Saturday, 26 September 2015

Some reflection on owning stuff, a new pair of fluffy jeans & a skirt

A few weeks ago I moved apartments. As with each move (over the last five years I have moved 6 times, including three countries), I start getting rid of things and making good resolutions for not keeping or buying unnecessary ones. With each move I discard many things. Although, I don’t consider myself a shopaholic or a hoarder, somehow, I manage to accumulate certain amount of stuff. In most cases, it’s books, craft-related items, such as patterns, magazines and fabric (oh man, tons of it), but I have also noticed that my wardrobe is getting fuller and fuller. Even though, I sew quite slowly, approximately 1.5 garments per month, I still feel that I own much more than I need. Having sewing as a hobby is so liberating and fulfilling, but can also become troublesome and even enslaving, in a way.

Although, I feel extremely happy that I have the opportunity to master certain crafts and to be able to explore my creativity, something inside me says that I should put a limit on it. How many skirts do I need? How many coats? Even though the time I spend in my sewing corner brings me a lot of satisfaction, I do torture myself for owning so much stuff! Maybe, because during the move I saw how much space all my possessions took? Maybe, because I feel so appalled and concerned by the current refugee crisis? Maybe, because I am sick of being part of our consumerist society? Or, all of these reasons put together?

This change of opinion on the state of things does not stop me from sewing, though. Instead, I am trying to do my best to be more mindful when sewing or crafting. Still, one thing is to decide on something, it is another story completely to make it happen. I don’t think that I will change my habits and desires overnight; however, I expect to feel the impact of the above thoughts with time.

Having said all that, I made a pair of jeans! I had seven pairs, three of which I donated, but, as I was packing my fabric before the move, I found a very cool cut of denim, purchased in Tokyo two years ago. Nuno, the shop where I bought the fabric, is famous for their experimental textiles; you can read more about it in this post. After regularly visiting the shop, I wanted to own a piece of fabric from them, something special, yet affordable. The price tag for cottons, for instance, started from 30EUR/metre. Ouch! So, I saw this fluffy denim, which would be perfect for a cropped jacket and a pair of jeans. Or, at least, that’s what I thought at the time. As I did not need another jacket, a choice of the second garment was not too difficult: a skirt!

Due to my KnipMode fever, the choice of pattern was obvious. I was immediately drawn to a special trousers issue, featuring more than 20 different designs. To showcase the crazy fabric, I went with the simplest design: boyfriend jeans. Armed with knowledge from my previous experience with a KnipMode pattern, I cut the pattern in a size 36. Making a muslin helped me adjust the crotch area and the waistband, but I found the trousers’ leg-length too long for my height (177cm-tall).

The skirt was drafted, using my basic sloper. The remaining denim fabric was enough to make an A-line shaped skirt, but not enough to add pockets. There is not much to say about the skirt other than it’s very comfortable and bike-friendly.

Now, with two new garments in my wardrobe and a few more planned for autumn, I am thinking: is it really worth spending time and fabric on more garments?

Dear readers, I am really at a crossroads: while one part of me strives for a less wasteful and minimalistic  life-style, the other part keeps on seeking the pleasure I get from making clothes.

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