Thursday, 9 July 2015


My lovely readers, I have a confession to make. 

I have been on a shopping spree. And much to my shame, by shopping spree I don't mean the local fabric shop. I mean...


At a ready to wear clothing store. 

I know. Since taking up sewing over a year ago I've cut down my ready-to-wear purchases enormously. I never believed all the stories I'd read about how when people learnt to sew they went off clothes shopping, but then it really did happen to me. I'll admit, I've been seen popping into places for the odd piece of clothing here and there, but never gone out specifically to shop for clothes in the way that I did before I entered the world of sewing. 

However, just recently my style has gone through a bit of a change. Rather than wanting to wear the girly dresses I love to sew 100% of the time, I'm branching out to jeans, skirts and, particularly in this heat, shorts. My sewing just can't keep up. 

I've realised that unlike ready-to-wear wardrobes, there aren't quick fixes to sewing your own. There are patterns to pick, fabric to choose, time taken to fit and sew the time I'd realised my style was changing summer was here and I was totally unprepared. 

So...get ready for this. In the past month, I have bought: 4 pairs of shorts, 3 tops, 3 cardigans, 2 dresses, 1 skirt, 1 sleeveless denim jacket, 1 pair of short dungarees, 1 pair of sandals and 1 bag. 

Wow. I'll admit it...that is a lot. 

Now for the justification. 

- Since beginning sewing, the addition of clothes into my wardrobe has been occurring at a much slower rate than it used to; gaps were appearing before I could fill them, so turning to ready to wear was a good solution. 

- I spent a long time deciding which clothes I'd feel most comfortable in and wear a lot (some of the clothes were bought online so I was considering for a few days before taking the plunge). Therefore, I know these clothes will be in my wardrobe for far more than one season, they're not just fast fashion. 

- I chose a lot of the items because they feature designs that I couldn't necessarily recreate satisfactorily as a home sewer, especially within my limited price range. For example, lace shorts, a denim jacket and a scalloped hem top. 

- As my style changes I need to adjust my sewing habits too. Choosing patterns for shorts, trousers and tops, then learning different sewing techniques in order to construct them is something which will take time. For this summer, it seemed sensible to turn to ready to wear whilst I make decisions on where to take my sewing. 

So, there's my confession! I am still sewing, of course, and am still wearing my handmade clothing, but for now, mixing it with ready to wear clothing is easier, so I'm not going to spend too much time feeling guilty about it. I only ever shop for clothes in three places - Next, New Look and Fat Face, so I guess my negative impact caused through clothes shopping is more limited than if I used a wider variety of stores. 

If you've reached the end of this post, then thank you so much for reading! 

Do you ever shop ready to wear? 

Beth x


  1. I don't think you need to justify yourself - from the amount of reading I do in the sewing world everyone is so nice and understands how time sucking sewing is if want to do a good job! It is good to mix and match, adds a unique point of view to ready to wear :) I have realised I have no summer clothes! They are all up north still and I didn't realise! Hope you are enjoying your summer :)

    1. thank you! it's definitely true that everyone in the sewing world seems to be really lovely - must just come naturally to creative people! i hope you can find some summer clothes to wear!! :)

  2. I understand your point of view, Beth. I think sometimes I feel the pressure to sew all my own clothes, because friends and family know I like to sew. But it's not always feasible with time and financial constraints, etc and there are some things that you just can't sew. Don't feel guilty about buying ready to wear - I still do too. Sew for pleasure - it is a hobby after all!! :-)

    1. so true, and if i have enough ready to wear clothes to get me comfortably through summer, then sewing will stay fun, not an obligation, right? :)