Not buying clothes for a year: a status report after 9 months!

As you may have previously read in my 3 months status update & my 6 months status update, at the end of last year, I decided to no buy any clothes for a whole year. It has now been 9 months so it is time to do my 3rd quarterly status report. 

Not buying clothes for a year - 9 months status report

Did I buy clothes in the last 3 months? 

Yes and No… I’m ashamed…

First let me tell you that a few days ago, I pulled a bit too hard on one of my socks and screamed a big ‘Nooooooo’ when it torn apart!

From the beginning of the year, I knew I would probably have to buy socks at one point or another. This incident got me, one pair closer, to this inevitable moment! But unfortunately, it’s not socks I had to buy…

OK, so….

I didn’t buy any regular clothes!

Hip Hip, Hooray!! I write this because I feel like I should be very happy and proud, but the truth is that I’m not.

I don’t really feel proud, because it has been really, really, easy.

I pretty much have to congratulate my partner every time he does the dishes but I find it ridiculous! It’s an easy task, why is he so proud of himself!?

Not buying clothes has become as easy as doing the dishes. It is just as normal. That’s a major shift in perspective really and it is quite amazing on its own. However because it feels so normal, I don’t even think about it that way anymore.

Last quarter, I felt slightly scared because of a trip to Portugal, I thought I would get tempted there. This quarter, I had a trip to London and didn’t think about shopping one bit! That easy!

I did participate to the climate strike! It was amazing!

The second reason I don’t feel proud is because I haven’t really bought anything else either. If you’ve read the random things I bought this year: a minimalist weird shopping list, you’ve realized that this challenge of not buying clothes, has significantly impacted the way I spend money!

This quarter, I have only bought some flowers! (Apart from food and necessities like shampoo) The heatwaves we had in Europe managed to kill a lot of my old outdoor plants and I wanted to keep my terrace looking pretty. I spent a whopping 14 euros on such flowers!

I bought more polishing tools for my Indian but that’s part of my goals for the year and budget, so it’s ok.

The third reason I do not feel proud is because:

I bought motorcyclist gear…

I bought a pair of motorcycle pants & a pair of motorcycle boots.

Notice what I did here? I’m so ashamed of such purchases, that I didn’t include these as regular clothes. I called them ‘gear’. As do a lot of people obviously but I did so, to try to not feel ashamed. It’s not really working!

If you’ve read any of my previous status report or anything recent on this corner of the web, you already know about the project I’m working on: the renovation of my dad’s vintage Indian Scout motorcycle.

I talk about it all the time!!

What I rarely mention is that I don’t have my motorcycle driving license!! Yet! 😂

And just to take the driving lessons, I have to be fully equipped! I had purchased the helmet, jacket & gloves last year, as I was planning to start the lessons in April this year at the latest. But I’m late on my planning and found out I needed to be fully equipped, head to toes!

Plus it’s not just to take the driving lessons and get the license. It is not a bad idea to have such equipment for when I’ll be riding my Indian. I do want to have a chance to stay alive, despite the suicide clutch / shifter on such bike!

So there were real, good reasons for such purchase. But finding good reasons for a purchase is usually a bad excuse. Motorcycle pants are still pants… So here I am, feeling conflicted & ashamed!

What did I sew in the last 3 months? 

After last quarter, kind of disastrous or at least disappointing results, I knew my wardrobe wasn’t about to overflow, with pieces I had created, anytime soon. I was still determined to continue on my journey and wanted to do better.

That was without counting on the heatwaves!

You see, I always get pretty hot when sewing. It might be the stress of sewing a straight seam. It might be just that my ‘all manual’ sewing machine is good exercise! Not sure, but I get hot.

With the heatwave, sewing proved to be impossible. I tried, it was catastrophic!

My new blockout curtains helped managed the heat in my apartment, but not enough to make sewing bearable. So no sewing in July…

just another picture of my lifesaving Singer vintage sewing machine

Sexy granny panties!

There was a couple cooler days in August and I jumped on the opportunity to sew! It had to be something small as I didn’t know how long I had, before the sun would come back!

