Tuesday 4 January 2011

Wardrobe Refashion

I don’t usually make New Year’s Resolutions (absolutely rubbish at keeping them) but this year I’ve decided to go for the biggy and take a Wardrobe Refashion pledge.  

I know the Wardrobe Refashion site is sadly no more, but I still think the whole ethos and idea behind the pledge is fantastic, and fully intend to keep to it.  The rules are simple, you take a pledge of either two, four or six months (or for the extreme hard core – life) in which time you don’t buy any new clothes, instead, you either make your own or refashion clothes you own or clothes you’ve thrifted. 

Since I’ve been making my own clothes I’ve saved tons of money by not buying cheap, rubbish and making things I actually wear.  This is quite an important factor in my future dressmaking plans - the clothes I make must be ones I’ll actually wear!  It’s quite easy to get carried away by a pattern and/or fabric only to discover a) the fabric/colour doesn’t suit you and b) the garment isn’t actually what you’d wear in everyday life.  I’m thinking of my ladylike dress here which, although lovely, has never been worn for the above reasons. Plus, making your own clothes allows you to add little touches you never see in shop bought items.  I can't tell you how many years I've been looking for a navy button-front skirt with red spotty details. Which is how I came to make my Beignet skirt. My handmade wardrobe will include lots of A-line skirts, 50’s style tops, the odd carefully chosen dress and, if my sewalong is a success, maybe some trousers(!) So, my dream dressmaking list for 2011 is as follows:

Crepe dress (progress on that next week)
Sewalong trousers using this pattern (heavily influenced by Debi at My Happy Sewing Place!)

Pendrell blouse
1930’s blouse sewn from a vintage pattern
1960's gingham dress from a vintage pattern
Refashioned navy polka dot skirt
Another Socialite dress
Another Sencha blouse but this time in a more drapey fabric and perhaps with the keyhole neck so I don’t choke to death
At least two A-line skirts

I’ve also seen a picture of my perfect top which I’d love to make.  

I spotted it when I was trawling round blogs a few months ago and I think it’s a past season Banana Republic top.  I’d love to make my own version, so if anybody knows of a similar pattern with which I can recreate it, please let me know!

So, without further ado, I give you my pledge.

I, Jane, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 6 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate or recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoted, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on my blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings! Signed Jane x.

PS.  If you haven't done so already, there are still a few days left to enter my New Year giveaway, check it out here


  1. Hi Jane

    for some years now have been trying to live by the mantra "one in, one out", which is difficult when buying vintage/second hand like I do as you've gotta snap things up when you find them.

    It goes thus: only buy an item if you can get rid of (sell/give away) something else you already own. It's only easy when you find the perfect something you've been after for ages, otherwise it's a real boot-camp rule.

    Carol x

  2. Hi Jane, good luck with the challenge! The last top isn't a million miles away from the top I just made


    You may be able to tweak it if you can't find anything similar?

  3. Hi Carol, I'm pretty ruthless when it comes to getting rid of clothes so "one in one out" would be pretty easy to stick to. I may start it after the 6 months are up. x
    Thanks Kate, yes you're right, it didn't occur to me before, they are pretty similar! I'm thinking of buying a Japanese pattern book anyway so that may well have to be it. See you next weekend! x

  4. I was thinking of doing something similar but not sure if I have the guts since I'm very new to sewing and it could end up as a disaster! Since I've become a student I've had to hang up my shopaholic hat as I simply can't afford to buy new clothes all the time and previously I have bought so many clothes that I've never worn that in my heart of hearts I know the new clothes aren't worth my money and I'm trying so hard to reel myself in! I admire you a lot for doing this, good luck!

  5. I wish I could do the refashion - I'm just not ready yet! But kudos to you! Happy New Year!

  6. McCalls 5661 has the sleeve to that top, although I've seen just that shirt in vintage patterns (although the only one I can think of is Lutterloh from the 30s right now). You may have to use several patterns to get that the way you want.

  7. Happy New Year and best of luck with the pledge. And do wear that red Liberty dress, at least the once. It is so pretty, you really must!

    Looking forward to reading about all your new projects. I tend to gravitate naturally towards making all my own dresses and skirts, but I would struggle with tops and cardies (for a start, I don't knit!).

  8. Jane, for someone who doesn't normally make New Year's Resolutions, you have certainly gone hardcore for 2011! I think your pledge is really admirable and I can't wait to see all your makes...good luck!xx

  9. Wow, good luck!! I sew regularly, but don't think I'm quite up to this challenge yet. I really look forward to seeing how you get on and what lovelies you manage to make!

  10. Good Luck with your Wardrobe Refashion challenge. It's such a great idea. I'm not quite ready to sign up for it myself, but am making steps in that direction.

  11. Hi Jane

    I have been inspired by your brave and thrifty resolution and so I, too, have taken the pledge for six months. I will also post pictures of my attempts on my blog!

    Good luck.....

  12. Hi Anna, that's fantastic news, I'm not on my own now! Will follow your progress on your blog. Good luck to you too. x

  13. best of luck Jane, I did something similar last year and look forward to seeing your new wardrobe!



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