Making Stuff & The Great Closet Cleanout of 2015

Making Stuff & The Great Closet Cleanout of 2015 | Grainline Studio

As I mentioned in my previous post, I cleaned out a pretty hefty chunk of my wardrobe over the previous weekend. Living in a 500sq ft space with another person, I try to keep my possessions semi-pared down, but occasionally things start to build up, and usually, those things are clothes.

It can be overwhelming as a maker, and especially when a large part of your job is to sew garments nonstop, to deal with things piling up. I occasionally end up feeling guilty for making more when I don’t necessarily need it, even though I love making things (and it’s my job). Compounding the pileup is the fact that I wear my clothes until they die because I’m a creature of habit, and that the clothes I make tend to last a long time since they’re made well and I use pretty good quality fabric.

I asked on Instagram if you guys had a hard time letting handmade garments go and the responses ranged from “I’d never let them go,” to “Not at all, pass them along!” A lot of it has to do with our individual personalities of course, but the garments we’ve made generally do tend to hold a little more weight than something purchased. All the time you spent picking fabric, matching it to a pattern, maybe you made it in a class that was especially fun, those memories and the things you learned along the way all play into that garment making it especially hard to let go.

One solution I’ve come up with is making the sew along garments and most of the tutorial/variation garments in my sister’s size so those aren’t going into my closet. That doesn’t always work though, especially when I’m pattern testing and need to make a zillion of one thing that isn’t in our size.

All of this started when I decided I would map out my Fall / Winter sewing plan Saturday morning. I saw Sarah following along with the into-mind workbook and sketching in her Fashionary notebook and figured, I should get rid of the stuff I don’t wear before I start planning. By Sunday night I had packed up all of the clothing, shoes & bags I’ve collected over the years that I don’t wear to get rid of. It’s all going to be donated though, so sorry to all of you who wanted me to have a sale.

Phew, a bit of a detour but well worth the time invested. Now to get back to planning and sewing with the goal of making a well made wardrobe full of pieces I love. You can see what I’m considering for fall on my FW ’15 Wardrobe Inspiration board, but I’ll post about it when I’ve got things more narrowed down. Just collecting ideas at the moment!

10 replies on “Making Stuff & The Great Closet Cleanout of 2015

  • Astrid

    Now, I don’t make clothes for a living but am trying to learn (it’s great fun!). And I have a lot of clothes. We built a proper wardrobe just now and now that I can see all of my things… well, let’s just say I realised many had to go. Have tried to sell some but meh, it’s too much work. Will donate instead 🙂 But it feels very refreshing to clean out!

  • Shannon

    I recently KonMari’ed my closet and got rid of a whole lot of things I made, and it makes me appreciate the things I have and love (me-made or otherwise) much more. I love a good closet purge — they’re just things, and it’s such a relief to put them to work for you, instead of feeling weighed down by them. And I like to daydream about a girl with exactly my measurements finding, say, the PERFECT buttondown at Goodwill.

  • Michelle

    To to read The Life Changing Art of Tidying – And dealt with clothing first. Its a good feeling to start over and also in a minimalistic way. I really would like to aim for a casual capsule wardrobe. I love your style Jen!

  • rosb2013

    I recently had a wardrobe (closet) clean out & I have to admit to discovering many things not worn.I donated to the local Women’s Centre & had plenty of feedback that I had made their day & it was so nice being able to see in my wardrobe…….my new motto is one new piece one old out.

  • marijka

    Everyone please remember Dress for Success with your work appropriate donations as you clean closets! I just donated a pile of trousers and blouses I that don’t work for my life anymore.

  • cocosloft

    Nice! I think cleaning out the wardrobe is cathartic 🙂 and like you, I have way too many clothes because I sew all the time. I try to donate twice a year. It’s almost time…my closet is too full!

  • Louise

    I am sewing clothes again after a 10 year gap – as I’m retired now with more time, so donated a mass of “business” wear, some blouses 20 years old, no kidding ! It’s liberating. Downloaded the Moss and Morris yesterday to start my new ” casual” look.

  • Beth – Sew DIY

    I did a big closet clean out this year and reading the Magic of Tidying Up really helped me to get rid of things that I just didn’t love. However, getting rid of handmade things is really, really hard. I feel like no one will appreciate them quite the same way I do.


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