Have I been fooling myself?

Seriously, Have I?


The time has come for me to go back to work, and I have just discovered I do not have anything to wear to work. Not literally of course, but I am sure I can only assemble 5 items I could consider wearing to work. Which makes me question what I have been doing all this while. What have I been sewing? Why do I have more fabric than clothes? Have I been fooling myself? Have I pushed things too far? For the past year, I have been entering shops and giving people superior stares when they rush to pay for clothes, saying to myself ” I can make that”. I know I can make “that”, but did I?


Will I? That, was the plan. That, is always the plan isn’t it? When we go fabric shopping. Waving about project files, convincing ourselves we ABSOLUTELY need that silky smooth fabric. It is only £4/metre, so why not?

The trouble is £4 adds up. I sometimes justify my fabric buying by saying it saves me money. True, it has the POTENTIAL to save money. That potential is ONLY realised when we do actually make an outfit from said fabric. Then, and only then, will you have saved yourself some money. Buying fabric and not making anything is just as worse as buying ill fitting clothes in the hope that they will miraculously fit you one day ( yeah I’ve done that), or just because you like the look ( guilty again).

So here I am, starting work tomorrow, and finding that I have not made any work appropriate things. The culture of not buying new clothes has entrenched itself so firmly in my head that I get a headache just thinking of the fact that I have to go shopping this weekend to buy some work clothes.

Have you found you found yourself in the situation where you ask yourself these questions too?



  1. October 31, 2012 / 4:15 pm

    I do think that the 'sewing saves me money' argument often balances on very thin ice! Does it? Really? Still, it brings us a great deal of pleasure. Are you being too hard on your wardrobe? You always look fab to me! Good luck going back to work – not an easy time, I'm sure. But maybe some pleasures, too?

  2. October 31, 2012 / 5:10 pm

    The thing about shopping is that once you find a piece that works for you, you can always copy it and make more in different fabrics, and make changes to it. Plus, I think that a lot of what you made is very work appropriate. Then again, my workplace doesn't have a strict requirement except for our clothes to be "business casual" at work, and suits if we have to make an appearance (I work in a law office).

  3. Heather from Canada
    October 31, 2012 / 5:55 pm

    Absolutely!! This was a great post. I have an insane amount of fabric, but because I don't want to buy or make clothes until I have lost weight, I make do with a very small wardrobe. So silly. I did lose some weight and gave away some clothes, but now I wish I hadn't. Well hopefully it will be more incentive to take charge of my health and get more fit! But I really do need some skirts for my current size so need to get going on that, both to wear to work and for personal wear…
    Thanks for a very insightful post and I hope you find some nice things this weekend!

  4. October 31, 2012 / 6:32 pm

    Don't panic!!!!!
    Seriously – I bet you have more than enough that is wearable for your first week back, and then you just need to add one new "mixer" item a week and you will soon have plenty of options. PLEASE don't go mad in Primark and then have to throw it all away in a few weeks because it all fell apart / wasn't as nice as it seemed in the glare of the headlights!

  5. October 31, 2012 / 8:19 pm

    Oh dear. I'm sure you will think on so etching. Good luck on back to work.

  6. October 31, 2012 / 8:56 pm

    Good luck getting work clothes sorted! I so have this problem when it comes to tops. I have lovely work appropriate dresses and skirts I have made. But blouses? No such luck and I can't bring myself to buy them. Let alone the fact I never make them, just think about it. As I result I have one black shirt and one white shirt that gets used all of the time. *sigh*

  7. October 31, 2012 / 9:26 pm

    Ack! I have just the same problem– I can't stand to buy clothes anymore, but I don't have the time to sew an entire wardrobe!

  8. November 1, 2012 / 9:29 am

    I'm just teh same as Amanda – lots and lots of work dresses, a couple of skirts and basically no tops… I'm not sure how I think that is going to work!!! LOL
    I'm fortunate that I was 'once a frockaholic' and have loads of work appropriate attire – but it is ageing…

  9. November 1, 2012 / 10:11 am

    sewing saves money… but sometimes its time you need to save 😉

  10. November 1, 2012 / 12:10 pm

    Good luck, I hope you discover some work-ish outfits in your wardrobe! Can you not wear some of your lovely knit dresses, like your McCalls 6069 or your recent Vogue 1314?

    Stash building is a terrible addiction, but just in case fabric stops being made…

  11. November 1, 2012 / 3:55 pm

    But can't you figure out a way to integrate your current clothes into work wardrobe? There need not be a separate work wardrobe and outside-work wardrobe..

    This I say, working for a Corporate.

    You can use your super nice dresses, with a jacket/Cardigan and proper tights..

    Use your current tops inside jacket / cardigans and wear straight skirts or trousers..

    Remix, baby!

  12. November 1, 2012 / 3:56 pm

    And of course I agree… with all the plans and smug satisfaction that we can make them. 🙂

    Trust me, you will! soon. Don't be so hard on yourself, dibs!

  13. November 1, 2012 / 4:24 pm

    I have just spent the last week making work wear – not very joyous, but necessary. When I only worked part time I had enough clothes. but now I work full time and have to wear a suit/ business dress – Yuk! I had very little. I just want to make something fun and colourful.

