Two years ago on my birthday, I made a promise to myself, my version of a New Years resolution. What I promised was to stop buying ready made fast fashion and to start making my own garments and to start thrifting for items that can pass for vintage or be refashioned. There were a few reasons I wanted to do this. Firstly, I wanted to reduce and reuse. We used to have a mend and make do mentality that had gone out the door, or so I thought. The vintage community on Instagram opened my eyes up to that. Secondly, I’m a curvy girl and the thoughts of going into a department store and trying on clothing actually gives me tiny panic attacks. Do they put funhouse mirrors in those change rooms? Thirdly, and I think the most important on the list, making my own clothing and clothing that fits my body properly is empowering. This birthday, I am promising myself to work towards a mostly me-made wardrobe.
I’ve decided not to go the full-on, 100 me-made wardrobe only because I know from time to time my fella will give me a gift card for some of my favourite vintage reproduction stores and as I said earlier, I want to thrift for clothing. The only time I don’t have mini-meltdowns is when shopping in these types of stores. They actually create garments for curvy girls and I also know the clothing is well made. Additionally, I do want to add more vintage (when possible) to my wardrobe and vintage like thrifted items (especially knowing that the money from these thrift stores is going to a good cause). Instead, my goal is 75%, this is doable. A girls gotta give a girl some leeway, right?
An additional promise I’m starting with this birthday is to do a pre-birthday closet purge. I have items in the said closet that haven’t been worn, may no longer fit or never really fit well ane they are literally just collecting dust and taking up space. Space that will quickly be filled by the garments I’ve been making. In the last month, I’ve made five skirts and am now moving onto tops and very soon, dresses.
As I mentioned above, it is empowering to make my own clothing and somewhere along the line I forgot that. When I was a kid my mother used to make our clothes and most of it was self-drafted. I remember how proud she was of her creations and that became my role model for being my own seamstress. All through my teens and a good part of my twenties, I continued the tradition making many of my own garments… then I stopped. For a long time I would say that life got in the way. Somehow it became easier to buy inexpensive, horribly made clothing. You know, for time saving. Yet, I was still having to adjust things, take them in, fix seams, change buttons… who was I kidding!
I’m the type of person who finds motivation when participating with other like minded individuals in functions such as making garments. I know from my past that if I joined a sew-a-long or knit-a-long I am going to challenge myself to complete a garment. These are the reasons why I’ve started Facebook groups both knit-a-longs and sew-a-longs. Not only do we create garments but we are using vintage or vintage reproduction patterns that challenge and improve our skills.
Another thing I have been doing to help motivate myself is by following garment creators and makers on both Instagram and blogs. Here are some of my favourites.
Atomic Redhead https://atomicredhead.com/
By Gum By Golly http://bygumbygolly.com/
Harlow Darling http://www.harlowdarling.com/
Krystle Couturiere http://1930slife.blogspot.ca/
Lila & June https://lilaandjune.com/
Poision Grrls https://www.ravelry.com/stores/poison-grrls
Subversive Femme http://subversivefemme.com/
The Closest Historian http://theclosethistorian.blogspot.ca/
Vintage Dream Blog https://vintagedreamblog.wordpress.com/
Vintage Gal http://vintagegal.co.uk/
Vintage Sewing Pattern Catalogue https://thevspc.org/?wref=bif
We Sew Retro http://wesewretro.com/
I don’t expect to have hit the 75% mark by the time my birthday roles around next year, but I know that I will be well on my way to hitting that mark! I do have faith, I’ve been successful with my birthday promises this far. Do you make birthday promises as well?