Wednesday, 4 August 2010
Stuff and Things
See that? That's all my clothes in one pile. All of them except for a few bits that were hiding in the laundry and the garments I was standing in. That's what I dealt with yesterday.
Finally it got to the clothing stage in my packing to move back to UK. Until yesterday, I had the naive idea that I could whittle my clothing down to fill just one medium sized suitcase and maybe one smallish box to be sent via post to UK. Ummmm, No! Totally No, seriously No and a million times, No! I have come to realise that my initial aim only would have been possible if I were living (or about to live) in a temperate climate that was generally very warm with very little weather fluctuation of any kind. I don't know where such a place would be, but it certainly isn't my current reality. The truth is, whilst I'm wearing my smallest shorts, skirts and summer tops right now, jumpers and coats are to be fixtures of my near future.
The pile of garments that remain post-sorting is now about half the size of the pile in the image above, but even after the mass-culling, I'm going to have to buy a bigger suitcase. Sorting through clothes is so difficult! So many memories and attachments exist between both self-stitched and long-harboured shop-bought items. The ties between a sewer and their handmade wares are clearly complex and multi-faceted. But having not bought any new clothes for about four years, many of my shop-bought things have achieved an elevated level of preciousness as well, which was pretty much the point of signing up to the Wardrobe Refashion pledge in the first place: to live an alternative to the standard lifestyle where clothing is disposable.
But it couldn't all come with me and I had to be ruthless. A lack of charity shops here in Spain makes chucking out unwanted things more of a guilt-inducing activity than it might otherwise be if I was currently living somewhere where the culture of second hand were different. Thankfully, I have a friend living here whose hoarding instinct I have been able to exploit so I know the majority of the items I have had to discard are going on to a new life! But with so many 'old friends'and handmade 'babies', the criteria I needed to employ to figure out the what would stay and what would go had to be pretty tough.
'Slow-fashion' forces you to evaluate more fully what you need and want from a garment than shopping for garments does, because (if you're anything like me) you know that rushing in to an ill-considered project often results in an unwearable garment, and with the extra time and effort invested in it's aquisition, that can be pretty crushing! My sewing outup has escalated somewhat over the last year and it's really helped me focus on what kind of styles I'm interested in and suit me. There's been quite a few creations this year that occurred largely because I wanted to get something finished rather than because I was creating something well-suited to my tastes, body shape and lifestyle. This clothing clear-out gave me the opportunity to acknowledge that and let them go.
So now that my wardrobe consists only of items that are currently (or shortly will be) seeing a lot of action and the garments that I feel accurately reflect the direction my personal style seems to be heading, I feel I'll be in a better situation to get back into sewing when I find myself ensconced in our next abode. In a vein similar to Mena from Sew Weekly's approach, I hope to only make additions to my wardrobe that are well made, well fitting and well considered in terms of reflecting my personal style and lifestyle needs. In short, I've got to stop spewing quick-fix garments from my sewing machine that end up languishing in my cupboard. I'm most likely one of the last home-sewers out there to have come to this conclusion, but if anyone out there has any tips on how to implement this more considered (and, dare I say, mature) approach to sewing and how to keep yourself on the straight and narrow, I would very grateful to read them!