What do sewing bloggers do with all the clothes they make??

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This is a question I’ve been pondering for a long time, most of the blogs I read make an average of two pieces of clothing a month, that’s 24 a year so if you’ve been blogging for say 3 years that’s 72 items of clothing!!!! I’ve found that I don’t keep all the things I make, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this on here before, but I’m almost the opposite of a hoarder. If it’s not being used, isn’t greatly sentimental and wasn’t a gift then I just don’t feel the need to keep it any more. This goes for clothes, books, cosmetics, well everything really.

When I make something I don’t end up wearing I either give it to charity or sell it on eBay to try and recoup some of the fabric costs. Of course there are also loads of pieces I’ve made that I love and wear regularly. Anyway I thought I’d pose this question to some of my favourite sewing bloggers to find out what they do. I’m so grateful to all the lovely ladies who got back to me with such thoughtful and helpful replies. Here are the blogs I got in touch with, if you don’t follow them already, do it now as they’re all amazing!

Dreaming of Avalon
Handmade Jane
What Katie Sews
Buttons and Birdcadges
Charity shop chic

I’ve been mulling over the best way to share all the helpful tips, somehow copying bits of the messages seems a bit creepy? So I decided to just make a quick list with the key answers:

  • Refashion –  Where possible try and fix what you don’t like about a garment or re-use the fabric.
  • Giving to charity – This is a popular option because you don’t really have to worry about the quality of your sewing, however it can be quite heartbreaking when you’ve spent hours and a serious amount of money on fabric making something to just give it away without knowing how it’ll end up.
  • Giving to friends/hosting a give away – I remember reading Handmade Jane’s post where she gave away some of her handmade wardrobe (If I was smaller I totally would have entered too!) and it was a real success.  Jane mentioned in her reply how nice it was to give them to other sewers who could appreciate the amount of work that went into making each individual garment. I also love the idea of giving to friends and family. However there is a flip side, I remember reading a post on a sewing blog a few months back (I’ve searched and searched but I just can’t seem to find the original post) where they listed all the pitfalls of sewing for family & friends.
  • Selling on Etsy/Ebay – A good way to recoup your costs, but it can be a struggle to make enough money to cover the time you spent making the garment.
  • Keep them – If you have the space, then this is a good option because personal style can evolve so in time you might fall in love with something your just not that keen on right now.

I hope this is helpful, it’s the kind of list I wish I’d seen last year when I was just starting out. I think I’m now finally starting to work out which fabrics, colours and cuts work for me so hopefully I won’t have quite so many bits I just don’t know what to do with!

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15 thoughts on “What do sewing bloggers do with all the clothes they make??

  1. Thanks for sharing the list and the findings, it’s an interesting reading!
    I think that this is real issue for any craft really. There are many hours going into a creation and it’s a pity that after it has no proper use.
    I try to make things that may be actually useful, to minimise the danger of “what do I do with this now?” 🙂

    • That’s a good point, but I think with making clothes it’s a little more complicated. By their very nature they are useful items, but sometimes your left with the same problems you find when you order clothes online or love them in the shop changing room but not once you get home. With shop bought clothes you can just return to the shop and get your money back, but with handmade your kind of stuck with them.

  2. You’ve made a really good point here! I’ve only made a handful of things so far so don’t really have this problem as yet, but I can forsee me having more handmade clothes than I know what to do with! I think I’ll probably just give some away to charity (although I feel slightly bad inflicting my dodgy sewing skills on charity shoppers!)

  3. Interesting, food for thought. I have not sewed enough to acquire much hand sewn clothing, but I did put on weight and couldn’t squeeze into a few pieces, so I gave those away. I guess I treat my hand sewn clothes like store bought clothes 🙂

  4. Gosh I haven’t even thought about this as a problem yet, I sew for my kids who are constantly growing, when my daughter grows out if her things I just keep then in the family and pass them on to my niece 🙂

  5. Well, this was kind of happening to me when I started sewing and I felt so bad spending my money like this since I’m always on a strictly budget. So now I have things in my closet that are my favorite pieces and wear all the time. What I do is try the pattern on a muslin first and do alterations according to my body and then if I like it I go ahead and cut the final fabric. This is a very good questions, I think a lot of us when make a small error on a project we (me) put it away with the hope it will fix by itself or you will get the energy to fix again, or through it away!!!! 😦

  6. I do mostly costuming so I keep everything. I do have some things I have been meaning to sell or give away, but I’m having too much fun creating and talking to others who create that I never get around to posting the items for sale! LOL Great blog…lots of good ideas…maybe I’ll try a swap…

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