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Thursday, August 4, 2011

The End - I Made It!


Yes, that's a patternpaper hat
It's the 4th of august, and exactly one year ago I declared on this blog to stop shopping and start making! I'm not going to say things like 'I can't believe I made it', because that's just not true. I am in fact not especially happy that this year is over. I am happy about the fact that I started this in the first place. This was not a challenge in the sense that I really had to endure anything, or work really hard to keep going. I had to adjust at first, not being able to shop, but gradually sewing became the more obvious thing to do. This past year sewing has become such a major part of my life! It does feel like an accomplishment in the sense that I truly learned a new skill. I tried so many new techniques, and have also become more professional at it. I make patterns, I iron my seams, I interface, I pay attention to what kind of fabric is suited for what kind of garment. I even finish my seams (well, the visible ones...). I learned how to sew an invisible zipper, how to shirr, how to gather, how to make bias binding. I even did some hand sewing! So, this celebration week is not going to be about ending this challenge, but about celebrating what it has brought me!

So... did I keep my promises? 

Merino shirt and jeans

I can honestly say I did! I did buy two things: jeans and a merino wool hiking shirt. I really needed jeans at a time where I wasn't good enough to give it a try myself. And as for the merino shirt, that's just fabric that's hard to get by. Besides, specialized sportswear was not on the shopping-blacklist. Oh, and I bought two pairs of shoes, boots and heels.

Having a blog really helped me not to cheat. This blog felt like a contract. If I felt tempted to buy something, I thought 'But I can't, my readers would be so dissapointed!'. It really feels like I made a promise to everyone who reads this blog. OK, so maybe you wouldn't really care that much, but it helped me anyway!
As for the additional rules I set in january, I'll get back on that later. After all, they were goals for 2011, which isn't over yet!

What did it cost me?

I was curious how much I spent this year. Overall, sewing is not neccessarily cheaper than buying clothes. But I have been on a budget all along, and I found several good deals. I think my yellow hoodie was the most expensive thing I made: about 30 euros. Almost half of it was spent on the buttons! I traced my transactions from the fabric shop, and estimated I have spent an equal amount at the market. Which makes a total of 307 euros. Not bad, eh? An average of 25 € a month! I haven't even used all the fabric I bought, there's several 1€ finds that await me.

Sewing at night
What it did cost me, ofcourse, is time. Sometimes, I long for shopping because aquiring a new garment is so easy. It just takes a stroll through (virtual) shops, and within a few minutes, it's yours. When sewing clothes, there's all these phases you go through, depending on how long the project takes. There's the initial idea, which gets you really excited. Then you get to selecting the fabric, finding suitable notions, the making of patterns, the cutting. This is where the process usually slows down for me. I stall a bit, go back to the fabric, doubt a bit about whether I chose the right sort of garment. The sewing phase is a bumpy road usually, I learned to calculate some time in for things to go wrong. When it's nearly finished, you have looked at it so many times that you really can't tell whether it looks good or not. Then, when it's finished, the real excitement comes back: 'I made this! It turned out great!' (although my defenition of 'great' shifts with every garment, placing the bar a bit higher). And this is what makes it worth it: the excitement at the end is much bigger than when buying something. There's also pride and satisfaction involved, which I never used to get out of store-bought clothes, And ofcourse the fact that you are getting good at something, which is very satisfying.

What's in store this week? 

This week I'll take you through last year, and into the future! I'll discuss some highlights, unwearables and UFO's. And ofcourse, an anniversary requires gifts, so keep a lookout for my first giveaway! Friday night is party time, as Oona is hosting a virtual birthday party. Have to whip up something for that, too! And ofcourse I'll be revealing what next year is going to be about. Time to set some new rules!


  1. Woohoo, Lisa ik ben trots op je! Super goed man!

  2. Ja supervet Lisa, man, dat er alweer een heel jaar voorbij is sinds je aankondiging. Echt tof, van harte!

  3. Wauw wat goed zeg! Er is gewoon alweer een jaar voorbij. Wat een mooie spullen heb je gemaakt zeg. Je mag zeker trots zijn op jezelf. Succes, ga vooral zo door!
    Liefs Jessica

  4. Congratulations!!! I've enjoyed watching :)


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