A year without buying clothes & giveaway

The last time I bought a piece of clothing that wasn’t underwear or socks was June 8 2013, meaning that I haven’t bought any RTW for over a year now! This seems a good reason for some reflections and a little celebration!

Dresses made during RTW fastWas it difficult? No, not at all, but then, I never liked shopping for clothes. I didn’t even realise it had been that long until I signed up for the RTW fast in December. I am definitely going to continue not buying anything this year because it has been a lot of fun so far.

Since posting my original sewing challenge post I have made 2 dresses (here & here), 2 skirts (here & here), 2 t-shirts (here & here) and a scarf for myself that all get worn quite regularly. The scarf is a real bonus because I have learned how to crochet while I didn’t plan on learning that. It does offer some new opportunities for making cardigans and sweaters once I get better at it.

140621_skirtsI’ve reached my goal of sewing 2 casual skirts and 2 casual dresses, I do want more though! I especially like wearing the skirt that has a button front placket. Also, would it be really strange to make another Lady Skater dress or should I venture out to other patterns? The 2 t-shirts get worn almost as soon as they are dry after having been washed so those are definitely a success and I probably wear them too often…. I really need more of those.

140621_t-shirtsIt does still leave me with a long list of garments that I need to make to achieve a proper basic self-made wardrobe. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know that I have almost finished the 1 item that I listed as being quite urgent… When that is finished I intend to tackle jeans. Yes, jeans! Sewbusylizzy is hosting a jeans in June and July challenge and I’ve decided to join in. I’ve unearthed the pair of jeans that I had started to copy using Kenneth Kings method. A real bonus of finishing that process will be that I can finally start wearing that pair again…

140621_scarfBesides not buying any RTW I’ve also recently passed the 50 post milestone on this blog. My goals when starting out were to blog at least once a week and to post at least one tutorial each month. I believe most of my posts were less than 7 days apart except for a couple of crazy weeks so I’ll call that a success and I intend to continue in this way. Anyway, I’m not going to lose any sleep because “I need to post something”. In the almost 10 months that I’ve been blogging I wrote 7 tutorials so less than intended. This is mostly because my work has been really busy in 2014 (finishing up your PhD apparently tends to be) so I didn’t have as much time and energy for sewing as I would have liked. Tutorials are the first to suffer because they take a lot of time to put together. Hopefully I’ll get another tutorial ready soon because I enjoy making them and based on my blog stats I think the ones that I have made so far are being used quite often.

Perhaps I should give it a press before I continue...

Perhaps I should give it a press before I continue…

Some random facts and figures:

Over 200 people are following my blog, either via wordpress, email or bloglovin and only a small number is biologically related to me.

I find photography a necessary evil of blogging. I take pictures because a “hey I made a dress” post doesn’t really work that well without pictures of the finished item but don’t expect dashing photo-shoots from me anytime soon. It’s just not something that I enjoy doing so I am usually satisfied after 5 minutes of trying to take the perfect picture.

I think blogging has improved my productivity because I am eager to show new finished items and am therefore more likely to just finish what I am working on instead of starting something new when I reach a boring part. My UFO pile has definitely shrunken in size!

I have found new blogs and interesting people to connect with that I am not sure I would have found without my blog and this has been a very enjoyable experience. I do like the interaction with other bloggers.

Now onto the celebration!

Giveaway to celebrate the joy of sewing my own clothes

Knipmode July 2014 issue

Knipmode July 2014 issue. On the right the line drawings for the patterns in this issue. If you click on the picture you can see a larger version.

Since so many of my lovely readers are from abroad and also into garment sewing I thought it fun to present you with a giveaway prize that is not so easy to get when you’re not in the Netherlands (it’s not impossible though). The most recent issue of Knipmode! It’s a sewing magazine that I use often. It offers multi sized patterns that have to be traced before you can use them. I don’t think this is difficult because the different patterns are drawn in different colours and the different sizes are drawn in different line styles. Seam allowances are not included in the patterns, as is the case for most European patterns, so you’ll have to add those yourself. Instructions are in Dutch, but I know there are non-Dutch speaking sewers that use this magazine successfully and if you’re still baffled after trying Google translate I am willing to be your personal helpdesk. I own the same issue so in theory I should be able to help you (no guarantees though!).

