Have I told you about this crazy idea I have? I was complaining in a recent post about how, between fabric and patterns and notions, sewing can easily become an expensive hobby. I don’t want it to be just another excuse to spend money. For one thing I can’t afford it. So I was thinking about the reason that store-bought clothes are so much less expensive: economies of scale. Despite making lots of my kids stuff, I still end up spending a lot on store-bought clothing. If I cut that out, and focussed solely on handmade, then I’d probably have few inefficiencies in my own sewing spending. Every scrap would be used. There’d be less fabric just being stored. And cutting out those impulse expenditures every time Gap has a 30% off sale would save those expense.
I mean, maybe it won’t even be that hard. My kids already have a lot of clothes. So they really don’t need that much unless one of them has a major growth spurt. I also think I could learn so much by committing to that for a year. I won’t say I’ll never slip up, but I will only do so where truly necessary. I mean technical clothing for example – if the kids need snow pants, I will buy those. But my goal will be if I CAN make it, I will. But there’d have to be an exception for socks and underwear. And what about sweaters? Should I commit to making sweaters? I suppose I could. I haven’t knit in ages, but you can make new sweaters out of old thrifted ones… that would count.
So as you can see I am still outlining the parameters, but as of now, the challenge is on. If I do end up buying anything, I’ll document it here for full disclosure. Hopefully it won’t be like my “Only Victorian novels for a year” challenge. I set that goal in November, and while I’m still doing that, but I won’t deny my reading pace has slowed significantly. When the weather warms, the mind longs for chick lit. Also, Bleak House nearly did me in. I have to treat these lengthy challenges like a marathon and not a sprint, so I have to start slowly so as not to wear myself out.
I am even contemplating imposing the “no store-bought clothing” requirement on myself, but I have to spend some more time coming to terms with that as I tend to engage in quite a bit of retail therapy. But really, I do have a closet full of perfectly serviceable clothes sufficient for each season, and there’s no reason why much or any of it would need to be replaced. There are things I want, but nothing I particularly need. Plus, no more BR sales means more money for shoes! We’ll see…