Sewing / Quilting Tips & Tricks

(Non) Retail Therapy

Since it’s just us, I’m going to be really honest. I hate shopping. Most shopping. I have worn the same three pairs of shoes for like a decade because I can’t even muster up the desire to go look at shoes at a store, I’d rather just keep wearing the ones with the rubbed bald spots and the peeling away soles. I know people notice, I know people think I’m shabby. I just don’t care. Shopping is the worst if I’m looking for something for myself.

Also, in all honesty, I don’t like spending money. Like most people, I try to watch our budget and not spend money on things that aren’t necessary so that we can eat meat and vegetables instead of pancakes and ramen most of the time. That is more important to me than searching for cute, trendy outfits. I’ve never been trendy, I’ve never understood fashion. I’d wear hiking boots, jeans and tshirts every day of my life if it was up to me.

So I looked in my closet the other day and realized that I’ve let my basic wardrobe dwindle down to just a few pieces that are wearable to work. Instead of the usual sigh and resignation that I’ll have to shop sometime in the next few years to remedy the situation, I had a brainwave. I can sew. I also have fabric. Not great trendy fabric, mostly quilt fabric, but still. I could make some light weight tops that I could wear in warm weather with some long sleeve layers underneath in cold weather.

How has this not occurred to me before?

I dug out my box of patterns and started planning combinations: this neckline with this sleeve, this placket with this other collar. It was great fun. Then I got out my quilt fabrics and pulled out pieces that coordinated and might be large enough for an article of clothing. It was like magic, I was so motivated that I made 11 shirts! What? I didn’t purchase more than $10 in supplies and I got 11 shirts.

They are not like anything that are sold in stores, I don’t think that most women would be remotely interested in wearing something like this. But I don’t mind. They are comfortable and that is the biggest importance to me, they are also colorful. I was tending toward a neutral/grey/navy wardrobe because it doesn’t stand out, but wearing colors has really helped me feel more cheerful. Cool, right?

I even did a little reuse/recycle bit by cutting up and making two of my Dad’s old dress shirts into cheery new me-versions. What a wonderful world! (please read that in Louis Armstrong’s voice) I have not spent extra money, I have filled my closet with new, happy tops to wear, I have had the time and the resources to sew which always fills my heart, AND I didn’t have to shop!

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