At the beginning of 2014, when I’d only been sewing in earnest for two years, I took a Ready-to-Wear Fast challenge with Sarah of Goodbye Valentino. The challenge was simple: I couldn’t purchase clothing for 365 days (including thrifted clothes) and had to sew everything I needed excluding undergarments. I knew the challenge would force me to do several things: first, I knew the necessity would force me to sew more consistently and seriously consider the value of each garment in my wardrobe. Second, I was learning more about the hideousness that is the fashion industry and finally felt ready to put my actions behind my ethical stances.
That year I made 57 garments, many of which are still in rotation in my wardrobe. After that first year I unofficially continued the RTW fast on my own, and have purchased less than 10 garments in the past three years. The official RTW Fast is active again for 2018, and I decided to once again hop on board. A lot has changed since that first year. I don’t worry about my skill level or my ability to make things that I might need (including undergarments). My style has also settled into a reliable pattern, whereas my beginner seamstress self wanted to make all the things despite their level of practicality.
While the fast allows you to purchase things like wedding gowns, I’m proud that I’m making my own wedding dress by hand. Even a newbie could tackle this: every project is easy when you break it down step by step. There’s something thrilling, though, in knowing that my skills have matured and I’ve settled into a more professional habit with each garment.
My hope for this year’s fast is to take more time intentionally designing my wardrobe. As my roles shift in life and business, I want my clothing to reflect those changes. My dresses in particular are looking more business-professional and less mid-20s whimsy. It’s not that I don’t enjoy a floral summer dress, but I don’t need to wear one during business meetings. I’d also like to sew slower, use more professional techniques, and ensure that each garment will last for decades. We’re so accustomed to fast fashion that deteriorates quickly, I wonder if that doesn’t seep into my sewing habits too. I plan to take my time and create classic, everlasting pieces.