I’ve joined the Seamless Pledge, and this is the pledge:

I, Liz Pearson, take the Seamless pledge for a year. I will abstain from buying any new clothes until the end of my pledge. I will find ways to be fashionable without breaking the bank and without contributing to the cycle of fast fashion consuming the high street. I will trawl through charity shops, I will attend clothes swaps, I will look for second-hand items on eBay and I will craft my own clothes with my own two hands.

I’ve been thinking of joining this pledge for some time, and in fact, I haven’t bought any new clothes since November 2015. It’s mostly been prompted by the fact that I have copious quantities of yarn and fabric – to the point that I often say to friends that I have enough materials to make myself a whole new wardrobe, and really, I don’t need to set foot in a clothes shop. Much as the idea of a whole new wardrobe sounds appealing, what I actually need is just to add clothes to it occasionally. Why spend money on more clothes (fueling the fast fashion industry) when I have the material to hand in my loft? If I don’t use more of my stash soon, I may need to reinforce the loft floor. An extra prompt came from a book I have called My Little Black Book of Fashion Sewing: Hints, tips and resources for sewing a stylish wardrobe by Cheryl Watson. A little known book, I think, but I’ve found it very useful.

There’s a chapter in the book about motivation strategies to get, or keep yourself working on something. Little tips, like if you feel that you’re short of time, try sewing/knitting/making in 25 minute bursts, say while waiting for something to cook in the oven. Aim to sew a couple of seams – take it in bite-size chunks. The chapter ends with some aspirational pledges, and this was one that I thought I could achieve.

I’m intending to make (knit/sew/crochet), make do and mend, buy from charity shops (I’ve a nose for clothes in good condition that look like they’ve barely been worn), alter and re-purpose.

I’ve been make-do-and-mending a little of late because I’ve found a batch of clothes wearing and becoming tatty. I mentioned mending a pair of jeans for #MenditMay: re-mend it, and I have more than one pair of jeans to mend. I’ve taken some some clothes to charity shops that don’t really suit me and swapped them for something more suitable. They often need altering to fit, but that’s ok. Here’s a nice Laura Ashley tweedy jacket from a charity shop that’s a little too large but I can see a way of taking in seams to make it fit. This and the dark jeans I found are in very good condition.

re-purposing clothes
Charity Shop Make-over

So far so good. I’ve been doing this for years – it’s just a matter of cutting out the buying new and getting more enthusiastic about mending.

My next challenge (not included in the Seamless pledge) is to stop adding to my stash. That really is my problem area. I just can’t seem to help myself. Recently my neighbour told me that she was de-cluttering her loft and was getting rid of some dressmaking and upholstery fabrics. Would I like to take any of this? I started off saying ‘no I’ve too much fabric of my own, but I have friends who might be interested’. After posting a message on Facebook to friends, I helped get rid of a small number of pieces to a good home, but then I couldn’t resist a few pieces myself. A gremlin wriggled in my brain. It said ‘Free fabric, needs a good home – yours!’. So here we are:

Three pieces of wool fabric, some denim and a pretty print. My argument goes that I intended to make a new winter coat this year as the last one I made (years ago) is looking worse for wear. I have no plain wool fabric. One of these fabrics might make a hip-length coat. The pretty print would make a lovely top. The denim – eh, I have some dark denim. Now, I must stop or the ceiling below the loft is going to sag….