What Do You Do When You’re Done?

This is something I’ve been thinking of a lot lately: what do you do when your wardrobe is full for the time being? When the sweater shelf is overflowing and there really is no need for another pair of pants, but you really enjoy making things? And you’re not too keen on fitting other people, because then it’s not your own time in your own schedule?

During the summer I washed all my knit sweaters, and it was difficult to get them into the closet, and there were some I don’t even use that much. Also the whole wardrobe seems to be overflowing with stuff and I haven’t had a nothing to wear -crisis in a long time, so I fear that I might have reached the point where I don’t exactly have any urgent clothing needs. And trust me, I used to have those a lot about a year or two ago. 

When I went from unemployed back to being employed again I was completely out of neat office outfits, and spent the first winter in one pair of jeans and just switched sweaters. (I had maybe four sweaters back then.) I felt like I was constanly running behind seasons, and couldn’t make everything I felt I needed fast enough. All my old clothes were basically in pieces, and I just felt really, really unprofessional and like I didn’t know how to dress at all. So I kept on making things and at some point last winter I realized I could actually choose from a few things what I’d feel like wearing that day. (Partly because I found out that a dress is basically a complete outfit when you add tights.) The shame of wearing the same sweater all week was gone, because now I had like ten of them. And I’ve noticed lately that most of my self made clothes will both survive loads of wear and stay current for more than one year. So it’s inevitable, that at some point clothes begin to pile.

Now what? I’m asking myself this even though I have a piece of jersey waiting for being made into a dress, because to me it doesn’t make sense to keep sewing and knitting until I drown in clothes. And even that future dress feels unnecessary. I mean, this is no different to going shopping every week just for fun. And yeah, I could always sew to others but the stress of fitting other people and scheduling that just feels like it would turn my hobby to work. I can deal with my own fit issues, but don’t want to mess with anyone else’s possible insecurities. Knitting is maybe easier in that sense, and I’ve already done some as presents. So maybe, just maybe I could message my friend who asked last spring if I’d be interested in knitting a sweater for her. In theory I’d love to, to be honest.

I’ve been taking some mental notes of the things I need to or could do:

  • Re-do my yoga pants and sportbras. These are all getting old, and I need 3-4 pairs in order not to do laudry every other day. Boring, but necessary.
  • Knit sweaters to people I like. Risky, may turn into a chore.
  • Knit that black boring cardigan I’ve been needing for years. I might have a suitable pattern, but I want my wrists to heal first. Not sure I’m a cardigan person, but this would make many more things wearable during winter.
  • Make a sample sheet of the leftover yarns I have, take it to the office and ask people to design their own mittens. Then get measurements and make them mittens. I’m kind of fond of this idea.

At any case I feel like I need to slow down somehow. I don’t want to be that person who’s constantly shopping for fabric or patterns or yarn or what have you, and I’m also not as interested in the process as I am in the outcome. I mean that I’m not going to be making things simply to learn new techniques or just because a garnment has interesting style lines. Ideally I’d like to make things I really need. Like, I’m definitely not making a new dress for my brother’s wedding because I made one to my sister’s wedding last year and have worn it total of two times. Clearly there’s no need for more party dresses in my wardrobe. I tend to wear very few pieces / season, so having more than three of something (underwear not included) feels weird in general. Maybe I should just start with a complete wardrobe inventory to see what’s there, and then make long term plans? Rip some sweaters I’m not wearing and re-use yarn in that mittens project. See where the holes are and make a list.


4 thoughts on “What Do You Do When You’re Done?

  1. Interesting question. I have started to wonder this myself. I have made a lot of stuff this year and there are fewer and fewer gaps in my wardrobe, although there are things will need or want when summer comes around (I’m in Australia so it’s still winter here). I think I am going to focus on making more bras and some cute pyjamas, I seem to avoid making things that other people aren’t going to see, even when I need them.


    1. I’ve also thought of making bras as my current ones age. That’s at least something that takes a bit of planning and thinking.


  2. I’ve started to have a similar feeling of needing to slow down a bit. I do have many wardrobe gaps, and am trying to sew accordingly. It’s not always easy though because I do enjoy sewing some patterns just for the sake of trying them. Maybe refashioning or quilting can be new crafts?


    1. Hey I have actually thought of quilting at some point! I’m in need of something to cover my bed with, so maybe a huge quilt would keep me occupied for a while.

      During summer I also made new towels for my bathroom. Just cut an old sheet (linen, from Red Cross archives) into pieces and embroidered the edges. I think there’s almost always something that needs to be done, but you get so used to thinking only of clothes.


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