Perfect, I had been meaning to sew some underwear! That’s small enough?

I took some of my existing ones and some left out black fabric I had and I did one pair of sexy granny panties! I’m not going to model it for you so, you can check here (#affiliatelink) what it pretty much looks like. Very simple look. I did model for my partner who found my new panties super sexy!

The fabric is a bit thick for an under garment, but I was pleased with the result. Then, I just washed them and put them in my drawer as a back up plan.

Well, 2 weeks later, I had to wear them as my underwear drawer was completely empty! Something I knew would happen at one point or another during the year, like for the socks!! And… whoa! They are so comfortable, so easy to wear under a high-waist jean. I just wanted to wear them everyday! So by the end of September, I finally managed to sew a second pair! I’m so happy!!

It took me almost 3 hours to sew the first one, just under 2 hours to sew the second pair. Prepping, cutting, pinning etc. included. Most of the seems are sewn with the zigzagger to be stretchy enough to not break. It takes a bit longer than a normal seam to sew. Still, going from 3hours to under 2 hours, is real progress!

An unfinished night gown

With the panties, I did exactly what I had promised myself I wouldn’t do anymore, at least for a while: trying to sew without a pattern. I have to learn how to use patterns, it’s just a part of learning how to sew.

With the success of the panties, I started to sew a nightgown the day after. 😂 Again, I took one I had, as a model, and defined the changes I wanted in the design.

How to say this… it just didn’t go as well! 😭

It’s not all terribly bad & I might still be able to make improvements. Not quite sure how just yet!!

In addition, I had planned to add lace and haven’t found the lace that would work yet. As mentioned previously, I want to try to buy vintage clothes or vintage fabric from now on. Maybe not for all my projects, but at least for a few.

So I’ve looked for vintage lace on eBay but it turned out to be tricky. Some lace is really old and looks so delicate, it would be a crime for me to ruin it. Some look not so vintage. It’s hard to tell if it will be stretchy enough to match the fabric I used… I’m not yet sure how to handle but will find a way even if I have to buy new lace.

That will hopefully be for next quarter!

Pockets on my cardigan!

I did add the pockets on last quarter cardigan! I didn’t mess up, they look good and so far they are wrong enough! Yeah, it isn’t much!

Other repairs…

I brilliantly repaired my partner’s PJ! 😂

I had to repair my cardigan too. This is becoming ridiculous. I cracked the seams under the harms again and now have what I call ‘ventilation holes’… again! I definitively have room for improvement in my sewing technique! I probably need to buy new thread. I read somewhere, that vintage thread was not a good idea!

Next projects

With the panties done, I feel more confident to tackle the bra I had started. I may have to redo the all thing, with my zigzagger. That’s a bit of a daunting task, will see how it goes.

I still have a good quantity of fabric, from what I had bought in June. I do want to use that to do comfy home items, a bit like the cardigan. Not pieces I will wear to the office! I’m not ready for that apparently.

This ‘learn how to sew in 1 year’ is going to be extended in time, it seems!

What I’ve learned from this

As mentioned at the beginning, I felt ashamed buying motorcyclist pants & shoes. There is no way I could have sewn those, first because technically, I’m not capable, plus the fabric is specially made to resist abrasion.

I had to have such equipment to take my driving license. It’s mandatory. And the pants I bought will go well with my bike. They will keep me safe if something happens.

So why did I feel ashamed?

I’m not even quite sure to be honest.

Part of me felt like I was failing my goals of not buying clothes for a year. As mentioned motorcycle pants are still pants, they are still clothes even if technical clothes. Even if required for my safety.

The other part of me was replying: “you want to stay alive, don’t you?!” Aaaah those voices in my head! 😂 (just kidding here, do not worry!)

So why such guilt?! I’ll keep wondering and let you know if and when I understand.

For now I will move on. What is done is done. I will stop beating myself up.

For next year, I will think of my goals more carefully and will not select goals that conflict with each others! I suppose that is actually a smart lesson!

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See you in 3 months for the last status report of the year! Isn’t it incredible how the year flew by so fast?!

Not buying clothes for a year - 9 months status report