|My Bias Tape Stash|
I've been reading a lot of blogposts about minimalist wardrobes. I love the concept : you select only the items you love from your closet and add whatever pieces you need to compose outfits with a minimum number of garments. Some say 10. Others 20, 25, or 33... The idea is that with a well curated set of items that can easily mix and match, it will always be easy to get dressed in the morning and this surely makes sense.
Sewing is an indulgence.
I think those who sew are necessarily going to go about constructing their wardrobe differently than those who simply shop for their clothes. After all, sewing is our hobby. There is pleasure for us in the process of making. It's not just about the finished product.
When I first started sewing five years ago, I really did not give much thought to building a sensible wardrobe. It was all about learning the craft, manipulating fabric, the pleasure of creating pretty clothes. If I saw a pattern I liked, I went ahead and made it. Some of these clothes I still wear today, others haven't seen the light of day.
I now want to be sure the clothes I sew get maximum wear, so I have been putting a lot more thought into wardrobe planning. But it must remain a pleasure.
There is the matter of Creativity.
The minimalist wardrobe is all about restraint.
How does restraint affect creativity? The format of a canvas or of a sheet of paper is something you have to account for when composing a picture, but has never kept artists from being creative.
Would spending more time and thought on each garment, so it's worthy of its place in your pared down wardrobe lead you to make it even better, more special, more creative? Or would you feel that sewing only "useful" pieces is too limiting and boring?
There is the matter of the Fabric Stash.
Some of you might live near an amazing fabric shop which always has exactly what you need, when you need it. I wish I could shop that way, but I don't have that kind of store around. Where I live, we have a few options, but I can never be sure I'll find what I need when I need it, especially when I sew off season. So, I grab it when I see it, and therefore have a sizable stash (seriously, it's taking over our apartment!).
I really don't think a fabric stash fits in with the concept of a minimalist wardrobe, yet, to me, it's a necessary component of the craft, and I'm not going to feel guilty about it.
The minimalist wardrobe aims for perfection.
I feel I need to hit the right balance between creativity and reason. I don't want to reign myself in too much. Though I do plan future sewing to a certain extent, I stay open to inspiration. It's ok to change my mind. And it's ok to make mistakes. Some things work out, some don't. It's almost an organic process.
I do put a lot of thought into each piece I sew. What place do I hope it will hold in my closet? What will I wear it with, and where? But there will always be a level of uncertainty as I can never be sure of the outcome. A garment I make might be a success and earn its place as a key element in my wardrobe, but sometimes it just does not work out as I had hoped. And if it's not perfect, I'll probably still keep it. I don't think my wardrobe will ever be perfect. It is constantly evolving and that's part of what keeps the whole thing fun.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on wardrobe planning. Do you think sewists can apply minimalist wardrobe principles?
More on wardrobe planning: Do you find wardrobe planning overwhelming?, Sewing a wardrobe you love