see where it all leads.
I want to say thank you to all of you who have read my blog and all who have commented. I love hearing from all of you so please don’t be shy.