I QUIT MY OLD WAY OF SEWING
I QUIT! That’s it for me. I’m done with “just sewing” because it has been a big waste of my time. I know what you’re thinking. What in the world is going on? Why all the hype about updating the blog and relaunching—getting people all excited—just to quit? Allow me a few minutes of your time to explain, because I truly believe I’m not in this alone.
Let me ask you a few questions. What have you been sewing lately? Are you sewing everything, but wearing nothing? When you look at your DIY wardrobe, would you say you’re wearing at least 80% of what you’ve made? If you’re wearing most of your creations, then this post probably doesn’t apply to you. I’m asking these questions because I have a problem. Keep reading!
BUYING WHAT THEY BUY?
When I returned to sewing, in 2015, I went crazy. The online sewing community was new to me, and I wanted a piece of what everyone else was doing. Whenever patterns were on sale, I was at the store filling my cart. Likewise, when I learned of the term, “fabric stash,” oh honey, I had to have one. My face became well known at our local Joann’s, and visits to the fabric dealers in the Los Angeles Fashion District were like trips to Disneyland. Purchasing and storing fabric & patterns became an exciting adventure. I mean, if everyone else was doing it, then it must have been the “thing” right? That was my first mistake.
SEWING EVERYTHING BUT WEARING NOTHING?
Next, I started “just sewing” everything. The majority of my projects were what I call, “Event Sewing”. That means I basically made outfits to wear out to places with my husband. All other projects consisted of anything I felt like making at the moment, or whatever I forced myself to make for the purpose of having something to post on the blog. I was “just” sewing. At the time, I thought it was perfectly fine because, after all, I was making beautiful garments, and so was everyone else. You may ask, “How is this a problem?” The problem is that I don’t have anything to wear right now.
I have too many patterns, too much fabric, and absolutely nothing to wear. Yeah, that FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) syndrome caught me off guard. I’ve sewn more clothes than I can remember, and I pretty much have very little to show for it. Most of what I’ve sewn isn’t even in my closet anymore. Since my husband is no longer here, I’m not attending many events (yet). I have lots of pretty dresses, very few separates and one pair of wearable pants (skinny jeans). GASP! I know you’re probably mortified by this revelation. What’s even more surprising is the fact that I REFUSE to go shopping for clothes. I will not buy ready-to-wear.
Am I the only one with this issue? If you’re in the same position or similar, please leave me a comment below because I’m very curious to know if there are others out there like me. I don’t regret returning to sewing. However, I now realize that I started off all wrong, and I have a solution that I believe will help.
Before I proceed any further, let me make one thing clear. I’m totally aware that there are people in the world who literally have nothing to wear. They’re living on the streets with no food, shelter and only the clothing on their backs. It’s not my intention to be insensitive to this issue we face in America. My husband and I have always been donors to the homeless, both financially and with our time. I will definitely continue serving in his absence. It is my responsibility, as a Christian, to give back according to how God has blessed me. Many of the clothes I’ve made have been donated to charity events to raise money for those in need, and that will continue. We’re all blessed to be a blessing! Now back to the topic of this post.
What I’ve discovered is that “just sewing” has left me unprepared and lacking in my wardrobe. If you can relate and want to make a change, then we must engage a new model. I’m calling it “Sewing with a Plan.” This is nothing new, but something I’ve never done! You know the saying:
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”― Henry Ford
In order for us to move forward from “just sewing” to “Sewing with a Plan”, we must shift our approach. “Sewing with a Plan” is a journey—a new Series I’m starting, and you’re invited you to join me.
Beginning next week, we’ll work through a 4-Step, strategic plan to help us become more efficient and purposeful in our sewing. Don’t worry—we’re still gonna be able to do a little “just because” sewing once in a while. If we get the urge to create something outside of our personal plans, we won’t deprive ourselves. It’s just that we’ll approach it differently now.
WHAT TO EXPECT
By the end of the Series, we should:
1. Have clarity about our sewing direction;
2. Begin sewing items that fit our lifestyles; and
3. Feel a sense of accomplishment in getting the maximum wear from our DIY wardrobe.
I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty excited about this new Series. I can’t wait to find out where it leads us. The journey begins next week. Don’t miss out! If you have sewing friends who you think could benefit from the Series, be sure to share this post with them. “Sewing with a Plan!” That’s what we need! Let’s have some fun with this!
OTHER BLOG POSTS IN THIS SERIES
- STEP 1 – HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR WARDROBE
- STEP 2 – HOW TO PLAN A FUNCTIONAL WARDROBE
- STEP 3 – HOW TO DECLUTTER YOUR SEWING PATTERNS
- STEP 4 – HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR FABRIC
- STEP 5 – HOW TO PLAN A SEWING PROJECT
Thanks for stopping by!
Remember: When you live in your DESIGN, it is from there that God SHINES!
