Friday, 7 January 2011

Let's start at the very beginning

At the beginning of every year I like to do what I have come to refer to as my "New Year's Purge". Don't worry, this is in no way a gruesome event, it simply involves me going through my belonging and weeding out the items that I no longer use or want or can even remember using or wanting at any point! I feel that tidying my spaces in this way gives me a tidy mind, free of the clutter of years before, fresh and ready for new adventures. A romantic notion I know, but it makes me happy.

Anyway, a few days ago I decided that the time was right to purge and I set about ransacking my bedroom with great enthusiasm. And it was my wardrobe that put up the biggest fight. I have always loved clothes - choosing them, buying them, wearing them, looking at pictures of them in magazines so that the whole choosing/buying/wearing cycle can start all over again - and over the years I have accumulated a very healthy sized wardrobe. Alright, I'll be honest, the dresses were beginning to look like they would have had a more comfortable life as sardines. However, in spite of having such a variety of outfits to choose from, I only ever seem to wear about a third of the clothes in my wardrobe. And more shocking than this, I frequently feel when I open the wardrobe door, as it heaves under the volume of clothes it contains, that "I have nothing to wear". It really is quite mad to think of, but it's true! And so I decided to take myself, and my wardrobe firmly in hand. I spent the best part of a day sorting shirts, digging through dresses and sifting through skirts, until finally I had three bin bags stuffed with goodies for charity shops. I was brutal. I broke emotional ties with old items of clothing that I had kept for sentimental reasons - get in the bag! - denying the guilt factor of not wanting a top that I had only worn once - into the bag with it! - even parting ways with 5 pairs of shoes - because even I have to admit that 7 pairs of standard black stilettos is excessive. And at the end of this exhausting work, I looked into my wardrobe with a smug expression, thinking I would now be rewarded with a view of calm and tranquil order. Or not...

My wardrobe... AFTER the purge
Good grief. I just couldn't believe it. My giant purge, my whole day's work, didn't seem to have had any effect at all. Okay, when you get close you realise that you can finally move the hangers ever so slightly to the side to view different items of clothing, but really it feels as if I have just as much in there as before. And I still don't wear them all. And I still feel as if I have nothing to wear! 

Well this whole process really got me thinking about my attitude to clothes. I'm finding myself increasingly unsatisfied with what high street clothes shops have to offer me, and although I love to daydream between the pages of Vogue there is no way I can afford the designer gear they're selling. So I end up filling my wardrobe with the few things I do like, mostly dresses of similar colours and shapes, because they fit me and the price was reasonable, and the whole "new outfit" feeling kept them exciting until they had been worn once. And then of course they are banished to my vast wardrobe of oblivion where they will either become one of my regularly worn outfits - all of which feel overdone and throughly unexciting - or they will disappear into the mass ranks of the unworn, and guess what? I still feel like I have nothing to wear!

But no more!

At the end of last year I had a reawakening of sorts with regards to a certain dust covered sewing machine lurking in a corner of my house. I had started reading some incredible sewing blogs online, and I felt some creative stirrings in regards to my clothes. I ended up making a coat and a dress and even starting knitting again, making several hats and a jumper. And do you know what? I WANT to wear these things. They are by far the most exciting things in my wardrobe, all the more special and unique because I made them myself. And my friends, I want more. 

This year I'm changing the way I deal with clothes: Wherever possible this year I'm making my own. 

Where I'll be spending much of my time from now on

And that is where my blogging story begins my friends! I invite you to join me on what I hope will be an exciting (hopefully in part anyway!) adventure. I'm a self-taught seamstress, so I'm not saying this will be an easy ride, but I have a stack of reference books by my side and all you other incredible blogging/sewing masters out there for inspiration, so how hard could it really be...?

Let's see shall we... 

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