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)? Especially these days as I have absolutely nowhere to go – like all the rest of us.
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’.
Sweaters: 5all RTW, but 1 (a favorite) is from my Mother and its been in my closet for over 16 years, I’m sure
Jackets: 17only 3 of which are RTW and of the remaining 14 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
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 
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 import clothing back then…much less so much to select from! Besides that, I didn’t want to look like anyone 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.
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 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 LOVE KNIT clothing!!!
I CONCLUDE (or rationalize?):
  • I collect clothing. There…I feel better.
  • 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!
  • I have something to show for my passion and the hours spent engaged in it.
  • 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!  
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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4 Responses

  1. brenda says:

    well i hace a much sparser closet. when we moved and saw the opportunity to cut down on how much had to be packed up and sorted out when we arrived, i really got busy with the presort and called the Salvation Army pickup 3 times and every time there were mine and m y husbands clothing in among the other items we really did not want to handle just for the sake of handling. So, my small amount of clothing is nicely hanging sorted by color within the individual categories. i must say i enjoy sliding back that closet door so much more now and no challenge with removing and putting away. Probably having to deal with my MIL closets when she passed and even before had somewhat of a motivation

    • admin says:

      I”m so proud of you! Maybe – sometime in the future … like a move to a nursing home for me. HeHe I really DO admire you and completely understand cleaning out your MIL closet.

  2. Londa says:

    Doris from IN asked me to post this comment; “Londa, I am ashamed to count the articles of clothing I’ve made. Some I wear a lot, others just sometimes. I sooooo love to sew, like you, and I finally got a pant pattern that will fit my sorry shape! I am 80, live in Logansport, Indiana, and I actually didn’t realize how many clothes I’ve made for myself until I ran out of closet space to hang them. I don’t want to know the number. Am just so happy that I can make pants to fit my bent over self. Anyway, I told myself all these years that I am not doing anything sinful; just staying home and sewing to my heart’s content. I know where you are coming from. Thanks for sharing. Doris

  3. Jean Archer says:

    I’m with Doris on this subject. Besides that, fitting me is kind of like hitting a moving target, a quote from a friend and talented sewist. That is the reason for several different sizes of pants. However, I was just getting ready to cut up a flannel shirt I never wear. Going to make Chenille out of it to use for embellishment. I, too feel blessed I’ve been able to spend my retirement years sewing and learning. I became a Clothing & Textile Advisor (here in Washington state) in 1998. Since that time my life has been enriched by the opportunity to volunteer at Sewing Expo (in Puyallup) and more importantly to teach others to sew, both adults and children, also as a volunteer.

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