This Post Has 270 Comments
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This couldn’t be more relevant to me right now. In the process of redoing my craft / sewing room. I’ve sewed for years, but like you it was for events or made something that didn’t fit right. I need to stop procrastinating and finish my project. thank you for the encouragement. God Bless.
Jeannette, you are so very welcome. Have fun completing your project. After I completed purging and organizing my space, so many amazing things happened.God bless you too, sister.
I came back to reread the series and plan a strategy. We moved into a new home with a bigger closet. I have filled it with clothes I’ve made and don’t wear and clothes I don’t wear but haven’t gotten rid of. It’s time to organize my closet and my sewing room. Thank you for the tips. Carmen
Ooohhh, Carmen! Congratulations on your new home. How exciting that you get to organize your new closet. Have fun, fun, FUN!
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I find that I’m constantly returning to your site. First of all I need to see your fashions, and then I get realistic ideas.
Your views on decluttering as well a my plan I’ve established after reading “Decluttering your way to success” reinforced my identified need to obtain order in all aspects. The first thing I realized was that I missed my bedroom ( now used as a sewing room). The next was, I had to much stuff and that bag was not getting any lighter. So I’m decluttering and photographing my way to serenity. Moving the sewing to a spare bedroom which is smaller than the master. It isn’t that I don’t have enough space , I habe toooo much stuff.
Mary, I totally get what you’re saying. It’s so easy to allow things to get out of control. I hope you’re enjoying your decluttering process.
Wow! I missed this blog post the first time around. This is so timely for me now as I work on my functional capsule wardrobe. No sense in making things that I am not going to wear.
Hey Monique! Yes, I agree. I’d rather spend my time creating pieces that I’ll keep and wear over and over again.
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I love this! I am new to sewing, and maybe it’s my practical nature, but I don’t like to sew just to sew. Don’t get me wrong, I had to sew several box pouches with no raw seams inside until I finally got it right. Then I made just enough to give to the people I had in mind when I started the project. I love cloth napkins (saves on waste, etc), and they help me practice mitered corners and straight lines of stitching, so I sew those as well when I have some extra fabric. The only garments I’ve made have been a few pairs of pajama shorts which I needed and they were fun to get my toes wet. It was actually the pajama shorts that made me realize I want to tackle garment sewing, not quilting (as I thought I might). I have NO clue where to start, so I’m excited to go explore your series. Thank you so much!
Hi Raine. I wish you so much success as you venture into garment sewing. Enjoy the process! You’re off to a great start with your intentional sewing mindset. YES!
Oh my goodness. I just subscribed to your blog and I realize I’m year late (to be honest 40 years late) to begin a purposeful journey in sewing. I can so relate to your post….I have more fabric, more patterns, more gadgets and wasted many years thinking I was sewing; but have neglected the fact that I am (and have been) in the same position (I have nothing to wear). Thanks to That Sewing Blab I have found you and you’ve hit the nail on the head. Thank you Sister for sharing your insights and I look forward to my journey with you through this series of blog posts. May God Bless you abundantly.
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Thank you! I needed this haha for I too was sewing without direction. I look forward to learning useful skills
Yes I definitely know what you’re talking about and this is the perfect time for me. Currently we’re going through some remodeling and I’m gonna have a dedicated room aka sewing studio.??? So I have to declutter and get rid of a lot fabric (again) and patterns so I’m so happy I found your YouTube and blog. Thank you
Anita this blog spoke directly to me today. Due to what I call sewing ADHD I have deleted Instagram, and Facebook. I have decided to only be influenced by my actual needs. Not every new pattern or fabric that I sew online. Due to my changes in the last year, I have lost some sewing friends, but that is okay because I need to clear my mind and my closet.
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Hi Anita! I am guilty has charged! I quit sewing too for all the reasons you mentioned! Every time I turn around no matter what I’ve sewn in the past, I never have anything to wear! just recently I took a break and had to ask myself “what was the number one reason as to why you took up sewing?” My answer was to build a better wardrobe. I got caught up in making the latest patterns and joining the “bandwagons” and lost sight of what my true purpose was suppose to be. Looking forward to the SWAP journey.
Glad to have you Tonya! It’s more common than I imagined.
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Hi Anita! I am a beginner sewer and I just finished the clutch purse from your tutorial and I am so proud of the way that it came out. It was so easy and fun to follow, thank you for the great videos and inspiration.
Awesome, Charlotte! Congratulations on completing your first clutch. You’re very welcome. I’m so glad you enjoy the videos.
This is so appropriate for me. I retired almost two years ago and I still have clothes in my closets that I’ll never wear again. My fashion style has gone straight to athleisure with a twist. I can’t tell you when I last got “dolled” up. Even church is casual. Looking forward to this series. 4 closets to tackle.