Some of the dress patterns that I like in this Knipmode issue.

Some of the dress patterns that I like in this Knipmode issue.

Most patterns are drafted for bust size 83 to 107 cm (33 to 43 inches) but there are also several patterns for bust size 107 to 137 cm (43 to 68 inches). This particular issue offers a lot of dress patterns and also some tops, trousers and skirts, some of which I really like the look of. Somehow they also always manage to include at least one pattern that I really don’t get…

And then there is this dress... I'm lost for words.

And then there is this dress… I’m lost for words.

Giveaway rules:

  1. Giveaway is open internationally.
  2. To enter leave a comment that clearly states you wish to enter the giveaway. If you comment but don’t state that you want to enter I will assume you are not interested in the magazine.
  3. You can enter until Saturday June 28th, 20.00h UTC+1.
  4. Only 1 entry per person.
  5. Friends and family are allowed to enter.
  6. Prize drawing will be performed by my boyfriend.
  7. Results are incontestable.

32 comments on “A year without buying clothes & giveaway

  1. Angelika says:

    congrats to achieving your goal in not buying clothes for a year!
    since I’m sewing I’m also buying less and less; jeans are the only thing so far I’m not sure about, if this will ever become something i’ll really make on my own.
    Not (only) because of the fit but can’t achieve that used look by yourself I think. I made 2 two pairs of girls jeans but there is strawberries and dots on,so that doesn’t really count ;-)
    I’d like to win your new knip, because it’s really hard to get this outside of the Netherlands. I know their patters start with size 34 and that’s much better for me than Burda (often starts with 36).
    I’m looking forward to joining you another year of less buying clothes :-)

    • Emmely says:

      I signed up for the sewing designer jeans class from Angela Wolf on Craftsy. She shows how to distress the denim as you’re creating your jeans. I find it quite fascination what you can do with a piece of sandpaper and a hammer. She really does achieve the used look. It will probably take some practice though.
      Knipmode starts with size 34, but this size is actually quite similar to Burda style size 36. For example the bust size of Knipmode 34 is 83cm, for Burday size 36 it’s 84cm.

  2. That is really a successful year, congratulations! Count me in for the giveaway. I have always found the fashion of Dutch sewing magazines quite appealing. There seem to be some cute dress patterns in the magazine (Burdastyle features at the moment only those boxy, shapeless patterns…)

  3. Cecillia says:

    Congrats on the year of rtw fast! Would love the knipmode!! :)

  4. m01ma says:

    Hi! First time vising your blog and already joining a giveaway. I’m feeling a little bit cheeky, but hey ho! I’ve only just decided to sew my own wardrobe so having this lovely magazine would definitely benefit me. Thanks!

  5. onedabbles says:

    Congratulations! I enjoy your blog very much and your tutorials are tempting and made with such precision and attention to detail. The placket front skirt is my favourite garment of yours – great fit and style. I will make one, one day!
    (I won’t enter the giveaway because I’m really not up to that stage yet.)
    Look forward to seeing future posts.

    • Emmely says:

      Thank you! Not all patterns in the magazine are difficult, but I suppose the instructions in a strange language would make it more challenging.

  6. katechiconi says:

    Well done on your year of living creatively and frugally! I enjoy your blog and hope you keep it up now that you have reached some of your goals. I have just started making clothes for myself again after years of not doing so, and winning the giveaway would be a great start to building my pattern library.

    • Emmely says:

      I’m not so sure about the frugal part. I definitely spend more on fabric, notions, sewing equipment etc than I ever spend on RTW….

  7. Congratulations on reaching the one year mark! I haven’t quite got there yet and sadly I don’t even have an exact date to remember (sometime in September, I think!) I’m working up to giving sewing jeans. I have already sewn some trousers. Anyway, I would love your giveaway, the magazine looks like it has some interesting designs in it.

