Start your sewing adventure with us.

Join Seamwork Now

How Sewing Teaches You to Want Less

Episode 188: Our relationships with consumption, how that's changed throughout our sewing journeys, and 8 ways that you can lean on sewing to help you consume less.

Posted in: Seamwork Radio Podcast • April 15, 2024 • Episode 188

Since you've started sewing your own clothes, do you find you've become pickier about the clothes you see in stores? Do you find that you're buying fewer garments than you used to?

In this episode, Sarai and Haley discuss how sewing teaches you to want less. They cover their personal relationships with consumption, how that's changed throughout their sewing journeys, and eight ways that you can lean on sewing to help you consume less.

Below are the show notes for this podcast episode and a brief summary of what's covered, followed by a full transcript.

8 Different Ways that Sewing can Help You to Consume Less

Tip 1. Mend and repair your clothes

Sewing affords you the ability to repair and mend your clothing. If you have an issue with your clothing, like there's a hole in a garment or something is slightly too big, you can fix it! Since you have this skill, you're a lot less likely to throw your clothes away. It extends the lifespan of your existing garments and gives you a reason not to buy something new if you don't need to.

Tip 2. Upcycle and repurpose what you have

You can turn something you've had for a while, or doesn't quite suit you anymore into something totally new and fresh. This also reduces the need to buy more materials if you use what you have on hand.

Tip 3. Add custom touches

Take something you already own that may be a bit basic or boring and add embellishments to make it more special and suited for your own style. For example, embroider small flowers, or beads on an old cardigan.

Tip 4. Upgrade your garment construction and really learn about garment construction

Learning how to sew provides a lot of insight into the effort and the skill that's required in producing clothing. If you upgrade your skills, it will help make your homemade garments long lasting than anything you'll find off the rack.

Tip 5. Embrace a slow fashion mindset

Sewing really encourages you to think about quality over quantity. Which is highly embraced by the slow-fashion mindset. Taking a moment to pause and think about the quality of what you're making over how much you're acquiring is key. This mental shift can really help you to think differently about fast fashion and about shopping for clothes in general.

Tip 6. Make mindful material choices about what you're making your clothes out of

Using natural and sustainable materials is great! But it's not the only way to make sustainable choices. Also consider where and how the fabric was manufactured, as well as buying it from smaller shops versus bigger box stores. Again, think about the quality over quantity.

Tip 7. Create capsule wardrobes

Sewing your own capsule wardrobe really helps give you the pieces that you need and each piece can be mixed and matched together to help you be creative with less. This way, you don't feel the need to buy a lot of different things because you know what will work together and what you enjoy wearing.

Tip 8. Share your skills with a community

You can teach, you can learn from each other, you can share resources, and collectively work towards reducing the overall demands for fast fashion. And also just the benefit of being surrounded by other people who value the same things that you do, it helps you to not get sucked in to overconsumption.

Join the Conversation

Sign in or become a Seamwork member to comment on this article.

Sign in            Join Seamwork

You May Also Like

Explore More Seamwork

Seamwork members have access to hundreds of patterns, with two new patterns available each month. Membership starts at just $15 per month!