I went through my closet this weekend – sorting out summer things that I’ll either pack away for next year, sell or donate to charity. There’s a hole in my closet now – time to fill it up again!
Wait…. not so fast….
What do I need? What do I want? What do I sew myself? What do I buy? What’s the budget for time and money?
Oh no. This just got a lot more complicated.
Start simple. What are five things I need?
- Jeans. I have three pairs of Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. They fit well and are comfortable, but they are pretty faded and worn out.
- A fall/winter dress for work. I don’t have anything that I can wear without a blazer or cardigan, and I really need something for meetings and business trips where I need something easy to pack.
- A casual sweatshirt. I have one sweatshirt. That’s it. I bought it on vacation on Cape Cod 4 years ago. I love it but it is worn out.
- A white long-sleeved button-up blouse. Guess how many of this wardrobe staple I have? One. I got it from Stitch Fix last year and it’s a pain to iron. The fabric wrinkles when you look at it.
- A cardigan that’s nice enough to wear to work and casual enough to wear with jeans.
OK. So far, so good.
What are five things I want? Hm. This is harder.
- I want a new winter coat. I made a long dress coat a couple of years ago, and I love it, but I want a new shorter, more casual coat. I don’t need it. I bought a perfectly good wool coat a couple of years ago and it’s in great shape. I am just sick of it.
- I want a below-the-knee skirt for work that I can wear with tights and boots. Again, I have a few and I am tired of them.
- I want some fancy PJs in a nice soft knit. Again, I am tired of the store-bought PJs I have.
- I want a new blazer for work – something that goes with black pants and skirts and also packs well for trips.
- Finally, I want some new activewear for Pilates. I have been wearing the same two pairs of yoga pants from Target for eons. They’re also in great shape, and hey, I just wear them to work out, so it’s not a need.
Plotting these 10 items according to sewing ease or difficulty, and expense or thrift, I get this:“Difficulty” includes:
- Experience sewing such a garment
- New pattern or TNT?
- Closely or loosely fitted?
- General complexity of the project – number of pieces, linings, trims etc.
- Pattern new or in stash?
- Suitable fabric in stash?
- How much fabric do I need?
- Typical cost for the quality of fabric I want
- Expensive extras, such as zippers and fancy buttons
The simplest thing to do is just choose one “want” and one “need” from each quadrant. There are no “needs” in the “expensive and difficult: quadrant, so I’ll choose between the two “wants.”
I am going to think about this and draw up a plan next week.