Designing & Sewing is Ruining – or Changing – My Shopping Style…
Since I’ve started designing and learning to sew, something very scary is happening to my shopping style. I have two major problems! Both are actually saving me money and are getting me closer to my dream of owning a beach house, but nevertheless, are scary. I am seeing all fashion through new lenses and I’m not sure I like it.
It’s a true paradigm shift in my fashion world and I look at things differently.
Problem #1: I now look at where things are made and how. Ugh!
I’ve had the privilege of meeting local designers who design and produce in the U.S.A. They value quality and the process over the mass production or even mass appeal. I’m looking at fashion through their eyes and noticing where clothes are made and how. I’ve gravitated toward brands that are made in the USA such as Show Me Your Mumu, Lolly Wolly Doodle, Bella Dahl and many others I continue to discover. You can see where this could be a problem. Clothes made this way can be more expensive and scarce. So far, it’s OK… I actually spend less, but spend more thoughtfully. I “curate” my wardrobe instead of shop for it now.
Problem #2: Learning to sew has further limited what I’m willing to spend money to acquire. Ugh!
I’m learning to sew and I love it. It is so rewarding to turn a piece of fabric into something you love to wear. It only takes a short amount of time to make a pair or shorts or a dress, too. I think I had this idea that one garment would take me weeks to finish, but turns out I can whip up a dress in the time it would take me to drive to Perimeter Mall, shop and get back home. And, I can use fabulous fabrics that I love and customize the dress to my exact specifications. I have a lot to learn, but I can make shorts, tunics and dresses that I love in unique fabrics that are simply stunning. I’ve never gotten so many compliments as I have since I’ve been sewing my own clothes. Literally, complete strangers stop me at concerts, on beaches and in stores to compliment my pieces. It’s not that I’m so great at sewing…. it’s that the fabrics are so great and unlike things you find in mass production. So, where’s the problem? Well, I have simple taste. I like things like tunics, simple dresses, etc. These things are the things that are pretty simple for a beginner to make. So, when I see something I like, like this “Cabana Dress” for $70, I just can’t pull the “Add to Bag” trigger because I know I could make it. So, in this case, I’ve ordered $30 worth of an amazing fabric and I’ll be making my own version of this dress.
There are plenty of things I can’t make or don’t have the time to attempt so those things I still purchase if I really want them. Sewing has created a whole new list of buying criteria. Another big change for me.
So, my closet is taking on a whole new personality and I grow in this new fashion business. Thanks for following along on my journey. Hope I haven’t ruined any shopping fun for you. (www.smijbyjill.com)