What To Do When You Dread Clothes Shopping

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Have you ever thought about sewing your own clothes?

This has been a fleeting thought throughout my adult life, but not one I ever really seriously considered…until recently.

A Little History

Sewing clothes instead of buying them ready-made isn’t a new idea for me. My great-grandmother was a professional seamstress. Both my grandmothers sewed clothes. So did my mom.

When I was growing up, instead of shopping for back to school clothes, my mom would take my sister and me to the local fabric store to pick out patterns and fabric.

She made most of our clothes through elementary school and into middle school. When we got to high school she made all of our formals. As an adult, she made my wedding dress!

These memories are wonderful, but making my own clothes as an adult was never a priority.

While I had basic sewing skills and knew the basics about reading a pattern, working full time in a demanding career as an elementary school teacher plus being a mom took almost all my time and energy.

Plus, there wasn’t really a cost savings to making my own clothes. Factoring in both time and money, I could find garments that cost less at a store rather than making them myself.

The thing is, though, I hate to shop for clothes.

Because I hate to shop for clothes, I wear my clothes until they start to get holes at stress points and begin to fall apart.

As a result, I don’t go shopping until I need something. (Which is the worst time to actually shop for clothing.)

It’s hard for me to find clothing that fits correctly and I get impatient with the number of clothes I need to try on.

Inevitably, when I do find something that fits, it’s a pretty basic style. But because I hate to shop and just want to get it over with, I’ll buy the garment in multiple colors.

Therefore, my wardrobe isn’t very inspired and any perceived style I have is blah and boring.

Secretly, I want a closet full of clothes that are fun, flirty, and full of color.

Sadly, the infrequent shopping excursions I go on haven’t resulted in the outward appearance I desire.

Why My Thinking has Changed

A series of events over the past two years has led me to the point of wanting to expand my sewing skills and learn how to sew clothes:

  • In 2017, a personal journey on completing projects at home led me to rediscover the joy sewing brings to my life.
  • In 2018, I came across a blog post that introduced me to Me-Made-May. This sparked in me serious contemplation of making my own clothes.
  • Since my discovery of Me-Made-May, there have been multiple signs pointing me toward actually trying to sew my own clothing. These signs have been in the form of podcasts, blogs, conversations with people at work and everyday life just to name a few. As a result, sewing garments has been on my mind more and more frequently.
  • I’ve joined a couple of Facebook groups and started following some sewists on Instagram who sew their own clothing and have been really inspired by what I see.
  • Currently, most of my clothes are worn in some way, shape, or form. So another dreaded shopping trip is looming unless I take the leap and start to sew my own clothes.

All of these events have led me to the tipping point of being ready to try sewing my own clothes.

Are you at a stage in your life where you are ready to take the leap and try sewing your own clothes, too?

Sewing clothes on a machine

Why You Should Sew Your Own Clothes

There are numerous benefits to sewing your own clothes whether or not you dread shopping for ready-made garments.

Benefits to Sewing Your Own Clothes

  • You can create a unique wardrobe that expresses your style.
  • There would be no limitations on what could be in your closet.
  • You can select patterns that have the features in clothing you like.
  • You can select and combine fabrics and notions to custom design your garments.
  • Garments would fit your body and be tailored to you.
  • You’ll be learning new skills and stretching your creativity which is good for your brain.

In spite of the benefits, I recognize there’s a HUGE learning curve involved in developing the knowledge and skills required to sew your own clothes.

Regardless, I believe the journey and results will be well worth any challenges faced during the learning process.

Next Steps

If you are at the tipping point of wanting to sew your own garments but don’t know how to sew yet, take a look at my Starting to Sew! series.

Sewing on a machine

You’ll learn all the things you would in an in-person sewing class plus some extras. And, you can complete the sewing class at your own pace.

Starting to Sew! is a free self-paced online sewing class comprised of a series of 12 articles and lessons. Each article and lesson was carefully designed to take you step-by-step through learning how to sew on a machine.

Once you complete Starting to Sew! there is a selection of beginner sewing projects that were carefully planned.

Each one provides the opportunity to practice what you learned so you develop the foundational knowledge and the basic skills of sewing on a machine.

Now you’re ready to pick out a pattern and get the fabric and other notions so you can begin constructing the wardrobe of your dreams!

Contact Me

I’m committed to learning how to sew my own wardrobe and discovering another way sewing can bring joy to life.

Together we can learn and celebrate as we fill our closets and drawers with garments we love!

If you decide to join me in this adventure, I’d love to see what you’re making. Send photos of what you’ve sewn and any sewing questions to nicki@theruffledpurse.com.

Follow The Ruffled Purse on Facebook. One of the things I do here is set weekly sewing goals and encourage you to do the same with me. Putting our sewing intentions out into the world is a great way to make progress on projects!

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