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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Closet Confessions

Now that I’ve got your attention, OH MY GOSH!!! I’m not sure if I feel blessed or ashamed, or perhaps proud of my frugal creativity, but I got curious … Just HOW MANY CLOTHES ARE HANGING IN MY CLOSET(S)? I initially wrote this Post back in April of 2020, so I can assure you that the Me-Made numbers have increased in more than two years!

SEW…as a clothes-lover, pattern-designer, and passionate Sewist, here’s a peak….

‘Go Out and Look Good’ Closet

Skirts + Pants + Everyday Tops + Dresses + Evening Wear Closet

I wondered: “How many are ‘Me-Made’ and how many are RTW (ready-to-wear), or store-bought?) With that answer…I was feeling a bit better. Here are some numbers of my current season-transitional, but mostly Spring/Summer pieces that I could wear ‘out’ and feel good. Of course, I have my ‘Grungies’ too, but those are not in these counts.

Tops: 78

Included in that count:

16 are RTW – as ‘is’ – with no additions or changes which means

62 are ‘Me-Made’

22 of those ‘Me-Made’ tops are Up-Cycled, meaning created from scrap fabric or other garments

12 are tunic length – and by that I mean ‘cover my derriere’. I realize now, as I edit this in May 2022, that since 2016 when we relocated to TN, that the longer tunic length has come...and now gone. So - some of those tunic length 'tops' are up for shortening and may of my shorter tops that I wasn't wearing during those 'tunic' years, are now front and center in what I like to pull out to wear.

Sweaters: 5 – all RTW, but 1 (a favorite) is from my Mother and its been in my closet for over 16 years, I’m sure

Jackets: 17 – only 3 of which are RTW and of the remaining 14 are Me-Made, 2 are spring/summer ‘sweatshirt jackets’ that I am keeping. Many others are for sale HERE.

Shells: 20 – sleeveless tops that I wear under other items. 8 of those are ‘Me-Made

Dresses: 8 and only 1 is RTW. It seems I rarely wear dresses in the Spring and Summer, as my toes are ugly therefore I don't wear toe-less sandals. I'm old enough to hate feet sweating in closed-in shoes, so when I DO wear a dress, I also wear pantyhose. I know...I'm just 'old', but to me wearing hosiery just makes me feel dressed up and properly dressed. Anyone else?

Fall and Winter, I can wear boots with a dress - most of the time, but for dressy dresses - again, I wear hosiery.

Skirts: 9 and only 1 is RTW

Pants (not jean-type): 12 – and 5 of those are Me-Made  3 of the RTW are ‘re-makes’ from Thrift Stores. 2 of those RTW are Chico great classic pants (black, grey) that I both in 2005 and are STILL in great shape.

Jean-Type: 17 – all RTW

Uhhhh, yeah, I’m obviously not one of those

minimal capsule-closet gals!

Allow me to share (explain, rationalize?)… My Mother sewed and made clothes for me and loved clothes herself. I was both ‘taught’ and ‘caught’ the clothes lover disease. I loved clothes so much, that starting my freshman year of high school (1966), she put me on a clothing allowance of $25/month! I did the ‘envelope system’ of budgeting because that had to cover EVERYTHING! And by everything, I mean: coats, undies, shoe repair… EVERYTHING. That $25 is equivalent to $202 in today’s dollars, so even that shows how generous she was!

I learned ‘sew’ much from that clothing allowance. First: that if I wanted to have all the clothes I thought I ‘needed’ that I would just have to make them! Back then, sewing was most DEFINITELY less expensive than buying. We just didn’t have cheap imported clothing back then…much less so much to select from! Besides that, I didn’t want to look like everyone else.

That clothing obsession led to my love and my career, so thanks, Mom!

Since 1988, I have published roughly 24 patterns (each with multiple views/versions) and 2 books (17 jacket designs) so that accounts for MANY of those garments. Find my printed patterns and DVD for sewing knit tops HERE. And in PDF get-it-quick versions, HERE.

Hmmmm I think I’ll go count… 47 of those 78 tops as listed above in my current Spring-Summer wardrobe counts from above are either made to test, design, as pattern cover garment, or directly from my own pattern designs. Ahhhhh, that makes me feel better!

It hits me that I love to make tops! Pants? Not so much. I’m sure that is because I spent so many of my custom dress-making years and teaching hours at my shop years of fitting OTHER ladies in their pants!

How many of my garments are knit fabric construction? Well – it might be easier to go count the ‘woven’ fabrics…… OMG: only 21 garments (other than pants/jeans) are of woven fabrics! That goes to prove that I - like the majority of us - I to both stitch and wear KNIT clothing!!!

I CONCLUDE (or rationalize?):

  1. I collect clothing. There…I feel better.

  2. I love the process of creating clothing – taking flat, 2-dimensional fabric and transforming it into a flattering, well-made, well-designed, durable garment that I LOVE!

  3. I have something to show for my passion and the hours spent engaged in it. Compare that to say - a guy fishing and throwing it back in!

  4. I honestly KNOW I’ve saved our family ALOT of $$$ by making clothing/gifts for ourselves and our loved ones.

By the Way – for a chuckle, here’s my hubby’s closet – he’s retired, but has another closet in his ‘Man-Cave Room’ full of suits and dress shirts that hardly ever see the light of day.

Oh – and HIS Collection? Baseball Cards.

In all honesty, I fully realize that I am blessed beyond measure to have had the education, opportunities, and financial means to enjoy my hobby.  I am one VERY lucky lady!  Besides that, these days I get to TEACH OTHERS of all ages (6 years and up, both females and a few males along the way) how to sew...and TEACHING is what I absolutely LOVE.

Sew – I challenge you, my fellow ‘Sewist’ and clothes-lovers: Go make similar tallies of your own wardrobes, and COMMENT below!

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