As my sewing picks up pace, this is the year that I really want to think about what I’m making and why I am making it. There is so much needless waste, and so this year I have challenged myself to having a Ready to Wear Fast.

This takes the form of me restricting myself by buying no new, ready-made clothes for the duration of 2019. For me, this includes as gifts for others, receiving gifts from other people and covers all aspects of clothing with the exception of shoes, underwear and emergency items (if I go on holiday and lose my suitcase, I can buy something then!).

Already, I have been finding it slightly tough. I’ve mentioned before about my lack of trousers and it’s a daily struggle to get dressed, especially if I need/ want to look halfway decent. Take this morning, for example: as part of my job I was being interviewed for a local television station. My branded work jacket is navy, and the only decent trousers I have are also… navy. If I don’t want to look like a navy beast (I don’t), what was I going to wear?

I adore my culottes, my skirts (not all hand-made), my dungarees, but none are suitable for a TV appearance when I work outdoors and am talking about environmental issues. I needed some trousers. But all my jeans are ripped, stained and rather tatty. I wish I’d thought of this a week ago, but I didn’t.

In the end I was up, out of bed, and fixing my most decent pair of jeans before breakfast. You can see that they’ve already been fixed several times, and this last rip was a real humdinger. But needs must, and fix them I did. It’s not perfect, I had limited time, but I’m lucky in that I have a home office. Then, a quick wash and dry and I was already to go.

Now, this is not perfect: it’s not very professional, especially when I am representing my charity. However, if I can demonstrate to one single person that an item of clothing is reparable, rather than disposable, then it’s job done.

And maybe I’ve proven that to myself too. I don’t always need to make new clothes. With a bit of editing, sometimes what I already have may be fit for purpose, and comes with the added bonus of having a much reduced environmental impact.

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