Problem Area Number One
Do you see that empty area over on the right. It is only empty because I had already taken the piles of shirts below over to my son’s room to be sorted. Here they are
This was very liberating and a bit scary. I found a few things from jr. high/high school/freshman year. I’ve had some of these for more than half my life. I’m even keeping two. Those two have moved over to the craftroom, I’ll share more on those in another post. I also found some gems that still fit, but were hidden among the rest. I now know that I have several skirts and a couple of dresses, but am very much in need of dress pants and long sleeve blouses. I think my biggest surprise was that I own a single piece of blue clothing. For years blue was the first thing to catch my eye so I’ve been avoiding it-apparently with great success. A navy blazer may not be the way to go after all, or maybe it’ll be me inviting blue back into my wardrobe. Brown, purple and black are fairly well represented.
Since my sorting goal this time wasn’t “clean out the closet” or give some “things to charity”, but create a wardrobe I sorted differently than I have in the past. In order to make it back into the closet each item had to pass the checklist below:
Do I like the way it fits? The neckline, sleeve length, sleeve style, overall length?
Do I like the color?
Do I like the fabric?
Is it fairly up-to-date
If it failed, I thought about why and sorted it accordingly. Into one of the 4 remaining piles.
Pile One: Alterations (22 items)
If I liked most things about it and one or two changes could fix those I didn’t it ended up here. A too small dress might be big enough if I added side panels. A skirt that was too restrictive might work with added godets. A pair of pants a bit tight at the waist might benefit from a gusset. I have long loved flowy maxi length dresses and skirts that hit just above or below the knees so those maxi dresses that were too small on top, but haven’t gone away because I loved the fabric and cut are going to become skirts. If the cut, fit and fabric are workable, but I don’t like the color I may do some dyeing.
This is a great opportunity for learning since many of these items had fitting issues and were a complete loss to me that way. If I fix it I win. If I don’t, I learn and I’m not really out anything.
Pile Two: Patterns
There were really only three of these.
The only thing I don’t love about this dress is that it doesn’t fit.
I want this one to have wider straps (and for it to be big enough to fit), but love it apart from that.
And this one I loved the cut of so much that I wore it even though the orange was terrible for me. I wore it even though the zipper became undependable (for a while-I don’t recommend it).
These will be my basis for another sewing skill. Learning to draft from what I already own. Then items one and two will end up in pile 3.
Pile 3: Fabric
All those items with cuts that weren’t great, but that had wonderful colors and fabrics are now resources for fixing what needs to be fixed or making something new.
Pile 4: Charity
This pile ended up with 23 items. Which is a lot since it is the last pile. There will be some more once I’ve had a chance to create my action plan for alterations and access the usefulness of my new fabrics.
Yes, it was still hard to do this thorough a clean out. There were items that snuck back into the closet, but I was honest with myself about them and why they were there. These items are a pretty good fit, fill what would otherwise be a gap in my wardrobe and are largely neutrals. I have placed them on the bottom rack to keep them separate. They need to be replaced, but give me a feeling of security as I move into making my handmade wardrobe. I feel that they give me the wiggle room not to suddenly feel I need to go and get an okay piece for a specific event or purpose.
My next steps are an alterations action plan I will make a list of the items to alter and what type of alterations I decided on for them and what materials will be needed. However, before I do more than a few alterations on items I know I will be keeping I want to create a wardrobe plan consisting of a selection of the items in my closet, my alterations items and items from my sewing wishlist. I may find that some of my “keeps” or “alters” should move right over to charity. So first an alterations action plan, second an clothing inventory, third a color palette, and finally a wardrobe plan.