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I am going to Challenge Myself – Hipstitch Academy

I am going to Challenge Myself

I'm not going to buy new clothes for at least 1 year. 

I declared this 1 months ago on social media and so far I've not broken any of my rules.

Well now that I think about it,  I guess there is really only the one rule.

No new clothing purchases for one year.

But let me state of the record, there are a few exceptions.

One exception is underwear, bras and socks.

The second exception is that I am allowed to buy used clothes. (I LOVE shopping vintage and thrifting and that stays on task with the thing that I am trying to accomplish).

And lastly I AM allowed to buy new fabric to make clothes.

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I think I decided to do this challenge for a few reasons: 

1. I currently own far too much clothing. Even though I'm very good at donating clothing that I do not wear and do not need. I still have a lot of clothes and absolutely have NO need for anything new. As I get older, my tolerance for clutter is getting fewer and fewer. Less clothes in my life means my brain feels better. 

2. The state of the fashion industry right now is not good. Most clothing is made very cheaply overseas in countries with very cheap labor and production practices. This way they can be sold at extremely low prices to greedy Americans. (DId you know we now have 5 times more clothes than our grandparents had?)  Clothing has become disposable and most people just buy more and more and more because it's cheap. I know that I was definitely guilty of doing this! I just couldn't continue to support this due to the serious consequences on our health and our planet.

3. I am a sewing teacher. I love to sew my own clothing and make my living teaching people how to sew their own clothes. This challenge will force me to sew more and push myself to become better at my craft.  It already has and I'm enjoying every minute of it. Also bonus: Every dime I spend on fabric for new clothes that make is totally a business expense! I'm so happy this challenge is getting me back to my roots of DIYing as much as I possibly can in my life. It's harder to encourage people to sew their own clothes when you're not doing it yourself on a regular basis.

My declaration happened on July 23rd, 2019. It hasn't even been a month yet and already I'm feeling myself grow because of it.

In the last month I've probably sewn 8 new articles of clothing. Not all of them make it into heavy rotation in my wardrobe, but some definitely have.  Things like cute tops with pussy bows, hoodies and even some jumpsuits and athletic joggers.

One thing this challenge has already done is made me take a closer look at what works for me and what looks good on my body. In the last 5 years I've gained and lost the same 30 pounds. I'm at a weight now where I feel better about myself and that makes clothing more fun. This clothing challenge is also forcing me to want to stay at the weight I'm currently at (or less) because I like making clothes for myself at this weight. When I'm heavier, it's just not as much fun. 

There was a time about 10 years ago where I sewed almost everything I owned. But I had definitely gotten away from that in the last few years.

I'm hoping this challenge will also force me to try doing some under garment sewing. I've done it a little bit before but never really gotten good enough at it. I've not yet felt comfortable wearing what I make but I think that had more to do with the fabrics that I was using. I'll definitely be sourcing good fabrics for this so I can give it a whirl. Maybe I'll even get good enough that I can modify my own rules for the challenge and not need to buy underwear and bras. (No - I don't think I'll ever sew my own socks and I am not a knitter!)

I'm curious if anyone else has done this before and what are the biggest things you learned because of it?

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