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How to Sew Without Overflowing Your Closet

10 questions to help you determine when you have enough clothing.

Posted in: Creativity & Mindset • November 30, 2022

When do you have enough? It’s a personal question. And when it comes to sewing your own clothes, it’s a little trickier to answer than when you shop for clothes.

Sewing is your hobby. Making things brings you joy, and you can’t always measure it by the number of clothes in your closet. So how can you keep sewing without overflowing your closet?

Here are 10 questions you can ask yourself to help you determine how much is enough for you. All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil or a note-taking app. Sit down and write “What is Enough?” Then work through these questions to create an idealized picture of your wardrobe.

What is Enough?

How do you feel when you get dressed in the morning? If you don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about what you're going to wear, you might need fewer options in your wardrobe. Or, you might enjoy putting together outfits so you thrive with many options.
Do you like having a big wardrobe? Maybe you enjoy having a big wardrobe, even if you only wear a few things regularly. But maybe it's important that you wear everything in your closet. So take note if unworn clothes bother you.
What percentage of your wardrobe goes unworn? If unworn clothes bother you, be aware of how much of your wardrobe goes unworn. It will help you when you purge your closet, and it can help you prioritize upcoming sewing projects.
How does your wardrobe handle changes in seasons? If you live somewhere with a really defined climate, that might limit your wardrobe. You don’t need a winter wardrobe if it doesn’t get cold! On the other hand, if you live in a place that has very different seasons, you might want to have a wardrobe that will cover all kinds of weather.
How often do you do laundry? This practical question determines how many clothes you need to make your wardrobe wearable. It might also help you decide what kinds of things you want in your wardrobe—because there are some clothes you do not have to launder as often.
How much room do you have for everything? Like your laundry situation, having enough physical space to store your clothes is a natural restriction. An overflowing closet can be stressful. If you need your clothes to be organized and accessible at all times, your space might dictate how full your closet can get.
Do you have uniforms? You might find joy in creating uniforms for your everyday life. Outfit formulas (read all about them here) can make it easy to get dressed each morning. But maybe you like to mix and match and have a bunch of different styles that you wear. This is another thing that can influence what feels like enough to you.
How often do you like to repeat your outfits? While thinking about uniforms, consider how comfortable you are repeating your outfits. If you're someone who doesn't mind wearing the same thing a few times each week, then having less in your wardrobe feels right to you. But if you're somebody who really likes a lot of variety and doesn't want to repeat outfits all the time, then that might be a different answer for you.
What categories of clothing do you have covered in your wardrobe? It can help to break your wardrobe down into categories rather than looking at the whole thing. For example, do you have enough options for activewear, loungewear, or special occasion clothing? Identify the areas where you feel you have enough and where you might need more.
Do you find creativity in the idea of abundance, or do you find it in constraints? This question is a bit more abstract. You can find creativity in both of those things depending on what you’re doing. Think about getting dressed with your current wardrobe. Is it easier to get dressed when you have fewer options? Does that make you feel more liberated? Or do you find it easier to get dressed when you have an abundance of things to choose from? (Tip: This question also works really well for your fabric stash.)

Your list for what is enough won’t look the same as anyone else’s. We all live in different spaces and get inspiration from different levels of constraint and abundance. So this exercise is best done without judgment for yourself or anyone else. What did you find out about your closet? Share your answers on the Seamwork Community and see what other Seamworkers discovered about their wardrobes.

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