OMGosh, Sandi! I almost passed out when you said, “4 closets to tackle”. I can’t imagine! OMGosh! You can do it, Sandi. Just take your time and tackle one at a time.
Are you not going to do your new series on YouTube? I love watching it and seem to connect better than reading an email and trying to understand.
Hi Pamela! The Series is actually happening here on the blog.
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This is exciting, can’t wait to follow the #swapwithanita journey.
Yaaay, Carol! Thanks for joining me!
Hi Ms Anita.I alway love looking at your video’s.And first of all,you are very inspirational anita. And another thing I was so happy to read a lot of your stuff because I know that was me doing every time I watch somebody video I’ll going out here while buying patterns and all the patterns I got I haven’t really made nothing or used. So I hope this could be a new start for me where I can do this right this time because I love to sew I have a lot of hobbies. I have put down my sew-in for a minute . I go back and forth a little bit. I start picking up my knit & crochet. but I love to sew and I would love to get back into it. but like you said I would love to do it a purpose of sewing things what I like to wear. Thank you so much Ms Anita.
Hi Nina! Sounds like this is the perfect opportunity for you to restart. I’m happy to have you join me on this journey and I really appreciate your support of my videos and blog.
If this isn’t my story…from the pattern buying to the fabric stashing I feel as though you were in my head Ms. Anita. I was just telling a friend I needed to take a step back and regroup. Thank you for this post as it couldn’t have been more timely. I’m looking forward to the series because Lord knows I need it. Have a blessed day!
OMGoodness, Florence! That’s exactly what we’re about to do, “take a step back and regroup”. I’m so excited about this and overjoyed to have so many joining me on the journey. Thank you so much for being a part of this. I’ll see you here tomorrow.
Let me first off thank you for your inspiration. I made my first skirt using your sew along! I’ve been sewing for a year and there is NOTHING of mine that i’ve made and wear consistently. I have entirely too many patterns (most of which are probably beyond my skill level) and too much fabric. Every time there’s a pattern sale I feel as I HAVE to get some. I’m constantly on the hunt and researching the best sewing and embroidery machines and sergers but will not buy clothes lol! I forced myself to buy some jeans and a top because what happens is I always talk myself out of buying clothing by saying “oh i can make this myself”, not realizing that i’ve never even sewn a button before. So unfortunately (and hilariously) I can related to this as well. An intervention needs to happen. Stat!
Iree! Hahaha!!! The intervention begins tomorrow. We’re about to flip the script on all this madness. Let’s do this!
I am truly sorry about your loss. I have always been your fan and love your sewing tutorials. I didn’t see any tutorials with clothes that weren‘t suitable for every day use. Thank you very much for all the effort and great ideas.
Hi Tuti! Oh, thank you so much! I think the only items I have left from those tutorials are two of the caftans. That’s it!
First of all, you are very inspirational Anita! Your husband’s illness and passing must have been very difficult and yet you have come through this with such grace and courage. I completely identify with your new focus on intentional sewing as I am going through a similar inflexion point, there was a period when I sewed 30+ garments in a year as an advanced beginner but many of them weren’t satisfactory in terms of quality (due to inexperience) and weren’t items that I would take pleasure in wearing nor long-lasting (as a beginner you tend to buy cheap fabrics). Took the plunge recently to donate anything I would not wear regularly, even including some of my own handmade stuff from that phase, and now start to build back from scratch to plan a capsule wardrobe with 40% fewer items than before the big purge. Look forward to joining you on this journey!
OMGosh, Hwei-Yi! You just told my whole story in that one paragraph. You totally get me right now. I’m so glad to have you join me on this journey. I’m so excited!
I’m with you Anita! Too often, you just go into your room and make for the sake of making, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing until you realize that what your just made might not work with anything else. So then you make more, LOL! It’s been really good for me the past year or so to really start thinking about how any given garment would actually fit into my life. Life with managing a house with 4 kids doesn’t necessarily translate to me wearing all the girly things all the time, but I’m slowly learning how I can incorporate some of those ideas without sacrificing the practicality that I need.
“Making for the sake of making!” OMGosh, Elizabeth! That was an all too familiar occurrence for me too. It’s great that you’ve already started on this journey. So glad to have you join me.
This is an AWESOME article! I can relate so well to this issue of having a bunch of clothes and no where to really wear them! Since i haven’t blogged in a while, i have been struggling on what i should “post” first when i do finally come back with. My new reality is a lot more casual and i can honestly say that i have VERY little casual looks. I struggle just to get out of the house and take my kids to a Lacrosse or basketball game! The struggle is such a reality that i resort to athleisure….not my ideal idea of what i want to wear all of the time. With that said, my stuggle is getting motivated to sew for my real life and not just a blog post. I am jumping in on your challenge to get me going again (fingers crossed). Glad to see you back at it!!! Ruqayyah