A bunch of sewists are going on an RTW fast.
What does this mean? No buying any ready-to-wear clothing, with a few narrow exceptions:
- Wedding gown or bridesmaid’s dress (or any event where everyone has to dress alike)
- Bras, underwear, stockings, socks
- Uniforms for work
- Belts, handbags and shoes
Could I do this? Probably.
Sorry – are your eyes OK?
Now that I’ve slipped that ugliness out of the way, let’s go through my closet to take stock of all the garments that I bought in 2018:
- Two pairs of jeans
- Two sweaters (a pullover and a cardigan)
- A big puffy down coat
- Winter hat and gloves
- Long-sleeved button-up blouse
- Sleeveless top
- Two dresses (a shirt dress and a knit dress)
- A skirt
- A knit jacket – “jardigan” thing
- A blazer
Also, I was given two T-shirts for participation in charity fund-raisers. Gifts are OK to receive under the RTW Fast challenge. And I bought two bras, eight pairs of underwear, several pairs of tights and socks (not sure how many) – but these are exempt anyway.
Of all these items, I really needed the coat, and that’s not something I could have made if I’d wanted to. I bought the hat and gloves on vacation because I was freezing in Scotland, so I don’t think that’s fair to hold against me.
I could have made the rest, I suppose:
- I have made a few cardigans, so yeah, that’s easy.
- I have not made a pullover yet. I don’t think that a sweater sewn out of sweater knit fabric is as nice as a regular knitted RTW sweater, but I see so many sewn sweaters that I think they must be worth a try.
- The button-up blouse is made from silk georgette. That stuff would be a nightmare to sew. I needed a blouse like that for work, so I bought one.
- I needed the blazer for work, too. Could have made one, I guess, but this fit so well and it was so nice, and I needed it on short notice, so I bought.
- Jeans. Sigh. I WILL make jeans in 2019.
- One dress, the skirt and the “jardigan” came from one of those clothing subscription box services. I got a $100 tryout as a gift. Of course, I spent $350. The jardigan is nice but the dress and skirt fit is bad. I seldom wear either and can’t find the motivation to make alterations. These two items are the only things I bought needlessly and regretfully in 2018.
- Oh, actually, that sleeveless top. Yeah. I didn’t need that either and I could have sewn something similar in an evening, but I liked it and it was on sale and it was good quality, so I bought it. So sue me.
- And the other dress… well, I wanted it and I loved it and I bought it. So there.
Looking ahead, what do I expect I will need in 2019?
- A suit. I have many coordinating jackets and skirts, but I don’t fit into the two RTW suits I have. If I had a job interview tomorrow, I’d be at Lord & Taylor right now instead of typing this. I surely would not be sewing up a tailored suit. If I had time on my hands, maybe. And If I did want to sew a suit, I’d sew this, from the Italian magazine La Mia Boutique
- Pants for work. I think I have solved that dilemma with my Style Arc find. Two more pairs are in my sewing plans for this winter. I am semi-confident I can pull it off.
- Button-up blouses for work. I need a basic white blouse at least. I have had the famous Butterick 5526 blouse pattern in my stash for a year. (Seriously, I bought that pattern in January 2018.) I was thinking about ways I could make the bottom right or top left views jibe with my edgy wardrobe plans – maybe with a collar detail and metal buttons?
- Another blazer for work. I have plenty of patterns. The simplest would be another Grainline Studios Morris Blazer, but I’d need to work on the fit. The Morris I have is worn out – the ponte is pilled up. Maybe I could make the La Mia Boutique jacket out of something that would coordinate as a suit or a separate with the black pencil skirts I already have?
- More jeans. OK, already! I will make jeans in 2019!
- Shorts. I will need things for a cruise this summer. I am more of a skirt gal in hot weather, but I will need two pairs of shorts for hiking, birding and boating.
- T-shirts. Most of the RTW ones and a few me-made ones I have are getting kinda sad.
- A dressy dress. I have a summer wedding and an early fall bat mitzvah on the calendar already. Maybe I could get by with one dress for the both, with a jacket for the fall event.
- Sweaters. This will be the last winter for some RTW sweaters that are a little faded, pilled up and stretched out.
OK, so that’s a list… What fabrics do I have in stash already?
- Suiting for the suit or blazer – Some gorgeous wool suiting I got from Mood’s remnant sale. I also have 4 yards of black wool twill I scored at a vintage shop.
- Pants material (these have already been planned for) – a stretch wool twill and a stretch pique.
- Shirting for the white blouse – I have some white menswear pique and ivory batiste.
- Jeans – I have some cheap stretch denim from Joann for a muslin and some beautiful Cone Mills denim for the real deal.
- T-shirts – I have 1-2 yard lengths of various jerseys.
I would need to buy:
- Material for the shorts – Twill? Linen? I also have some seersucker in stash, but it’s probably not suitable.
- Sweater knits. I have some linen knit for a lightweight cardigan but nothing for pullover style sweaters.
- Dressy dress material – Oy. I have a lot of material suitable for a dress that could straddle summer and fall, but nothing really fancy:
- Three different knit/jersey lengths for a wrap dress, in prints and solids.
- Navy and white print poplin for a shirt dress – more office than party.
- Navy batiste that’s also very much for officewear, not party wear.
- Lightweight wool houndstooth tweed in white and cranberry, with some suedecloth bought to make a jacket to match. There is only enough of the houndstooth for a shift dress and it’s very summery.
- I have silk dupioni in red, gold, black ivory and navy for a jacket to coordinate.
This sounds like a lot of potential “needs” and some serious fabric purchases. If I actually sew half this stuff in 2019, that would be an accomplishment. I think it’s time for another Magic Quadrant of Sewing Projects to determine what’s worthwhile.
I am going to think about this overnight.