    • Emmely says:

      I usually use my debitcard to pay in shops so I could look back in my records when I spend something in a particular shop the last time. If you’ve already sewn trousers jeans are only a small step away!

  8. I would love to enter your giveaway. I love seeing what others are doing and it would be interesting to see fashion from another country!

  9. Lulu says:

    Please enter me in the giveaway. My husband is Dutch, I figure he can translate anything I get stuck on. (Love your pieced denim skirt!)

  10. Jilly says:

    Congrats on going a whole year. I really like the blue dress . I think you’ll love making pants. Once I got past the fit part it’s really fun😁. Im also making a core wardrobe. Lot of work! Put me in for your contest!

    • Emmely says:

      I’ve tried making trousers once and it was a complete disaster. This was several years ago and I can now tell that I 1) chose the wrong pattern, 2) used the wrong size and 3) didn’t have a clue how to fit things. No wonder it didn’t work… I am more optimistic know, although still a little bit scared.

  11. Kelly says:

    Congrats on your year of not buying clothes! I hardly buy any anymore either, although I was in desperate need of new jeans recently – I considered making some, but found 4 perfect pairs for £1 each in a charity shop…and I did buy myself some cashmere jumpers from the market for £4 each, but I think second hand clothing is slightly better! I can’t wait to see how everyone’s jeans for June turn out! And yes, please enter me in the giveaway, looks like an interesting magazine!

    • Emmely says:

      I am trying to stay ahead of the “I need new jeans right now because all my pairs have holes in very inappropriate places and I have nothing else to wear” situation… Hope my self-made jeans will turn out ok or I’ll probably still reach that situation this year (although I could also make more skirts and start wearing nothing but skirts if needs arise).

  12. dodgyzebra says:

    That’s an awesome achievement. congrats! And I’d love to be entered into the GiveAway. En ek kan Afrikaans praat …which might help with the Dutch pattern instructions :-)

  13. raquel from j.c. says:

    congratulations! and many moooore! I would love to enter in the giveaway thanks!

  14. Ruthie says:

    Emmely, congratulations. You were the second person ever to comment on my blog. *heart*. An unbreakable bond. I would like to go on record that the lady skater dress you did recently made me want to try knits. (Not much success…). I hereby express interest in that crazy sewing mag. I’m an adventurous GoogleTranslate kind of girl~~. Here’s to 50 more posts!

    • Emmely says:

      Thank you!
      What problems did you have sewing knits? I usually find them quite easy to handle, so perhaps I can give you some tips to solve your issues?

      • Ruthie says:

        So I pulled out a UFO to take pics and show you. Turned out, I’d never pressed the seams. Ha! So now I just have to hem, and I’ll have a new skirt~~. Thank you!

      • Emmely says:

        Isn’t it funny how we sometimes feel really disappointed with a project, chuck it in a corner and when you come back later it really looks quite ok? Glad you managed to save the skirt with a press and hem!

  15. Linda T says:

    Congratulations on your RTW fast. That is wonderful. And to know you are enjoying and wearing your ‘me made clothes’ is such a bonus. I’d love a chance to win the magazine; I’ve never seen one in ‘real life!’

  16. Carolyn says:

    Oops, sorry I missed the giveaway! I’m always so behind of blog reading, but I do get there eventually. :)

    Congrats on a full year of sewing your own wardrobe! What a great milestone. Looking forward to seeing how your jeans challenge goes – the ultimate sewing challenge, I think!

    • Emmely says:

      I try to keep up with my blogfeed every day or it just becomes too much and I’ll skip a lot just to get back on track. I suppose it’s a good thing most sewing bloggers don’t post every day…

      I’ve been watching Angela Wolff’s Craftsy class and I’m starting to feel a lot more confident about the whole jeans sewing process (and I haven’t even started sewing yet!). She really breaks it down into manageable chunks.

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