  14. November 1, 2012 / 8:14 pm

    I totally get this. With me, the problem is more with patterns than fabric, but I do have a stash of unused fabrics. Some part of me feels like if I buy the pattern, I practically have the garment, so I have this giant wardrobe in my head and my actual closet disappoints me every day. 🙂 I started spending 20 minutes a day on sewing, and I'm hoping it'll slowly help me build my wardrobe, instead of creating one garment every two or three months after a mini sewing binge and then not making anything for another couple months.

  15. Aby
    November 1, 2012 / 9:49 pm

    I had to show your entry to my 11 year old daughter, i say that all the time!!! about macrame bracelets, bead bracelets, clothes, knitted hats you name it, she is now laughing at me and saying well she now knows that i'm not the only person that would love to make all their own clothes… but just never has the time….!!!! but you're nearly there. Goodluck with going back to work

  16. Sara
    November 1, 2012 / 10:11 pm

    I sometimes think that I should pay myself for FO's. Finish a top – put $10.00 into the sewing purse. Finish a dress – put $30.00 into the sewing purse. Then you only spend from the sewing purse and then you don't spend more than you're saving.

  17. November 2, 2012 / 7:40 am

    I know what you mean about avoiding buying clothes because 'I could make that!' I don't think sewing clothes does save money, in the UK anyway. Maybe ut's different in the US where fabric seems to be cheaper. And Abby is so right about buying the pattern and then forgetting you have to make the thing up.

    Sewing's supposed to be fun so I say don't beat yourself up about it or force yourself to sew things you don't really want to. All the best for your return to work!

  18. November 2, 2012 / 7:43 am

    I suppose I should resign myself to the sewing for pleasure idea. Spent all of yesterday wishing I was back home. lol. I'm sure it will get easier.

  19. November 2, 2012 / 7:44 am

    Thats true. My office is also "business Casual". I had a serious relook when I came back from work, and found more things I could manage to the office. I suppose its because most of the things I have made have not been winter friendly.

  20. November 2, 2012 / 7:45 am

    Thanks Heather. I did the same thing like you. when I fell pregnant, I gave away all my clothes to my friends, forgetting that one day the baby bump will disappear.

  21. November 2, 2012 / 7:47 am

    Hahahahahahhaaha. I do not shop in primark. maybe for night gowns on the cheap, but never for something I will wear out of the house. I did buy a couple of trousers last night after work, and will try to make tops in the coming weeks to match them.

  22. November 2, 2012 / 7:47 am

    Thanks hun.

  23. November 2, 2012 / 7:48 am

    Oh dear. I just bought 3 trousers to last me all winter, with the hope of making tops to go with them. I hope I do make the tops.

  24. November 2, 2012 / 7:49 am

    I bought some trousers yesterday. I think I could not bring myself to buy things which I felt I could make.

  25. November 2, 2012 / 7:50 am

    I love the way you described your frocks as "ageing". lol.

  26. November 2, 2012 / 7:51 am

    Thats another perspective. Which I think is very true. I tend to make things when I am under pressure, when I could just have easily gone out and bought them, and used the time to do other things.

  27. November 2, 2012 / 7:52 am

    hahahahahha. If they ever stopped making fabric, I would go on a hungry strike. Yes. i wore the Vogue 1314 to work yesterday, and my colleagues loved it. I think I will make more of those soon, as it is really winter friendly.

  28. November 2, 2012 / 7:53 am

    Hahahahaha. And remix I shall. I have loads of cardigans, so I shall defo go down that route.

  29. November 2, 2012 / 7:54 am

    I understand you about fun and colourful. My office does business casual, so I'm lucky in that respect. I think I just need to ramp up my productivity levels.

  30. November 2, 2012 / 7:55 am

    I feel that way too. So I keep adding patterns, without using up those I already have, and end up buying similar patterns.

  31. November 2, 2012 / 7:55 am

    hahahahahhaha. My husband thinks I'm crazy with the number of things I declare I want to make, and never do.

  32. November 2, 2012 / 7:56 am

    ah, if only I was that disciplined.

  33. November 2, 2012 / 7:58 am

    Thanks Catherine. I sometimes wish I lived in the States, just because of the fabric. I really needed trousers, so instead of doing the usual thing of trying to make them, I actually bought some last night. I still want to make trousers though. lol

  34. November 3, 2012 / 9:41 am

    Hey Dibs! I hope the first few days back have gone OK… There is a really fine balance between saving money (as long as you don't count your time!) as you know that what you've made is better quality and better fit than most store bought items and will probably last longer! But there's also the time aspect, and having a family means time commitments (of the best sort!).

    I very definitely sew for the pleasure and although I set myself targets as to when I'll get certain things done by, if it doesn't happen I don't beat myself up. Plus I only get maybe one or two hours to sew, late at night after 9pm! I have fabric and it's all bundled up with the notions and patterns, but I know it'll take time to get through it all – unless I have a day off where Husband is at work, and Boy is with the childminder and I have 8 hours of just me and my machines!

  35. November 6, 2012 / 6:09 pm

    Honestly, I've never had a big problem with this issue because I am the type of seamstress who mixes handmade with man-made. I like to think that I can whip up a simple skirt but it usually takes days with my busy schedule.

    Good luck with shopping! And don't feel guilty!

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